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Why direct primary care beats MACRA


John Squire, President and COO of Amazing Charts, writes in Med City News that direct primary care (DPC) has MACRA’s goals but without the complexity. (A reminder: MACRA stands for  Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.)

He writes:

“When I first heard about the federal government’s new value-based Quality Payment Program for physicians, I was struck by the similarities with direct primary care, a grassroots movement that seeks to establish a straight financial relationship between patients and providers, cutting out private insurance carriers and Medicare. The premise of direct primary care is that patients pay providers directly, usually in the form of a low monthly subscription.”

“The ways these goals are achieved by direct care and MACRA/MIPS are incredibly similar. Both approaches focus on: enhanced access to the practice; proactive care for chronic conditions and preventive diseases; patient and caregiver engagement; and coordination of care across the medical neighborhood. But the ways of administering care and measuring results is dramatically different.”

“Direct primary care is growing in popularity, fueled by physician discontent with the traditional fee-for-service model that encourages 15-minutes-or-less exams with an overwhelming number of appointments. Patients typically join a DPC practice as a ‘member’ and pay a flat monthly fee (about $75) for virtually unlimited primary care, including extended in-office visits, as well as non-face-to-face care via email, phone and text. As a result, patients visit DPC doctors more often and develop stronger personal bonds.”

To read the article, please hit this link.

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