The Direct Primary Care model is about more than reimbursement. It’s a sign of physicians' inclination to step out of the woods and educate their patients to do the same. That is the most important and valuable aspect of this model.
But it is not enough. We need to get more support, convince more physicians to join with this concept, and join other groups with different approaches to maintain independence.
Big corporations and chain clinics can quickly take over the direct pay care model on their own. Does having a cash-based model mean independent physician practices will thrive? Of course not!
Physicians can remain dependent on corporations even though their payment model is cash based. All we would be doing is replacing insurance bureaucracy with a cash-based monopoly.
There are many aspects of healthcare and the medical practice model that needs to be addressed consecutively at the same time.
As I always have said, running to politicians for help will only undermine the integrity of independent healthcare practices.
We need to run after our patients and gain and maintain their support. This is the easiest thing to do with the right strategy because patients already support their doctors if they have built an excellent doctor-patient relationship. They won’t want to engage in bureaucracy either, and they are already frustrated even more than the physicians.
So for those who feel it is too late, I would say think twice. Embrace options. You do not need to drop accepting insurance if you don’t want to, but accept various reimbursement models and align yourself with consumers who are your patients. Listen to them, get changes, and do not take it personally if they have done their research online before they see you and they ask for a test or medication before telling you the symptom or chief complaint.
It is time to adapt to your patient's needs and concerns, even though they may sound unreasonable.
The culture needs to change.
Physicians need to accept that if they do not change, they will be left behind. Patients are the foundation of healthcare. Physicians are the building blocks.
Point of care systems, physician independence, and remote access to care are the three pillars supporting healthcare, with patients being the foundation and technology and strategy at the top.
Physicians must become activists and do their due diligence
As much as physicians hate to commoditize medical practice and patient care, it is still being commoditized. Physicians’ passivity is the biggest enemy of their professional integrity.
If doctors do not take the initiative to adopt or utilize the market today at all benefit, other companies will, being insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, chain pharmacies, or giant online stores.
Some may wonder how one can accomplish this. Once physicians decide to change their attitude, they will find positive solutions and make educated decisions.
Physicians must get the necessary competitive edge against larger organizations. They need to strategize how best to utilize all the essential tools, hands-on help, support, and technology. And most importantly, physicians can and need to maintain their independence.
Creating a Healthcare without borders is a socio-economic movement, and it will be achieved from the bottom up, one patient at a time and one doctor at a time.
Our movement provides tools, hands-on strategy, and support. It is essential to keep the doctor-patient relationship apart from the influence of corporate depersonalization, Just like separating the church and the state!