MAY 15, 2013 - The AAFP recently created a document with frequently asked questions to accompany the Academy’s newly created policy on direct primary care (DPC), a model in which practices charge patients a flat monthly or annual fee in exchange for access to a broad range of primary care services.
“The AAFP supports the physician and patient choice to, respectively, provide and receive health care in any ethical health care delivery system mode, including the DPC practice setting,” says the policy. It notes that the model is structured to “emphasize and prioritize” the physician/patient relationship to improve health outcomes and lower costs and is consistent with the AAFP’s advocacy of both the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and a blended payment model.
According to AAFP Board Chair Glen Stream, M.D., M.B.I., of Spokane, Wash., “There is more than one way to build a PCMH.” He noted that the number of AAFP members developing DPC practices was still small but increasing.
“The model eliminates the insurance middleman and provides revenue directly to the practice to innovate in both customer service and quality of care for the patients they serve,” said Stream. “This is one option that is particularly well suited for small family medicine practices that are struggling financially in environments not yet supporting PCMH with a viable payment model.”
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