From the moment you step into a typical doctor’s office, the clock starts running. The amount of time you actually spend with your doctor is – per the national average – 7 to 10 minutes. It’s very difficult to have a quality conversation with your doctor in that short amount of time. And then what happens if the patient needs to contact the doctor after the appointment?
Unfortunately, we’re all too familiar with this scenario. Family medicine isn’t supposed to be like that.
Welcome to Liberty Family Medicine, a direct primary care (DPC) clinic, where the clock is not running against you or your physician. Your membership will typically give you 15 minutes together for an acute care appointment — to treat an injury or illness, for instance. For most other appointments, you and your physician will have a half hour to an hour for an examination, to review your medications, to discuss all your health concerns, and to ask and answer questions. Having a conversation like that is the rare exception at a traditional primary care office, but at Liberty Family Medicine, it’s the rule.
The traditional healthcare model will have 2,000 to 3,000 patients on each physician’s panel. In a DPC clinic, the patient panel is ideally between 600 to 800 patients. That means the workload and stress level on your physician is much lower in the DPC model, and that’s good for you, too.
Direct Primary Care takes health insurance requirements and red tape completely out of your healthcare equation. DPC gives your physician the time and freedom to focus on you. In a typical healthcare office, the physician must focus on checking off boxes on a computer to satisfy the health insurance company.
If you’re having a tough health challenge, there’s time in the DPC clinic to find answers or the best next steps in your health journey. Given the time, patients will often lead their physician down the right path to figure out what’s going on. The result of that time together and focused attention helps foster and nurture the patient-physician relationship in a way that is not possible in a traditional healthcare office. Your physician at Liberty is familiar with you, they’ve read your medical history, they know what your allergies are, and they will respond to texts and emails and, when appropriate, after-hours phone calls.
Another benefit of a DPC clinic like Liberty Family Medicine is that physicians can use their training to provide an extensive array of services – such as mole removal or ear cleaning – without referring members to specialists. Liberty’s online list of services isn’t exhaustive, but it shows the range of care physicians can provide. In many cases, those services are already covered in the membership fee. By providing many services in-clinic, overall healthcare costs are lower.
When a referral is necessary, however, the clinic’s nurses will assist in getting referrals arranged and then following up with patients. The DPC model is great for patients, but it’s also great for the physicians, as well as the other medical staff at the clinic. With a decreased patient load and no pressure from an insurance company to bill for patients seen, it reduces the stress level for the physician as well. It’s that dedication to providing authentic coordination of care that Liberty Family Medicine makes sure its members are as healthy as possible.