Philosophically and functionally, there is significant overlap between Direct Primary Care and Concierge medicine. Both seek to offer patients more accessibility to their physician, longer appointment times if needed without a rush to finish an appointment in 15 minutes, and better value for patient’s time and money.
The difference is that some concierge practices may seek reimbursement from health insurance companies for services rendered as well as being more expensive (which can be very lucrative for the physicians in those practices) whereas direct primary care works directly with the patient for their healthcare needs and does not seek reimbursement from the patient’s insurance carrier. Direct Primary Care physicians instead typically work with monthly subscriptions fees to have their physicians on retainer. Patients can have insurance while seeing a direct primary care physician.
This also means a direct primary care physician can order labs, imaging, and order referrals for patients through their insurance. For direct primary care physicians such as myself, I do not have to focus on checklist of non-clinical insurance related issues such as coding and billing. Instead, I have more time to listen to history, answer questions, and work more closely with patients to treat medical issues.