Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Healthcare initiative published the paper Addressing the Primary Care Crisis by Expanding Access to Direct Primary Care.

“Primary care providers are the vanguard of healthcare,” said Right on Healthcare Senior Fellow John O’Shea, M.D. “The decisions they make influence patient outcomes and experience as well as the cost and efficiency of the healthcare system. However, primary care is, by many accounts, in a state of crisis characterized by physician burnout, increased administrative burden, reduced time spent with patients, low reimbursement, and a shrinking workforce.”

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an alternative to the traditional fee-for-service method of financing and delivering primary care that can address many of these challenges. Although the DPC practice model is still evolving and there is no single accepted definition of what constitutes a DPC practice, DPC physician practices generally include certain elements:

  • They contract directly with patients, charging them a recurring—typically monthly—subscription fee to cover most or all primary-care-related services;
  • They do not charge patients per-visit, out-of-pocket amounts greater than the monthly equivalent of the subscription fee;
  • They do not bill third parties on a fee-for-service basis for services provided.

“The Direct Primary Care model addresses many of the challenges facing primary care by reducing administrative burden and allowing primary care providers to spend more time with their patients, resulting in improved satisfaction for providers, better care for patients, and the potential to reduce costs for patients and the healthcare system,” said Right on Healthcare Policy Director David Balat. “In spite of the potential benefits and growing popularity of Direct Primary Care, commonsense policy solutions are needed to remove barriers to allow for wider adoption. Policymakers should continue to pursue efforts to include DPC as an option in public programs like Medicaid in order to improve health outcomes and reduce the strain on state budgets and taxpayers.”

To read the paper in full, please visit: