With changes to the Affordable Care Act on the way, some people may be looking at other options when it comes to healthcare.
Direct Primary Care may become a popular alternative. Patients pay a membership fee in exchange for unlimited access to their doctor. In the Oklahoma City metro area the average monthly fee is between $50 and $60 per month.
When Troy Jones, who owns Access Financial Resources learned his insurance premiums were going up drastically he decided to make a change and enrolled all his employees and their families in Dr. Fatima Jaffrey's Direct Primary Care Practice.
“We wrote her a check for a full year for everyone in our office,” Jones explained.
That fee covered all primary care services for his employees, as well as acute care if they get sick, and chronic illness management if they need it.
“It’s old fashioned style medicine,” said Dr. Jaffrey.
Membership fees are based solely on age.
“There are no pre-existing conditions that count against anyone, we take anyone with whatever burden of illness they have,” explained Dr. Jaffrey.
Patients also get prescription drugs at the wholesale price and lab tests at dramatically reduced prices. Dr. Jaffrey is able to do it because there's no middle man. They don't deal with insurance companies.
“We’ve been able to drive down costs, they drop like a lead balloon in a practice like this,” Dr. Jaffrey said.
Dr. Jaffrey limits her practice at 600-800 patients so she's able to spend time with all of them, and they can reach her either in person, through email, a call or text at any time.
That came in very handy for Jones when he got sick with the flu on Christmas Eve.
“I was taken care of appropriately and quickly,” he said.
Jones said his employees have a health savings account and a high deductible insurance plan if something catastrophic were to happen. Surprisingly paying for all of that and Dr. Jaffery’s monthly fee is still cheaper than what his insurance premiums would have been. Jones also said his employees are healthier because if something comes up they don’t hesitate to go to the doctor.
There are six Direct Primary Care Physicians in the Oklahoma City metro area. To find one go to: http://www.dpcfrontier.com/mapper/