The majority of physicians feel they were made to be independent. That is what their attitude has always been and will always be because of the nature of their profession and lifestyle. As we all know, being a doctor is a lifestyle that goes beyond just working and getting paid.
Some Direct Primary Care practices provide phone or email access to providers so that employees or patients may not even need to leave their workplace to seek medical advice.
Because direct primary care payments are typically paid over time, rather than in return for specific services, the economic incentives long-term health of the patient is the most lucrative situation for the doctor.
As such, preventative care gains greater emphasis under DPC
Another trend is patients being able to use their health savings accounts for DPC, which opens another can of worms. There is a major issue here. There are corporate entities controlling three major pipelines of healthcare
- Physician reimbursement
- Patient prescription drugs
DPC is generally addressing one of the above — reimbursement — which is also under attack from recent movements by a few entities.
The corporate takeover is undermining independent physicians even further
Imagine corporate lobbyists working hard to keep corporate hands in the cookie jar! This leaves physicians with yet another battle to fight.
First, we had insurance companies and managed care. Now giant corporations — whose original business models had nothing to do with medicine, to begin with — are making decisions that affect doctors and patients.
Although it is important to be compensated and make a living, our priority is the people who we take care of and treat. This is the most rewarding thing for a physician.
But is this enough? Can we just maintain this practice long enough and not end up with another bureaucratic monopoly from third-party interest group?
Some of the big corporations are trying to capture the direct primary care market in addition to having access to health savings accounts plus joining forces with insurance companies. This will equal disaster.
CVS, Walmart, and Other Companies
In my previous articles, I have talked about 15 challenges that physicians are facing today and one of them is reimbursement for treatments. I have also talked about the fundamentals of staying independent and started discussions about how physicians are being burned out and feel helpless.
I have talked to so many physicians and they all use the same thing in one way or the other. Many feel we’ve reached the end of the line and that big corporation are too powerful to challenge.
But I beg to disagree.
I believe that we have all the solutions and that proactive physicians with good ideas like direct primary care can make a difference. But many are missing one important point. They need a strategy to not be taken over by giant corporate entities that have more political power and money.
Physicians need a corporation that supports them, to help them fight their battles until they can stand by themselves without losing their independence.
We deserve a system that will empower individuals, both as patients and as physicians. We need a system that will keep healthcare where it belongs — in the doctor and patient visit, regardless of the size and the institution.
That kind of healthcare delivery is happening.