What to Expect from Direct Primary Care in Wilmington NC
The doctor-patient relationship is critical to effective medical treatment. The New York Times reports that patients who don’t trust their doctors have poorer health outcomes. They’re less likely to seek treatment, use medication as prescribed, and take recommended health precautions.
Mistrust is sometimes well-founded, but more often, trust has no time to grow in the first place. 25% of American adults have no primary care physician at all. Many others can’t see their physician as needed, or they feel rushed through appointments.
Direct Primary Care in Wilmington, NC, offers an alternative model of care that centers on establishing a lasting relationship with a doctor and providing more time and access so that patients can truly be heard and get the care that’s best for them. In traditional practices, the doctor-patient interaction is driven by the need to generate billing codes and high-volume. It can be enormously expensive and cause other frustrations such as long waits to see a doctor, rushed visits, and restricted access to your doctor.
The Direct Primary Care model eliminates these frustrations by getting rid of the red tape and creating a direct personal and financial relationship between patient and doctor. Instead of billing insurance, Direct Primary Care practices use a monthly membership, which covers any primary care office visits and services the patient needs. This simple pricing structure allows the practice to stay small, thus providing a unique and personalized level of care.
Discover what you can expect from a Direct Primary Care practice, and learn if this medical model is right for you.
Why Choose Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care is a subscription to a primary care practice. Membership starts as low as $49/month for adult members, and there’s never a copay. For this single monthly fee, you get all the services you need from your primary care physician, from routine care to chronic disease management, diagnostic procedures, and more. And, it all works with, or without health insurance.
Because Direct Primary Care practices aren’t beholden to health insurance companies, they can make choices that are best for the patient—not the insurance company. This also means unrushed visits and unrestricted access to your doctor–if you need them, they are only a call or text away.
It also means you save money. Insurance companies are profit driven, which creates an incentive to charge extreme rates for non-emergency medicine. Direct Primar Care practices, on the other hand, are strictly funded by memberships, so there’s no incentive to impose surcharges for services or tests.
Some people who choose Direct Primary Care do not have health insurance, so it can offer an affordable option for routine care and chronic disease management. Also, costs should never surprise you at a Direct Primary Care practice; most can tell you the cost of additional services such as labs, tests, or imaging before you have them done.
Others have health insurance, but still choose to join a Direct Primary Care practice because they enjoy having a relationship with a doctor that they see each visit, and direct access to them via phone or text outside of office hours. Additionally, because there is never a copayment at Direct Primary Care practices, and patients enjoy deep discounts on labs and prescription medications, they find a Direct Primary Care membership to be a cost-effective alternative.
If you’re looking for primary care practices in Wilmington, consider a Direct Primary Care practice.
Direct Primary Care in Wilmington, NC: What to Expect
Typically, a Direct Primary Care is led by family doctors or internal medicine physicians. Most of the benefits of your Direct Primary Care membership fall into four categories:
- Physician availability
- Personalized, thorough care
- Family care
- Included critical procedures
On top of the included benefits, many Direct Primary Care practices offer discounts on common tests and treatments, and prescription medications.
Physicians Available 24/7
At a Direct Primary Care practice, appointments with your physician are never rushed. It’s also easy to connect after business hours.
You can access your doctor by text or phone 24 hours a day—even on weekends! Direct Primary Care practices like Promina Health also offer easy access to care through telehealth appointments. Many Direct Primary Care doctors will conduct visits in your home if needed, which mitigates exposure risks to newborns and immunocompromised patients.
Personalized, Comprehensive Care
When a doctor works with an insurance company, he or she must follow the insurer’s “script” for the appointment. This means if a patient is sick during a scheduled wellness visit, the doctor may not address their illness during that visit because insurance won’t pay for it.
Instead, the patient must schedule a “problem visit”, as insurers only cover diagnostic work during problem visits.
