What are the benefits of a direct primary care membership?
Put simply: your DPC doctor is there when you need them.
You get unlimited office visits at no additional charge—and they'll be as long as you need. Typically you’ll be able to book a same-day or next-day appointment, sometimes directly through the practice’s website. Often you’ll have access to your doctor’s cell phone number, so you’ll be able to call or text them any medical questions as needed. Some simple diagnostics (e.g. strep tests) and blood tests may be performed in office for a small additional charge (or no charge at all). If you have a major issue, your doctor will coordinate any specialist referrals or hospital care.
Below is a comprehensive list of services provided by most direct primary care practices. Most of these services are provided as an included perk of membership; others are often provided for a small additional fee. Talk to the DPC practices near you to understand exactly what their memberships include.
- Treating common everyday problems like colds, flu, strep throat, rashes, burns, joint injuries, and other wounds.
- Keeping you up-to-date on all recommended preventative screening, like colonoscopies, pap smears, and EKGs.
- Managing chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or thyroid disorder. Your doctor will work with you to formulate a long-term personalized management plan.
- Performing minor procedures. If you need a minor procedure like a mole removal, joint injection, stitches, or a simple cosmetic precedure, your primary care provider may be able help with that. When joining a practice, ask your doctor what procedures are in their scope of practice.
- Providing a slew of additional services. A growing number of practices offer chronic pain treatments (joint injections), sleep disorder treatments (sleep studies and CPAP), minor cosmetic procedures, osteopathic manipulation, migraine treatments, osteoporosis tests (bone density testing), and athletic performance testing (VO2 max). These services are often offered for a small additional fee.
- Managing your specialist care. If you have a medical issue that can't be handled by your primary care physician, you'll be referred to a doctor that can continue your treatment. And your DPC doctor won't just shoo you out the door; they'll work closely wih the specialist to make sure there is seamless continuity of care. Many DPC doctors have access privileges at nearby hospitals, so they'll be able to check up on you and take an active role in your care.
- Providing an annual full-body physical and checkup. Often, your doctor will do a comprehensive review of systems at your very first in-person appointment.
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