AAFP supports Direct Primary Care model for family medicine
The theory comes from the untested hypothesis assuming panel sizes shrinking below 2,300 patients per family physician will cause workforce shortages. In reality, physician burnout is more likely to be the cause of workforce shortages.
If physicians limit patient interaction -- including phone calls, emails and face-to-face visits -- to only an hour a year per patient, the panel would be 2,080 people with a normal work week.
If the time is increased to two hours per patient per year, the panel would drop to 1,000. In normal workforce economics naturally occurring in unregulated DPC environments, the panel size drops to 900 to simply maintain a healthy physician-patient relationship; but another myth says a panel of 900 would be impossible because there would not be enough family physicians for everyone.
However, businesses are saving into the double-digits when they switch to DPC in the workplace, as have Qliance, Nextera Healthcare, and Iora Health. Simply put, DPC allows for more time for physician-patient interaction while saving the workplace money.
A workshop focused on the American Academy of Family Physicians’ views on DPC will be held in Atlanta in March.