Medical Tuesday Blog

The AAPS President’s Column

Jun 21

Written by: Del Meyer
06/21/2019 1:50 PM 

Direct Primary Care Summit

Albert L. Fisher, M.D.

When I attended the Direct Primary Care Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana, a vendor told me that HMOs are dead. Patients now have high deductibles, high copays, and very costly insurance. They are having difficulty getting necessary care despite their high premiums.

Enter the main subject: Direct Primary Care (DPC). For a fixed monthly fee, patients and families are able to get reliable, high quality primary care. Patients are still advised to maintain coverage with health/medical insurance.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) sponsors this annual event. Doctor Fisher gives excellent detail of the conference which has been endorsing “Patient Centered Medical Home.” The PCMH revolves around electronic medical records, which are now recognized as a major contributor to burnout. The AAFP also endorses a supervisory role over midlevel providers. But it turns out that family doctors would rather take care of patients than manage nurse practitioners. He quotes a number of participants. It made me think this was another maze-like HMOs for doctors to get lost in. Dr. Bliss then opened her own solo practice. “I cannot tell you how much that saved me.” She stated that “starting up the DPC movement has been like tunneling through rock.” Dr. Fisher had a private discussion with the Speaker of the Congress of Delegates who iterated their backing away from the PCMH movement. Fisher was hopeful and sees a turnaround in this family practice organization which may be increasingly in tune with the AAPS.  The AAPS leadership was not that hopeful that they are crucial in the fight against the total government takeover of medicine.

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