Do I need Insurance? Your DPC membership will cover primary care services and procedures and offer significant discounts on images, labs and medications. On average, 80-90% of your healthcare needs will fall under the category of primary care. However, services outside of primary care such as if you visit an ER , are hospitalized, see a specialist, require surgery, have a colonoscopy, or have a mammogram require an alternative form of payment. This is your decision and you may want to have some sort of coverage for these instances. Some people have choose to keep their current insurance plan. Some choose a catastrophic plan (one example is Aliera Healthcare's Careplus Advantage Plan). Some choose an alternative form of coverage such as a Christian Health Share.
What is Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy? OMT is a manual technique of healing. I use mainly soft tissue technique, trigger point release, muscle energy and craniosacral techniques for healing. This form of treatment can be used for musculoskeletal complaints as well as chronic medical conditions such as anxiety, headaches, chronic pain, etc. Three of these services per year are included in your membership.
What is a D.O.? A D.O. is a doctor of osteopathy. Osteopathic medicine is based on the belief that the body has the inherent ability to heal. We attend medical school for 4 years and then choose a residency like MDs. During medical school, we spend a dedicated period of time with hands on training learning to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal abnormalities in order to better align the body for healing.
Is this model cost effective for me? That really depends on your current coverage, and how often you would like to have contact with your doctor. With most insurance plans, adding DPC is still cost effective if you visit the doctor more than a couple times per year. However this is very individualized.
The definite cost specific benefit, however, is that the cost is transparent and predictable.
An example from my own experience: I had extremely good insurance, so I decided to have a mole removed that I was a little concerned about. I had asked about cost and was told it is usually covered by insurance, but I did not check with my insurance company. 15 min and $1,355 later I found out that it was not covered and would go toward my $1800 deductible. If I had been a member of a DPC the procedure and office visit would be included in membership and the $900 pathology fee would be closer to $50.
Why do people choose DPC? People choose DPC for lots of reasons, but the most common reasons are for more time and attention from their doctor and for price transparency.