Direct contracting is a payment model where employers contract directly with a physician or physician group to provide employees and their families access to a range of primary care services. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)supports the physician and patient choice to, respectively, provide and receive healthcare in any ethical healthcare delivery system model, including through a direct contracting model.
Care for covered employees and their families under these direct contract arrangements may be provided in the physician’s primary practice location or at a worksite clinic. Services may include:
Physician payment in these contracts may be based on some combination of:
Direct contracting can provide relief from administrative burden and enable physicians to spend more time with their patients, both in face-to-face visits, and through telephonic or electronic communications mediums should they choose, since they are not bound by insurance reimbursement restrictions. This model can provide numerous benefits for employers including reduction of health care costs, increase in employee satisfaction, and decreased employee absences or sick days. Contracting directly with employers is a key component of many direct primary care practices allowing them to grow and even scale their practice. For these reasons, direct contracting is consistent with AAFP advocacy for advanced primary care functions and as an
innovative alternative to fee-for-service. (April Board 2010) (July 2020 BOD)