The benefits of using direct primary care

By Charity Beall, CHM Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Editor’s note: This information was published in the January 2020 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.

Editor’s note: Health or medical practice membership fees, concierge services and telemedicine are ineligible for sharing. See the CHM Guidelines for more information.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Chris Lupold, the founder of Alere Family Health, a direct primary care practice in Pennsylvania. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a physician practice and payment model that enables patients to pay their physician practice directly. This occurs through a form of periodic payments, for a defined set of primary care services. The DPC model is quickly spreading across the U.S. for many reasons:

  • From a physician’s perspective, this model enables providers to spend more time with their patients, address specific needs and educate them on preventative measures. It also allows them to have a monthly enrollment-based income.
  • From a patient’s perspective, this model means that provider access isn’t confined to office hours. It gives patients direct access to their physician through unlimited office visits and telemedicine. The patient has more time with their physician and can receive care in a more personal and consistent way. Patients also have access to services that would otherwise generate additional costs, such as strep tests, urinalysis, stitches, splinting and EKGs. Additionally, as the cost for DPC is fixed, patients don’t need to worry about incurring costs above their monthly membership amount.

Dr. Lupold shared with me his reasons for leaving a traditional physician’s group and starting a DPC. He was discouraged from working long hours and only having minutes with each patient. He was tired of being told what kind of care he could give. Eventually, he questioned why he wanted to practice medicine. Since his transition to a DPC model, he has experienced a renewed vitality and passion for providing patient care.

I share with you the DPC model because it’s an excellent form of care that allows us to be good stewards of our health and our finances. Regular preventative and maintenance care reduces the likelihood of future costly hospital incidents.

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

I encourage you to research DPC options near you and consider the value this approach might bring to you and your family’s health.

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