I’m seeing a lot of companies that are going after the direct primary care market. There are a lot of tech solutions that can benefit the direct primary care market. It’s amazing how the relationship between a patient and doctor changes when they have a direct care relationship. A whole new wave of technology possibilities come into play that are really exciting. I see a number of companies trying to capitalize on this.
There’s also a lot of interest in direct primary care from doctors. Many have sold out to hospitals and are now looking at a way to get back out on their own. Even more are tired of the ridiculously complex and often messed up insurance reimbursement system and they’re looking for a way to get out from under it. As one doctor friend of mine recently said, “Insurance Company A is the worst reimbursement out there. They don’t pay enough to cover the cost for me to be there.” While we could argue the details of this statement, this is the sentiment that so many doctors feel about insurance.
While I see these trends that seem in favor of the direct primary care model, I still can’t figure out how they’ll actually scale. Certainly I can see plenty of situations (mostly in affluent areas) where the direct primary care model can really work for a doctor and the patient. However, I don’t see how that model can scale across all of healthcare. Is there something I’m missing? Are high deductible plans going to become so big that direct primary care is cheaper?
Let’s hear your thoughts and ideas on direct primary care. Will it become the de facto standard for healthcare or is it just a niche movement? What role does technology play in that movement?