Direct Care is a fresh (and also somewhat old school) healthcare model being embraced by physicians who want to increase patient access to high-quality healthcare and rebuild the foundation of that – a strong, lasting, mutually respectful, and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her doctor. With direct care, you enter into a relationship directly with your doctor, and your doctor is only accountable to themselves and to you.

No insurance companies placing endless and impossible hoops to jump through, denying claims and demanding that your physician change their treatment recommendations in order for your treatment to be covered, regardless of it meaning that you would not get the best treatment for you specifically.

No business administrators saying your doctor cannot spend the time with you that you both need together to appropriately assess your ailments or discuss your treatment options, because the office needs to increase their patient numbers in order to have a chance of more claims going through so that they can be reimbursed enough to pay for the billing and coding staff they had to hire in order to fight with insurance companies all day long.

No non-medical executives thinking that physicians are interchangeable and that any patient can be seen by any doctor with the same results, ignoring the immense personal value to both the patient and the physician of having an enduring and trusting patient-doctor relationship, as well as the incredible health benefits that come from you seeing a doctor with the expertise you need who also knows you very well.

With direct care, all of that goes away, and things reset to simply you and your doctor.

The direct care model has had the most momentum in the primary care area, with the Direct Primary Care (DPC) movement growing over the past decade as more and more doctors and patients have grown extremely frustrated with the typical insurance-driven healthcare system in the US. Two innovative features of the DPC movement have been to (1) limit the number of patients per physician so that a physician has time to be available when his or her patients need access rather than always being fully booked out for months, and (2) to use a recurring monthly payment model to cover a range of services including your physician’s time providing you medical services, your access to better direct availability with your physician when you need him or her, common tests you will likely need, and basic procedures you may require at some point. Specialized treatments, procedures, or tests often have a separate cost, but usually those costs are much more reasonable than in the insurance-driven system due to direct care doctors being able to avoid the insurance-driven system’s price inflation tactics and thus pass on the savings to patients. Prescription medications may even also be available at an extremely discounted and reasonable cost.

More specialists are now also realizing the potential benefits a direct care model can offer both their patients and themselves (such as sanity!) and are choosing to take on the cumbersome process and risk of extricating themselves from the insurance-driven system and rebuilding on their own as well, with hopes of practicing medicine the way they’ve always wanted to – with only you in mind. The direct primary care and direct specialist care model creates happy and healthy patients and doctors, which in turn creates happier and healthier communities. It also reminds patients that you have the right to choose your physician and where you get your care, and you can choose to get care directly from your trusted physician without interference.