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Emily O’Rourke – MD, Fountain Direct Primary Care
A lot of reform in health care happens with employees in larger companies. What are called “Rosetta”-type advisors are using “carrots” to cajole workers to go to more “independent” physicians, both to save the CEO money and to improve the quality of the employee experience.
As these “direct”-contracted group plans proliferate, specialists become happier, as it reduces their reliance on the hamster wheel of coding-based reimbursement to which they’re subjected by insurance companies. The missing piece of this upgrade in group health has been the out-of-pocket exposure via primary care.
Specifically, high deductible plans discourage workers from seeking care, and fee-for-service primary care visits are too short to really boost the health of the employee. A growing cohort of doctors are now charging not per appointment, but rather by month.
This “subscription” payment restores time for the patient, which allows the doctor to relearn the “art” of medicine. With the 1st dollar covered in “Direct Primary Care” (DPC) arrangements, employees no longer face the barrier of out-of-pocket costs. Able to resolve 80% of episodes, DPC docs also know where to refer for cheap labs, imaging centers, pharmacies & specialists. Despite charging monthly, DPCs SAVE money by reducing the over-utilization of specialist referrals.
Seeing DPC savings, are CEOs agreeing to the monthly payment? Dr. O’Rourke will answer that question, as well as how employers, doctors, patients and agents can support DPC growth. A DPC doctor herself, Emily speaks from experience, both with her patients and with other practices ramping up nationwide. She’ll also advise us what changes in Congress are needed to make health care better for the doctor-patient relationship.
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