This month, we've been covering the direct care/payment model of medicine -- termed "concierge medicine" or "direct primary care." You can see our overview here and our discussion of models for middle and lower-income folks here.
One trend in this direct care movement is that new providers are among the most common providers advancing the model, particularly in the form of the more economical "direct primary care." As healthcare providers who have been practicing for decades, we certainly aren't in the ranks of new providers! But we're noticing some interesting folks from the next generation -- providers like:
- Sherpaa, a hybrid insurance / direct primary care model aimed at small companies.
- Bespoke Surgical, a general surgeon with a direct care and payment model.
- NeuCare, a Kansas family doctor using a direct primary care model and making use of many supportive modern technologies.
So, one question is, why are new providers the ones at the front lines of the concierge / direct primary care model? There are a number of explanations for the phenomenon, but we think that a few things are particularly interesting causes to notice:
- Technology. Even over the last few years, we've seen the cost and hassle of technologies plummet. New providers are in an ideal location to take advantage of that trend -- and may be more accustomed to these technologies being a part of their workday than other providers.
- Cultural context. The new generation across all industries is having to reinvent things -- whether it's publishing, finance, or medicine. Additionally, the alternatives are worse for new providers than they were several decades ago. Healthcare provider burnout is skyrocketing. New providers in the system know that -- and are taking the steps to avoid it.
- Idealism. Our observation is that several decades ago, most new providers went into medicine for idealistic reasons. As incomes went up, some folks started entering for less altruistic motives. But in the last several years, perhaps as medicine has become more difficult of a field, we again notice the majority of new providers doing the work out of idealism. New providers want to spend their time with patients, not with insurance companies. And we notice that many direct primary care providers share this kind of do-the-right-thing ethic -- finding the model makes it easier to do medicine in the ways they want to.
- Networks. New providers, often in urban or progressive areas, seem to have patients that are willing to try something new. This means that as a doctor makes a change to a new model, they may be able to take their old patients with them.
Concierge medicine and direct primary care are just two of the ways that providers are changing healthcare through their innovation. There is no one right answer, but we certainly support the many approaches that providers are experimenting with. And we think that all providers could learn a thing or two from our younger counterparts in this type of experimentation and the success it's having.
We also believe that medical collaboration is fundamental to these innovative models that are improving care, helping with healthcare provider burnout, upping patient satisfaction, and cutting costs.
Get our medical collaboration tips here: