Understanding Direct Primary Care

Everyone knows medical care is necessary to treat and prevent illnesses and stay well throughout life. But, with insurance, medical copays and deductibles can be costly, and the insurance process and paperwork can be a hassle.

In recent years, alternate models of medical care have arisen to help patients get top-quality, truly personalized care without jumping through hoops for their insurance providers. One of the most recent models — direct primary care — offers significant benefits for patients.

At Essential Medical Clinic, our team offers direct primary care (or DPC) for men and women throughout the Los Angeles area. With practices in the Westlake, Downtown, and Athens neighborhoods of Los Angeles, we make it easy for patients to get the customized care they need without the hassles and frustrations. Here’s how the direct primary care model benefits our patients.

The basics of direct primary care

Your primary care physician is like a concierge for your health care, providing you with preventive services, sick visits, and coordination of tests and specialty care when you need it. That kind of care requires a big commitment of time — much more than the 10 minutes or so insurance companies want doctors to allot per visit.

With a DPC model, doctors can bypass the traditional insurance-backed, fee-for-service model, and offer medical care that’s based on each patient’s unique needs. Instead of worrying about insurance requirements or preapprovals, patients pay a single membership fee. That means more personalized care for better long-term health, along with the elimination of insurance company hassles.

The benefits of direct primary care

Direct primary care offers lots of advantages for patients, including these three welcome benefits:

No rushing

Insurance companies require doctors to maintain a specific number of visits each day, which is why you often feel rushed during appointments. With DPC, insurance requirements don’t come into play, so we can schedule our patients with plenty of time to give them the attention and care they need. 

Fewer patients also means you won’t have long wait times before seeing your doctor. Plus, our DPC plan gives you extra ways to reach our doctors, including secure messaging and videoconferencing, for convenient care that revolves around your needs and your busy schedule.

No payment surprises

One of the most frustrating parts of the traditional medical care model is the “surprise” bills that almost always follow lab work, diagnostic imaging exams, and other medical tests. These bills represent your portion beyond what you already pay for insurance — and they can be substantial. 

With DPC, your membership includes primary care services, including preventive and sick visit costs, and when we order additional testing, we negotiate for the lowest possible fees then let you know ahead of time what those fees will be. No surprises or budget-busting bills will arrive in the mail.

Truly customized care

Having extra time to spend with your doctor means your care can truly be focused on your whole health. Patient-centered, customized care is especially important for people who have existing chronic medical problems, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. But, it’s also important for preventing those diseases and reducing other health risks, especially as you get older. 

Direct primary care lets our team take more time to develop a wellness plan that suits your medical history, your health needs, and your lifestyle for better health and a better quality of life. Instead of trying to “fit” your needs into a premade insurance model, your care can be whatever you need it to be for optimal wellness at every age.

Patient-centered care that’s focused on you

Insurance companies provide an important service, but that service can come at a really big cost to you and your health care provider. With direct primary care, our doctors are free to provide you with the individualized care you need for a lifetime of better health. To learn more about our DPC model, book an appointment online or over the phone with Essential Medical Clinic today.

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