If It Talks Like Insurance and Walks Like Insurance: The Curious Case of Direct Primary Care Arrangements

For decades, elite “concierge” practices have been providing easy access to primary care in return for several thousand dollars in retainer fees. Recently we’ve seen the emergence of more affordable versions of this arrangement, with monthly fees that cost far less than the average ACA marketplace plan premium. At first blush, these arrangements, frequently called “direct primary care arrangements” (DPCAs), might seem like a way to ensure access to health care services in the face of rising health insurance premiums. CHIR’s Maanasa Kona explains why this is not always the case. Continue reading

Doctors at Your Service: An Appraisal of Direct Patient Contracting Practices

Out of frustration with insurance companies, physicians are increasingly turning to direct patient contracting, or “concierge” practices. For some patients these can be a great value, but the spread of these practices could also cause unintended harms. Georgetown medical student Josh Barrett blogs about the pros and cons – and the implications for aspiring doctors – in his latest post for CHIRblog. Continue reading