Direct Primary Care has come to the state of Indiana. Effective July 1, 2017, with the full approval of the Indiana General Assembly's Senate and House Chambers, Enrolled Senate Bill 303 became law.
You may think that Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine are the same thing. Those words may bring to mind images of The Hamptons and the USA Network TV show entitled 'Royal Pains' which aired from 2009 - 2016. In fact, while the terms are used interchangeably, they are two different things. While they both offer patients a flat-fee subscription model, Concierge Medicine practices still bill insurance, but Direct Primary Care practices do not bill insurance.
Indiana is the 21st state in the nation to pass a direct primary care law. According to John Russell, this may be due to growing support for for a free-market approach to health care. With monthly insurance premiums skyrocketing, many individuals are increasingly frustrated by the unpredictable nature of health care costs. It can be difficult to predict that cost for a health care appointment, regardless of what type of insurance a person is enrolled in. Granted, primary care is usually one of less expensive types of health care visits for patients, what kind of peace of mind could be bought for a flat monthly fee? Typically, patients pay an average of $50 to $100 per month, and have office visits that last 30 to 60 minutes.
Will direct primary care and telemedicine be the wave of the future? As the United States Congress continues their dance regarding laws and regulations regarding the provision of healthcare in the United States, will consumers and providers continue to move away from traditional insurance models and bypass the system altogether? Only time will tell.