MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Apple Valley Medical Clinic, including its 24-hour Urgent Care, and Burnsville Family Physicians now offer PrimaCare Direct, a health membership that enables their patients to pay one low monthly fee of $75 for unlimited primary care access.
“Many individuals are searching for a way to lower their health care costs without sacrificing access or quality,” said Victoria Champeau, Chief Executive Officer, Minnesota Healthcare Network, which represents 40 independent primary care clinics. “This innovative health care model is not based on insurance. There are no copays or deductibles. The result is greater access to health care for patients, especially in areas related to primary and preventive care.”
Some of the care covered by PrimaCare Direct includes physician services, throat cultures, casts and splints, blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings, well child check-ups, nutritional counseling, Pap smears, lab and X-ray. “With PrimaCare Direct’s unlimited access to primary care, individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, are more likely to see a physician before their situation becomes acute,” said Champeau. This model of care encourages patients to have an annual physical exam, which may uncover illnesses that can be treated more effectively because they are caught early.
Patients can choose the family medicine, internal medicine or pediatric clinic of their choice. Statistics indicate that up to 90 percent of health care needs can be provided by a primary care physician, including routine primary and preventive care, chronic disease management, lab tests, and immunizations.
“Patients still need to carry a major medical insurance plan for other expenses, such as visits to an Emergency Department or hospital,” said Champeau, “but now they can sign up for a much higher deductible plan than before, thus saving them money.”
According to data tracked by MultiCare, one of the first organizations to adopt PrimaCare Direct in Minnesota, a family of four pays annual premiums of approximately $15,350 for services from a traditional health care provider. In addition, the same family would have estimated annual copays of $480, for an annual total health care cost of approximately $15,830.
PrimaCare Direct, on the other hand, would cost this family about $11,090 for a high-deductible plan: premiums costing $7,150 plus an annual membership fee of $3,940. That’s a savings of $4,740. This new model benefits physicians, too, who report having more time to see patients instead of handling paperwork.
According to the national consumer advocacy group The Direct Primary Care Coalition (www.dpcare.org), one clinic outside of Minnesota that is using this model reports it lowered its costs of delivering primary care by approximately 85 percent. This was achieved, in part, by abolishing overhead associated with billing and filing insurance claims. Such savings can be passed on to patients.
“PrimaCare Direct can improve the doctor/patient relationship by enabling doctors to spend more time with each patient, while simultaneously lowering the cost of care,” said Champeau. “That’s a win/win situation.”
For more information on PrimaCare Direct, visit www.primacaredirect.com or call 612-444-6600.