As we pass one year since the pandemic started, it is time to take stock of our overall health and what it means to us as individuals. It’s important to note the collateral effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our individual health as well as the overall wellness of our community. Many avoided or delayed care (both urgent and routine) to lower the risk of acquiring COVID-19. We now have evidence that this shift has led to delayed diagnosis and treatment which results in poor outcomes.
While we can celebrate some success as the number of vaccinated individuals increases in the United States, we still struggle with effects of social isolation and the surge of mental health problems that accompany it.
Prior to the pandemic, it was common for patients to avoid the “hassle” of the traditional health care system. Patients disliked the “big production” around getting an appointment and waiting to be seen as well as the amount of time and energy spent to engage with the insurance-based model of care. Often patients delayed care because the cost was not transparent and surprise billing was never popular. Between copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums most people have no idea what costs to expect when they seek the care that is recommended.
The pandemic has accentuated the difficulties of getting care… we have witnessed that our health care system is beyond broken. It does not serve patients and the time for change is past due.
What if getting care was as easy as scheduling online and speaking directly to your doctor via phone text or email whenever needed? What if there was no “hassle” to get an appointment and no wait to see your doctor? The Direct Primary Care (DPC) model has made this a reality. Your physician is easily accessible with time to address all your health concerns. DPC is the future of health care and is championed by physicians around the country dedicated to doing what is best for their patients. DPC takes away the “pain” of seeing the doctor. It emphasizes the value of the patient-physician relationship and creates space for shared decision-making around health and wellness. DPC provides excellent care, transparent pricing, and unparalleled accessibility.
During the pandemic, DPC patients had unlimited access to their physician. They were engaged in healthcare prevention and maintenance conversations with their physicians. They received superior care by having direct communication with their physician. There were no “surprise” bills because DPC membership fees are transparent and extremely affordable.
As with anything difficult, we can always find a silver-lining… and we must if we want to continue to grow and improve. The pandemic has made the case for DPC. We all deserve better health care. The foundation for improved health outcomes lies in the rebuilding of a solid physician-patient relationship. How we get through it all… will always depend on… who we get through it all with.