Direct primary care is a modern version of the old-time patient physician relationship. Specifically, the physician provides the patient with medical care without any insurance or government involvement. The physician sets a fixed fee for medical care and the patient pays this charge directly to the physician. In exchange, the physician provides medical care whenever the need arises, including on the weekends and after hours for urgent matters.
In most direct primary care practices there are no copays or additional charges, and the set fee covers all medical services and procedures provided by the physician, as well as in office supplies and therapies used in the course of that treatment. Care is generally provided at the physician’s office, but can include home visits and assisted living/nursing home rounds under special circumstances. The number of patients in direct primary care practices tend to be small, usually limited to between 400 and 600 patients. This smaller number ensures a much more personalized, high level of professional care.
Direct primary care is growing in popularity! In 2012, an estimated 4,500 doctors across the United States offered various forms of “direct” care services to their patients. That number has increased to more than 5,500 in 2013 and is expected to continue a strong upward trend.
Direct primary care is not insurance. It does not cover any medical services or supplies outside the physician’s scope of practice (ie: sub-specialty care, hospitalization services, imaging studies, outside labwork, prescriptions, etc.).
Dr. Richard R. Samuel is a direct primary care provider and the first to offer direct primary care in North Idaho.
Ready to learn more about Dr. Samuel’s direct primary care? Explore our list of benefits.
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