Alternatively, a Direct Primary Care physician can spend an entire hour, if needed, to discuss whatever the patient is concerned about, dispense prescription medications right from the office if indicated, and follow-up with a phone call the next day “just to check-in”. Because direct primary care physicians don’t have to follow the insurer’s “script”, they can tailor the visit to best meet the patient’s needs.
Complete Family Care
Many direct primary care offices are family medicine practices, which means they equipped to assess and treat patients of all ages. When a child ages out of pediatric care, they can move to adult medicine without leaving the practice. Family practice usually includes:
- Newborn care
- Pediatric care
- Adult medicine
- Geriatric care
Annual physicals, or wellness visits, are almost always included in a direct primary care membership. These visits include preventive medical screenings, and are key to setting a patient’s baseline and building a care plan. Annual checkups are also useful for catching progressive diseases before they become serious.
Chronic Disease Management
Family medicine physicians in Wilmington, NC–especially those in Direct Primary Care practices–can approach chronic disease management from a holistic perspective.
When a physician understands the family as a whole, she or he better understands environmental factors that may shape chronic illness. Diverse factors impact the quality of life of a patient with conditions like diabetes, COPD, or autoimmune disorders.
Because they understand the whole family, a family physician can more easily recommend household changes. These might be removing autoimmune triggers from the home. Or, it could be re-orienting a parent’s morning routine to prioritize dispensing a child’s medicine at the exact same time each day.
A family doctor also develops a clear picture of the patient’s baseline. This lets them better track the progress of treatment and pivot to new treatments quickly if the initial option doesn’t work.
Acute, Same Day / Next-Day Care
Acute care is a central feature of Direct Primary Care membership. Patients have access to their physician when they need it and the physician can act quickly to prescribe medications like antibiotics, antifungals, and corticosteroids when indicated.
Direct Primary Care membership also covers wound care, abscess drainage, and joint injections. Patients can also access urinary analysis to diagnose a UTI quickly and correctly.
Critical Procedures at No Additional Cost
Primary care offices typically perform routine diagnoses and prescriptions, annual assessments, and general care. Direct Primary Care members get additional, critical procedures at no extra cost. These include:
- Dermatology procedures, such as skin biopsies
- Cryotherapy (wart removal)
- Routine gynecological care
- Pulmonary function testing
- Urinary analysis
Members also get other critical tests and treatments at a significant discount. It’s also easier for Direct Primary Care patients to get their test results; members can typically access a secure patient portal to see their results as soon as they’re ready.
Discounted Tests and Treatments (View Pricing)
Generally, you’ll pay less for lab tests, procedures and treatments at a Direct Primary Care practice than you will at a traditional, insurance-based practice in Wilmington, NC. Also, since direct primary care physicians have no incentive to order unnecessary tests, it is standard practice to only order ones that are most likely to be useful. This is one of the reason that is helps keep the costs of testing low. Tests are also lower because insurance is not setting the price of the test; rather, the practice works directly with the lab to negotiate pricing.
Discounted Prescription Medication
Many direct primary care organizations offer discounts on prescription medications. At Promina Health, members can get a 90-day supply of many generic prescriptions for less than $10, which beats even the best pricing found on GoodRx.
Direct Primary Care practices can offer better pricing because they have time to dedicate to sourcing. They can stock generic versions of the drugs their patients need most. And, most practices can easily charge patients wholesale prices from the least-expensive source.
Discounted Lab Work
Many Direct Primary Care patients see significant savings on lab work. For example, a thyroid test costs Promina Health members $7.73. If that same patient were charged the healthcare bluebook price, they’ll pay over 500% more.
Join Now for Unlimited Personal Primary Care in Wilmington
Discover limitless medicine. At Promina Health, we cut out the red tape to focus on you.
With Direct Primary Care, you can begin getting the care you deserve, in the way that’s most convenient for you. If you’re ready for Direct Primary Care in Wilmington NC, contact us today.