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Why Direct Primary Care May Be The Future, And What Technology Is Needed To Support It?
Digital Healthcare Technology

Why Direct Primary Care May Be The Future, And What Technology Is Needed To Support It?

By Priyobroto February 21, 2023 - 149 views

Direct primary care is a concept that is swiftly gaining ground in the mainstream healthcare industry. Patients who are mainly homebound, often grapple with complicated medical issues which are costly as well. 

They also have issues visiting the offices of doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Some also tend to be more comfortable and happier when they are at home. 

This may lead to a direct primary care wave that engulfs the healthcare sector in the near future. 

Reports by McKinsey indicate estimates of close to $265 billion in care services (covering up to 25% of healthcare costs) for Medicare Advantage and Medicare-fee-for-service beneficiaries switching to home-based patient care models by 2025. 

There will be a team-centric primary care framework that will also encompass non-conventional service providers as per experts. 

Knowing More About Direct Primary Care

Direct primary care is a model of alternative and affordable care which does away with the third-party billing and fee-for-service payment system. 

Patients can get quality care at home while paying providers a flat monthly or annual charge for routine services including lab testing, quarterly examinations, telemedicine or telehealth, and home-based visits as well. 

At the same time, while this system enhances patient access, it will also have ramifications for the health insurance system as well. 

Many believe that there could be a more rational and universal framework for getting direct primary care into the health insurance package of benefits for consumers. 

Here are some other points worth noting in this regard: 

  • Direct primary care is steadily attaining higher popularity amongst self-insured companies/employers and patients who are worried about the growing costs of healthcare and also those providers looking to lower administrative loads. 
  • The model may only succeed when there is a stronger relationship between primary care providers and patients. Patients will have higher access to healthcare providers and physicians more affordably and conveniently under this model. 
  • This will also help smaller medical practices ensure higher stability for their revenue sources while lowering administrative costs linked to billing, coding, and claim filing with insurance companies. This will ensure more time spent with patients while lowering costs greatly. 
  • It will benefit all those smaller practices that desire the elimination of reimbursement and administrative issues. 
  • The model is also strongly patient or consumer-centric which taps into the growing need for more convenient and personalized services along with the absence of any billing-related surprises. 
  • The system will naturally enhance overall outcomes, tackle physician fatigue issues, and also enhance health equity while lowering costs for the entire system at the same time.
  • Providers will have more time to ask questions and interact with patients while discussing treatments and conducting necessary testing. 

There will be a digital framework necessary for the success of the system and for driving the service provider network with proper tools and other infrastructure. 

Community-based entities will have to be integrated into the care network and providers should be able to leverage technologies for data capturing, onboarding, exchange, and digitization as well. 

They should support several use cases including quality reporting and SDOH as well. Suitable cloud-based digital platforms can boost the multiple relationships and procedures required to coordinate patient care. 

Through analytics and information-sharing, along with the inclusion of both non-medical and medical services, providers may tap a sizable care network and community for patients. 

FAQs

What is direct primary care? 

Direct primary care is an alternative system of healthcare that eliminates the fee-for-service payment system and third-party billing. It involves direct patient care with lower costs, easier accessibility, and better engagement and outcomes. 


How does technology support direct primary care? 

Technology is the driving force behind primary care, enabling the digital infrastructure for at-home primary care services, onboarding, data sharing, analytics, SDOH, exchange, and more. 

At the same time, it will help providers take care of the multiple care procedures and coordination mechanisms more effectively. 


What are the benefits of direct primary care? 

Direct primary care has several benefits including better patient outcomes, lower physician fatigue, more time spent with patients, lower medical costs overall, greater transparency in billing, zero reimbursement or administrative hassles for providers, more convenience, and a lot more. 

How does direct primary care affect healthcare costs?

Direct primary care impacts healthcare costs greatly. They come down sizably since telemedicine and other remote solutions do away with the need for hospital visits. 

At the same time, administrative and infrastructural load reduces greatly, which ultimately lowers costs. Third-party billing and fee-for-service systems are not required, with more transparency and annual/monthly fees for flat charges. 

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