Direct Primary Care(DPC) is an innovative alternative payment model in primary care model embraced by patients, physicians, employers, payers and policymakers across the United States. The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider.
Primary care doctors have an average of 3,000 patients each, and face declining reimbursements and increasing mandates on their time. Patients routinely face longer wait times, shorter office visits, and increasing uncertainty about their insurance.
The direct primary care model gives family physicians a meaningful alternative to fee-for-service insurance billing, typically by charging patients a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee (i.e., a retainer) that covers all or most primary care services including clinical, consultative services, care coordination, and comprehensive care management. Laboratory fees are offered at an extremely discounted price to the consumer as well.
Because some services are not covered by a retainer, DPC practices still often suggest that patients acquire a high-deductible wraparound policy to cover emergencies, but this method greatly changes the doctor-patient relationship, by reducing costs, providing more appointment flexibility, and more personal care.
“When I opened this clinic, I really wanted to provide outstanding primary care and enhance the patients’ healthcare experience.” stated Dr. Amber Wobbekind, owner of The Golden Stethoscope. “More than that I have found out just how much patients and I love being able to really talk about the things that matter most to them. I get to focus on the actual person rather than his or her aliment or disease.”
Patients at The Golden Stethoscope also have round the clock access to their own doctor (not just an answering service), and do not have a wait time to see their doctor for a visit. Appointments are also much longer, giving the patient more time with the physician, and a great deal of personal care is extended – which is very different than the average typical primary care practice.
About The Golden Stethoscope
Based on the direct primary care model, The Golden Stethoscope focuses on caring for the whole person while reducing the overhead and negative incentives associated with fee-for-service, third-party-payer billing. Located in Golden, Colorado, the practice provides services similar to concierge or boutique medicine, but at a more reasonable price range, with a much friendlier, and efficient business model.
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