My journey began a couple of years ago after hearing whispers of a mythical way of practicing medicine where physicians could spend as much time with patients as they needed and insurance was not driving the bus. “DPC” the whispers of friends of friends said. At some point I sat down to learn about it and down a rabbit hole I went.
I watched conferences where doctors stood up beaming, saying they were in love with medicine again. They said their patients could not believe this was real and everywhere they turned there were stories of patients whose health improved and were devoted to this new model. They only cared for 500 patients, rather than the 2500 of their employed, insurance based practice, and routinely picked up the phone when a patient called them directly. They said they were working hard and were busy, but were no long fighting a system that is bad for patients and physicians.
It seemed too good to be true, but people I admired and trusted were in front of me raving about it. All that was required was a leap of faith that there was something better. After years of indoctrination in practice it was hard to shake loose the reality of traditional medicine, but I have always been someone with hope and determination. It was time to capitalize on it.
What is so beautiful and simple about DPC is also what makes it effective. Patients pay an affordable monthly membership for all primary care services, and they decide how and when they want care. That’s it. In most practices they offer discounted medications and labs too. And because your doctor isn’t filling out insurance paperwork they can answer your texts or emails, or do video visits when you need them. But nowhere in there is a bill that comes later, an insurance company determining which services will be paid, or a patient waiting weeks for an appointment or days for an answer to a question.
So clearly I was excited about this. I was ready for this kind of relationship with my patients and time for quality care. I was ready to leap into this new world with the help of some new DPC friends.
Last weekend I got to see some other practices that are settled into this new way of being. Guess what was missing… paperwork. Guess what I saw… patients who begged to tell the story of their DPC experience and their doctors with joy and excitement in their eyes.
Join me on my journey as I launch DPC with Greenlake Direct Primary Care. I want to hear your stories and build something new together.