13 May Is Direct Primary Care (DPC) the same thing as Concierge Medical Care?
Although there are many similarities between these innovative subscription-based models of delivering care, DPC and Concierge Medical Care are two separate and distinct ways of care delivery. Both DPC and Concierge Medical Care center on developing a robust physician-patient relationship through extended visits and timely access to the physician through multiple methods of communication that are simply not possible in a pure fee-for-service healthcare model. Both have their own distinct advantages and we encourage patients to investigate all options before making a decision.
By definition, the major differences between DPC and Concierge Medical Care are once again defined predominantly by the method of billing.
While DPC physicians do not bill insurance companies for the services that they provide, Concierge Medicine’s yearly membership fees are in addition to billing a patient’s insurance for a particular level of service for each visit that is consistent with a traditional fee-for-service practice. Concierge care tends to focus on value-added premium services (offerings will vary extensively within each practice but typically includes executive lab panels, dietician services, etc.) that are usually not a benefit covered by insurance plans.
DPC practices avoid insurance billing completely in order to keep the overhead and other costs lower for their patients. On average, Concierge Medical Care encompasses annual fees that are 2 to 3 times that of a DPC practice.
Patient panels are small for both DPC and Concierge Medical Care; however, DPC physicians typically restrict their patient number to less than 600 and Concierge physicians care for less than 300 patient members.
Generally speaking, Concierge Medical Care is delivered per a yearly contractual agreement. In contrast, DPC practice contracts are based on monthly terms with an automatic renewal until the practice receives proper notification of the termination of services.