• AAFP Advocacy Focus: Direct Primary Care (DPC)


    The direct primary care payment model gives family physicians a meaningful alternative to fee-for-service insurance billing, typically by charging patients a monthly, quarterly or annual fee (i.e., a retainer) that covers all or most primary care services, including clinical, laboratory and consultative services as well as care coordination and comprehensive care management. Because some services are not covered by a retainer, DPC practices often suggest that patients acquire a high-deductible wraparound policy to cover emergencies.

    Among DPC's benefits to physicians:

    • decreased practice overhead
    • fewer medical errors and less exposure to risk
    • improved practice collections rates
    • more time with patients
    • reduced patient volume
    • zero insurance filing

    Why We Fight

    The AAFP supports the physician and patient choice to, respectively, provide and receive health care in any ethical health care delivery system model, including the DPC practice setting. Direct primary care rewards family physicians for emphasizing patient care while reducing the overhead and negative incentives associated with fee-for-service, third-party-payer billing.

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