Direct Primary Care Is Becoming More Popular, But Critics Warn It’s No Replacement For Traditional Health System
Direct primary care is similar to concierge medicine but supporters say it is available to people across the economic spectrum. Advocates of the model hail it as better for patients looking for more personal, convenient care and as a solution for harried doctors who want to focus on patients, but critics worry those patients may be overpaying for care.
More Doctors Embrace Membership Fees, Shunning Health Insurance
In recent years, many consumers have grown frustrated with the [rising] costs of health insurance, and many doctors have felt stymied by a system that expects them to see high numbers of patients. In response, a growing number of consumers and medical professionals are seeking alternatives, including direct primary care. Direct primary care practices often charge patients monthly membership fees of anywhere from $35 to hundreds of dollars a month for visits and other services. Fees can sometimes vary based on family size and age, and some practices also offer memberships to employers for their employees. (Schencker, 6/22)
In other health costs news —
Hospital Lab Charge Spikes Found At Rural Hospitals
The roughly 3,000 residents of Stamford, Texas, appeared to be on the verge of losing their hospital in 2015, another casualty of the financial crisis facing rural hospitals. But then Stamford Memorial Hospital seemed to have turned a corner based on an announcement from the hospital's CEO, Rick DeFoore, who told local media that the facility would stay open, thanks in part to "consulting help." (Bannow, 6/23)