Restoring the Doctor-Patient Relationship
BY JUSTIN OWEN
With the Senate’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare as promised, most of the outlook on healthcare reform in our country remains bleak. But a recent article in the Tennessean shows that even with the constricting pressure Obamacare is placing on Americans’ ability to access quality care, this cloud does have a silver lining.
As the article explores, more and more Tennesseans are finding alternatives to the traditional—and broken—healthcare model in the form of direct primary care. For those new to the term, DPC operates much like a gym membership for your healthcare. You pay an upfront fee every month, and you get greater access to your doctor. Fees can be as low as $30 a month, and in exchange, patients usually get quarterly doctor visits that last 30+ minutes each, as well as the ability to call, text, or email their doctor on demand. Tests, X-rays, and other services are usually offered at a discount when needed.
DPC is a great option for those unable to afford astronomical monthly insurance premiums with ever-growing deductibles. Patients find themselves with far greater access to care, and they can save money by purchasing a high-deductible, low-premium plan that kicks in if they have a catastrophic medical event.
Beacon, with the leadership of Sen. Kerry Roberts and Rep. Sabi Kumar, championed a law in 2016 that protects DPC agreements. The law prohibits insurance regulators from treating the model as a form of insurance, which would effectively end any motivation to move to DPC for either doctors or patients. It’s great to see that barely a year later, more and more Tennesseans are embracing this approach to meet their healthcare needs.