Medical Memberships Fill Some Gaps When People Can’t Afford Insurance

From KBIA (hat tip: Dr. Menadue):

Direct primary care practices don’t take insurance or charge copays. Instead they’re a membership program. Patients get access to as much primary health care as they need — for a monthly fee.

The clinic has been open for about two years, and already serves more than 490 patients according to Dr. Joseph Sheppard.

It works a little like Netflix, explains Dr. Josh Umbehr, a physician at Atlas MD, a direct primary care clinic in Wichita, Kansas, and early adopter of the model.

“It was $8 to get a movie at Blockbuster for one viewing, and for $8, I get 10,000 videos from Netflix and I have all month long,” Umbehr says. “That difference, we wanted to apply to medicine.”

Direct primary care clinics have become more popular over the past few years. There are now 557 clinics in 47 states and Washington D.C. that use some sort of direct primary care, according to the advocacy group DPC Frontier.

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