In an article titled "Local health clinic changes name, expands patient services," EastIdahoNews.com recently announced AmericaHealth's newest urgent care facility in Rexburg, Idaho and AmericaHealth Direct, our new direct primary care membership program.
For the full-article read here.
What is direct primary care? Why would you change to this model from a traditional primary care office? More importantly, why choose AmericaHealth and AmericaHealth Direct? These are important questions. After all, we are talking about where to place your trust when it comes to your healthcare.
Direct primary care has been gaining momentum nationally and more importantly in Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Rexburg, Idaho as an alternative way for individuals and employers to pay for primary healthcare needs. AmericaHealth charges patients a flat monthly fee, under terms of a contract, in exchange for access to a broad range of primary care services. In a health care system that has become increasingly impersonal and overly complex, it places the emphasis back on the patient-physician relationship. Everything about Direct Primary Care is entirely designed to be patient-focused. This is because the physician is not putting the needs of an insurance company first. And in case you’re wondering, a direct primary care physician can still coordinate your care within the medical community.
Advantages of Direct Primary Care
The biggest advantage to a patient who enrolls in a direct primary care practice is more individualized care from his or her physician. Many research studies have shown that patients want attention from their physician as well as easier access. Direct primary care is primary care is focused on the patient-doctor connection. With this model appointments are made when they are convenient for the patient, usually the same day at one of the three AmericaHealth urgent care locations. The goal of primary care is to help you feel better and live longer, and everything about direct primary care is set up with this in mind.
If the value of the direct primary care approach is increased access to a medical provider and decreased expense direct primary care is the best answer. By the time one has paid all the co-pays and deductibles plus coinsurance in a traditional insurance model, it is entirely possible that amount is more than the fee for a direct primary care membership. Because you know your primary care is covered for the year, including less expensive labs and medications, perhaps it makes more sense to change to a health plan with a higher deductible or the least expensive of your employer’s insurance options. Many direct primary care members save more than the annual membership fee and actually come out ahead financially.
Basically, AmericaHealth Direct endeavors to provide the highest quality, personalized and comprehensive primary medical care you’ve ever experienced. The feeling of security and knowledge that your primary care physician has your back allows you to better focus on what else is important in your life.
Direct primary care continues to gain positive accolades from not only individuals and families, but from businesses across Idaho. It is no secret that health insurance coverage is a huge expense for employees, and it is a very attractive perk when companies offer quality healthcare options to their employees.
Salary may be the first thing that draws an employee’s attention to a company but following right behind are the non-wage related benefits, including healthcare insurance cost and quality. Therefore, it is essential that if an employer wishes to remain competitive and attract top talent, they must offer a value-based healthcare plan.
AmericaHealth Direct is a healthcare model that provides employees with exceptional value, personalized care, and superior attention from medical doctors when compared with a traditional healthcare model. Under our direct primary care program, patients have unlimited access to their primary care provider, all for a flat monthly fee. If further services are needed that fall outside of the primary care provider’s scope, they will be able to refer you to the appropriate provider for your specific needs.
Direct Primary Care Cost Savings
The cost of employer sponsored health insurance has spiraled out of control for many companies. Group medical insurance premiums are second only to payroll costs. With traditional healthcare models, businesses tend to experience a vicious cycle of negotiating their plan each year, accepting higher premiums, then passing some of that increased cost to their employees. Over time, employees will be hesitant to accept these high-cost, high-deductible plans, and will begin to look for insurance elsewhere further driving up rates. For this reason, plus the value and relationship-based care that employees receive, has led many businesses to including direct primary care in their benefits package especially if they have a level-funded or self-funded health plan.
For small businesses, and other companies that pay employee costs out of pocket, direct primary care may seem costly upfront, but will save money in the long run. When employees have easier access and feel comfortable with their primary care doctor, they are more likely to schedule appointments, whether yearly checkups or diagnostic visits. These regular visits will likely lessen the need for payment of urgent care costs, emergency room visits, or other expensive lab and imaging tests.
Direct primary care plans can be offered by small or large companies and utilized by self-employed individuals. Employers are happy with the cost savings, and employees are happy to have no copay or deductible, plus no coinsurance costs.
Direct Primary Care, Business Healthcare Solution
Unfortunately, as health insurance premiums have climbed higher and higher, quality of healthcare service has declined, and employees are the first to suffer the consequences. Primary care doctors are also bearing the brunt of a traditional model that focuses on high patient volume, quick turnaround times, and mountains of insurance-related paperwork. This model is not working and that is why the use of a direct primary care model may very well benefit your business immensely.
Employees are looking for the best healthcare experience for themselves and their families at an affordable cost, and this can be a tough order to for an employer to fill. However, offering direct primary care as a part of an employee benefits package is a win-win for all involved. Companies will reap the benefits of cost savings and satisfied employees, and subsequently, employees will feel that their employer genuinely cares about their well-being and morale. Employees who feel valued by their current company are more productive, happier, and less likely to leave the company in the future.
Overall, direct primary care is designed to be the answer to a need to return to the basics of healthcare, where patients and doctors truly connect with each other. Patients feel heard, valued, and cared for and the cost of care is affordable.
So why not reward your employees with the personalized healthcare they deserve? Contact AmericaHealth today to learn more about how to incorporate AmericaHealth Direct care into your current employee benefit package.