Once upon a time, a doctor was the central figure in the community. He ran around with his black bag, tirelessly dispensing care to those whose physical difficulties and life habits he knew well.
Today’s doctors still run around tirelessly, but now much of that tirelessness is devoted to filling out paperwork for insurance companies, rather than listening to and treating the various ailments of patients. And many of those same patients never even come to see a doctor, for a hefty co-pay and other costs make them think twice about seeking care.
This drudgery is causing some doctors to take a look at a prominent medical practice of the past: direct primary care.
According to Business Insider, doctors who practice direct primary care do not accept health insurance for their services; instead, they “charge a monthly membership fee that covers most of what the average patient needs.”
On the financial side, such an arrangement offers patients better prices on office visits, blood tests, and prescription drugs. It also increases the personal aspect of medical care, for it enables the patient to have more time with the physician.
Doctors appreciate this better relationship as well, for it minimizes stress and enables them to “practice properly” because they have the time to really listen and understand a patient’s health problems.
According to Business Insider, doctors who practice direct primary care recommend that patients still carry health insurance, but only for catastrophic events.
In the last several years, American politicians have spent hours bickering over the right to high-quality healthcare. But in the process of trying to make healthcare more accessible, it seems that many American families are only seeing it slip farther from their grasp.
Is it time we realize that the path to better and more affordable medical care lies not in complicating the health insurance process by running it through bureaucratic regulations, but through the simplification of allowing doctors and patients to work with one another to find a plan which fulfills the needs and desires of both?
Image Credit: mjmonty bit.ly/1ryPA8o
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.