Dr. Dana of Love Health Direct Primary Care shares experiences since opening

I got a hug from all of my patients yesterday as they left my office!

Last night a patient called me at 9:00pm because he was exhausted from a cough that kept him awake for the last few nights. I know this patient well and was able to determine that he was in no respiratory distress – the simple fix was a prescription cough medicine and I would see him in the office the next day if he wasn’t feeling better.

Two patients were surprised to learn that when they call or text, it’s me that answers. I had a patient thank me for spending 10 minutes on the phone the day after her visit to see if she was feeling better – she was so surprised and grateful for the call. All I can say is, I can’t believe I didn’t take the plunge much earlier in my career.

I inaugurated my direct primary care practice on February 1st, 2024, just over a fortnight ago. The profound impact it’s already exerting, despite my prior 5 years of intensive research into the model and its efficacy, continues to astound and humble me on a daily basis. Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending to 3 patients, dedicating well over an hour to each individual. Rather than rushing through the encounter to fulfill requisite checkboxes for billing and coding, solely aimed at securing meager reimbursements from insurance companies, I embraced a serene and attentive approach, honoring the sacred essence of the human beings seated before me.

In those moments, I focused on being fully present, devoid of interruptions, and genuinely listening. If presented with physical symptoms, I delved deeper, exploring the intricate nuances of their lives—inquiring about their satisfaction with work, the strength of their connections with their partners, and the stresses inherent in balancing familial, spousal, and professional obligations. Each consultation concluded with a comprehensive, unhurried physical examination. I even conducted bloodwork in-house, sparing patients the inconvenience of enduring waits at external laboratories.

The joyous surprise on their faces when I assured them I could discuss their results over the phone or even during a casual coffee outing epitomized the liberating essence of this model. Liberated from the constraints of insurance billing, I can now prioritize genuine patient care over bureaucratic hurdles. This model not only exemplifies practicality but epitomizes the very essence of patient-centered care, ushering in a new era where healing transcends the confines of traditional medical practices.

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a healthcare model that has gained momentum in recent years as an alternative to traditional fee-for-service medical practices. Its origins can be traced back to the late 20th century, with roots in the concepts of concierge medicine and the broader movement towards patient-centered care.

In the 1990s, physicians began experimenting with models that emphasized direct relationships between doctors and patients, bypassing the complexities of insurance reimbursement and third-party billing. These early pioneers sought to restore the doctor-patient relationship to its core, focusing on accessibility, affordability, and quality of care.

One notable precursor to DPC was concierge medicine, which emerged in the late 1990s. Concierge practices typically charged patients an annual retainer fee in exchange for enhanced access to physicians, longer appointment times, and a greater emphasis on preventive care. While successful in catering to affluent patients, the concierge model remained out of reach for many due to its high cost.

In response to the limitations of traditional fee-for-service medicine and the exclusivity of concierge practices, the Direct Primary Care model began to take shape. DPC practices offer patients unlimited access to primary care services for a flat monthly or annual fee, typically ranging from $50 to $150 per month. This fee covers a wide range of services, including office visits, preventive care, chronic disease management, and basic diagnostic tests.

By eliminating the administrative overhead associated with insurance billing, DPC providers are able to offer more affordable and accessible care to patients of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. The DPC movement gained momentum in the early 2000s, buoyed by growing dissatisfaction among both patients and physicians with the complexities and inefficiencies of the traditional healthcare system.

Today, DPC continues to expand across the United States, with thousands of physicians and clinics adopting this model in pursuit of a more patient-centric approach to healthcare delivery.

We cannot fight the health insurance companies, who lobby congress each year with about 600 million dollars, but we can find an alternative path.

About Dr. Dana

Dana Mincer, DO, is a board certified, family practice physician, personal trainer, and mom, with expertise in mental health, addiction medicine, positive habit coaching, and yoga based therapies. She considers herself a REFORMED western medicine physician who employs practical integrative medicine techniques. Her basic approach is that every patient is a sacred and respected individual who is more than capable of making decisions about their own medical care – she is humbled to be invited into their world for guidance.

She opened her own practice at 1035 Virginia Drive, Suite 140 in Fort Washington. To schedule a free meet and greet and sign up for the practice, you can visit Love Health’s website.

Updates and more information are also available at Love Health Direct Primary Care’s Facebook page and Instagram page.

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