As the health freedom movement grows, Direct Primary Care is a system that allows for more comprehensive, compassionate, and affordable care.
Direct Primary Care is a growing alternative health plan that allows patients to pay their physicians directly for a specific set of services, usually through a membership system. This eliminates third-party billing and takes insurance companies out of the loop. The patient pays a flat monthly fee, with zero copays, and potentially large discounts on medication and labs. In June, at the Medical Freedom Summit hosted by the Mises Institute, Pediatrician Adam Wheeler explained Direct Primary Care and some of its benefits.
Some states, such as Missouri, have laws allowing medical practices to operate their own pharmacies. Wheeler said this allows physicians to charge patients essentially wholesale prices for medication.
“We looked to see if we could actually start buying drugs and dispensing them directly to our patients, and now we actually own our own pharmacy and we just charge patients the actual cost of the drug.”
These direct patient/doctor agreements allow a system uncontrolled by government regulations to develop. It makes doctors responsive to patients, not insurance company bureaucrats or government rule-makers. Allowing patients to contract directly with doctors via medical retainer agreements opens the market. Under such agreements, market forces will set prices for services based on demand instead of relying on central planners with a political agenda. The end result will be better care delivered at a lower cost. As Adam Wheeler explains, regarding the freedom this enables in his practice;
“This is the power of Direct Primary Care; it puts me on your side. I get to be creative, solve your problems, not figure out how to game the system.”
By incentivizing creative healthcare solutions, the market will naturally provide better options, such as the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, This facility operates completely outside of the insurance system, providing a low-cost alternative for many surgical procedures.
A more open healthcare marketplace within a state will help spur de facto nullification of the federal program by providing an affordable alternative. As patients flock to these arrangements and others spurred by ingenuity and market forces, the old system has the potential to crumble.
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