[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Viewpoint
August 21, 2018

Direct Primary Care: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medical Science, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 2Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 3Departments of Family Medicine and Medical Science, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
JAMA. 2018;320(7):637-638. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8405

Primary care is the bedrock of reform of the US health system. New payment and care delivery models emphasize the importance of primary care medical homes with reimbursement prioritizing value over volume. It remains unclear how best to restructure US health care spending to attain the Triple Aim (ie, improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care) as well as the 4 C’s of primary care (contact, continuity, comprehensiveness, and coordination). Of the myriad models emerging over the last decade, direct primary care (DPC) is unique in its renunciation of insurance companies and other third-party payers. Instead, patients contract directly with a primary care physician to pay a recurring out-of-pocket fee in exchange for a defined set of primary care benefits.1

×