Considerations in establishing Direct Family Medicine charges pile up as one considers the business model versus patient need. We reflect on, "What is Family Medicine?" What is a basic package of FM services in the context of the patient-physician relationship? What is beyond the basic package but within the purview of generalist physician training that would be included in a list of services for separate payment? What complementary and/or alternative practices might be included in the fee list for non-FM services on site?
First, the enrollment fee: These vary from $25 to greater than $100 per person. Family rates seem to expect the full enrollment fee from the adults and a lower fee (like half the adult fee), such as $75 for each adult and $40 for each child.
Monthly membership charges vary depending on the scope of services in the basic package. $50-60 is a common range for adults, while children may be charged (at the end of the month is when this happens to avoid being considered to be an insurance plan) $30-60 monthly depending on the inclusion or exclusion of immunizations in the basic package. Imaging with X-Rays in the office usually is not include except for Qliance. Hospital rounds and admissions are included in the more expensive Qliance package.
Administrative, scheduling or co-pay fees per visit are widely variable with a few plans having no per visit fee and many having a $10 to $20 fee. For "complete" details about several Direct Primary Care programs click on these links:
Qliance Health Access Rhode Island Medlion Forrest Direct Pay Physician Care Direct
What aspects of each plan appeal to you? Which elements don't seem to apply to you and your family?
A Family Physician planning to start Direct Family Medicine must carefully consider the above variables and make a decision. What will be my basic services and non-basic services?
What basic fees will I start with and what variables will I monitor to know how we're doing for our patients and ourselves?
What do you think?