What exactly is Direct Primary Care?

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative healthcare model where physicians provide primary care services for a recurring patient membership fee. Moving beyond the burdens of traditional insurance-based billing systems, DPC practices can provide a broad spectrum of care for an affordable price. DPC practices offer patients a higher level of service, open access to communication, and a genuine relationship with their providers. DPC membership specifics vary, but typically they provide same-day visits, extended visit times, continuity of care with one provider, in-office procedures, chronic disease management, and wellness care.

I already pay for insurance; why would I need a Direct Primary Care membership?

Having good insurance does not equal having good healthcare. Case in point, the U.S. spends more than twice the amount on healthcare as all other wealthy countries yet ranks last in quality and care accessibility (Commonwealth Fund 2021). The reasons are complex and multifaceted, but lacking a solid primary care foundation is undoubtedly a significant contributor.

• An average PCP visit allows for approximately 7 minutes of face-to-face time. The provider managing your overall well-being gets 7 minutes every 6-12 months to address all your needs. It is an unreasonable expectation with increasingly evident consequences. The abbreviated visits typically result in one of two things: The patient receives a referral or they receive a prescription. This dysfunctional reactive state of medicine has led to pharmaceutical overuse, splintered care with service duplication, a substantial chronic disease burden, and has stripped primary care doctors of effectively caring for their patients.

• DPC is an entirely different approach to care. It is a personalized experience designed around identifying your needs and meeting them. Our patient appointments are typically 45-60 minutes in length, giving time to delve more deeply into your questions and concerns. The focus is on preventing and detecting things that would likely be missed in the current system.

• Investment-wise, you will more than likely save money by combining insurance and a DPC membership. The monthly fee is all-inclusive, with no copays, coinsurance, or other primary care costs. You will not need to use your insurance, which typically lends to lower (or at least minimizes) policy renewal quotes. Additionally, pharmaceutical utilization is reviewed at every new patient appointment to ensure the most cost-effective, appropriate options.

What if I wake up sick and need to be seen or get sick on the weekend?

One of the most notable benefits of DPC is your access to your provider. The days of being encouraged to go to the nearest urgent care will be a thing of the past. Additionally, our patients are given direct text access and the option of scheduling a virtual visit.

What if I need to see a specialist?

The extended visit times and patient individual attention allows for an expanded focus of care. We do not have to refer to specialists at nearly the rate of the current medical setting. We have time to manage chronic disease and to get to the root of presenting symptoms. However, should you have any need that falls outside our scope of practice, we have an extensive network of specialists and will be happy to arrange a referral.

What if I have insurance? Can I still join? 

Although we do not accept insurance for your membership, we recommend that our patients maintain a policy for needs outside of what we provide. Insurance should be used for what it is intended to cover – unexpected, catastrophic events, hospitalizations, specialist care, advanced imaging, and surgery. You can also use your insurance for medications and labs that fall outside the ones we cover. However, we have contracted discount rates on many services and will happily pass these savings on to you. Often these rates are 90% less than what would be billed to your insurance.

What if I don’t have insurance?

We have several patients that choose not to carry medical insurance. It is a personal decision, and the rationales differ widely. We do not require insurance and will be happy to enroll you as a patient. Also, we will help you navigate the most cost-effective means to manage your healthcare needs outside the medical insurance framework.

What if I am out of town and get sick?

We will take care of you remotely with virtual visits and route medications to a local pharmacy when needed. If we feel you should have a hands-on assessment, we will guide you to the best course of action.

How do I sign up?

Visit our website at MBodyHealthcare.com and fill out a contact us form, call our office at 865-399-6026, or email us at office@mbodyhealthcare.com.

Wait, I still have questions.

Feel free to send any questions via Spruce, our HIPPA-compliant texting service, at 865-685-9351.

MBody Healthcare
10414 Jackson Oaks Way
Knoxville, TN 37922