As a cost reducing model, DPC intuitively helps those who have a hard time affording care in the current model; yet to many who are involved in healthcare policy, the idea of paying the physician directly sounds like an added cost to patients and detrimental to a group often collectively called “the poor”. Within this category there are a few subgroups to identify in order to examine how DPC can be beneficial to "the poor."
- Heavy Utilizers - Patients requiring frequent visits
- DPC frees these patients from having to buy expensive insurance products to cover their frequent visits, in addition to the hundreds they save on less expensive medications, labs, and imaging costs that may come with their increased needs.
- Working Class - patients that cannot afford insurance and do not qualify for government subsidies or safety net insurance.
- These patients tend to minimize healthcare use in order to minimize expenses
- Ignoring problems tends to lead to more complications or exacerbations of current problems and cause increased ER visit and costs
- DPC allows these patients the freedom to see their doctor when they need to before small problems become complicated, saving them costly ER visits
- Safety Net - Medicare and Medicaid eligible patients
- These patients have coverage but may not be getting the best CARE, especially with long wait times, 5 minute visits, and only partial coverage services. Often times these patients have trouble finding a physician who will take their insurance.
- Many DPC physicians waive their fees or set up private charity funds to help care for those who absolutely cannot afford the monthly fees
This article was originally created by a group of volunteer writers in September 2019. It may have been subsequently edited.