How Investing in Primary Care Can Save 

Primary care is the foundation of a healthy and productive workforce. It is the first point of contact for most health issues and provides preventive, chronic, and acute care services. Primary care also helps coordinate care with other providers and specialists, and it can reduce unnecessary and costly use of emergency rooms and hospitals. Primary care can save employers and employees time and money.

However, many employers and employees need help accessing high-quality, affordable primary care. According to a report by the Primary Care Collaborative, only 5% of U.S. healthcare spending goes to primary care, compared to an average of 14% in other developed countries. Moreover, the U.S. has a shortage of primary care physicians; many are overworked and burned out.

One way to address these challenges is to invest in direct primary care (DPC), an alternative primary care delivery model that offers employers and employees several benefits. 

What is Direct Primary Care?

Direct primary care is a model of primary care where employers pay a flat monthly fee to a primary care provider for each employee instead of paying for each service or claim through insurance. This fee covers all primary care services, such as office visits, telemedicine, lab tests, prescriptions, and preventive care. There are no copays, deductibles, or coinsurance for employees.

Direct primary care providers typically have smaller patient panels, which allows them to spend more time with each patient and provide more personalized and comprehensive care. They also have more flexibility and autonomy to practice medicine according to their best judgment, without the interference of insurance companies or third-party administrators.

How Does Direct Primary Care Save Employers Money?

Direct primary care can offer employers immediate and long-term savings in several ways:

  • Reduced administrative costs: Employers can save on the administrative costs associated with managing health insurance claims, such as billing, coding, auditing, and negotiating. According to a study by the American Academy of Family Physicians, administrative costs account for about 15% of primary care spending in the U.S.
  • Reduced utilization of expensive services: Employers can save on the utilization of costly services, such as specialist visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, and emergency rooms. By providing employees with easy and timely access to primary care, direct primary care can prevent or manage many health issues before they become more severe and costly. A study by the Society of Actuaries found that direct primary care reduced hospital admissions by 19.6%, ER visits by 40.5%, and specialist visits by 43.2%.
  • Improved health outcomes and productivity: Employers can save on the indirect costs of poor employee health, such as absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, and disability. By providing employees with high-quality and preventive care, direct primary care can improve their health outcomes and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. A study by the University of Michigan found that direct primary care improved blood pressure control by 50%, diabetes control by 35%, and cholesterol control by 25%.

How Does Direct Primary Care Improve Employee Health?

Direct primary care can improve employee health and satisfaction in several ways:

  • Increased access and convenience: Employees can access their primary care provider anytime and anywhere through phone, email, text, or video. They can also get same-day or next-day appointments and don’t have to wait long lines or fill out paperwork. They can also get prescriptions, lab tests, and referrals without hassle or delay.
  • Increased trust and engagement: Employees can build a trusting and lasting relationship with their primary care provider, who knows them well and cares about their health and well-being. They can also get more education and guidance on managing their health and lifestyle and participate in shared decision-making and goal-setting.
  • Increased satisfaction and loyalty: Employees can enjoy a better healthcare experience with more convenience, quality, and value. They can also appreciate their employer’s investment in their health and happiness and feel more satisfied and loyal to their employer.


Direct primary care is a win-win solution for employers and employees who want to save money and improve health. Employers can reduce their healthcare spending, improve employee health outcomes, and increase employee satisfaction and retention by paying a flat monthly fee for primary care. Employees can enjoy unlimited access to high-quality, personalized primary care without out-of-pocket costs or hassles.

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