Direct Primary Care Guide for Employers: A two-part series

October 20, 2015

Direct Primary Care Guide for Employers: A two-part series

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Part one: What is direct primary care and why should employers pay attention to it

Why employers seeking to control healthcare costs and provide differentiated health benefits are turning to direct primary care, combined with a medical home program

The direct primary care healthcare delivery mechanism for primary care providers continues to evolve in the industry, moving from individual , concierge-style, practice conversions to full-scale medical home programs available to large organizations on a fixed fee or membership basis.

What was originally offered within local communities as a way to increase consumer access on an individual and family basis, has now become a viable large-scale healthcare product that offers an opportunity to control access to care and influence insured individuals to become more deeply engaged in their provider relationships, and thus health. In theory, this engagement should lead to improved health outcomes, a superior experience with the healthcare system, and lower individual and group costs overall. While still early, industry results measuring employers adopting large-scale direct primary care programs are looking optimistic.   

Direct primary care evolution

The evolution of direct primary care into the patient-centered medical home, or simply, medical home concept, now provides employers with a scalable option to deploy this formerly-individualized style of care on large local or even national basis. The central tenets to the medical home concept include comprehensive, coordinated, team-based care, with a focus on accessibility, quality, and evidence-based protocols. By leveraging virtual medicine, centralized back-office functions, internal provider recruiting, capital to invest in infrastructure, and unique incentive-based reimbursement methods, employers are quickly migrating towards this investment through both pilot programs and as central components to their overall health and wellness strategies.

Why employers are turning to direct primary care

…and what they need to consider

With the evolution of direct primary care and continued year-over-year healthcare cost increases, employers are increasingly seeking out new mechanisms for controlling healthcare costs in the short and long term.

Next in the series: key considerations for employers in direct primary care.

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