Large Primary Care Network Tries Direct Primary Care


Forthright Health Management in Michigan signed on about 50 primary care physicians to take part in a concierge medicine program that contracts with local employers to provide enhanced primary care for employees. The contract covers most basic care, and services not included would be covered by an employee’s health insurance.  This sounds good but it is a hybrid system where the doctors will still be seeing regular patients and bill their insurance.  The one thing I know about DPC is that I am not confident in this hybrid model.  The key to this kind of care is giving more time, being more comprehensive and treating patients as valued customers.  Does that mean the doctors contracted with Forthright Health will treat their regular patients differently?  It sure seems that way.  And because the “system” is receiving the monthly payments it means that each individual doctor is really not getting paid directly.  It also means a bunch of administrators are still involved.  In my heart I believe that DPC clinics should be doctor-owned and kept small.  That breeds real quality care because the physician is truly paying attention to all the small details and engaged in every part of the care. I doubt that will happen here.  I also fear that the big groups and hospitals are trying to jump on this DPC wagon to make money and still use doctors as pawns.  We need to unass them from us permanently.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Large Primary Care Network Tries Direct Primary Care

  1. Joe Smegma
    September 23, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Nice Dougy! Hybrids rarely make it. DPC is all in or not. DPC is a band of brothers. Don’t dilute this. Once you do they have won again. The medical industrial complex has destroyed the doctor/patient relationship. DPC has saved this most basic and necessary concept. We in charge! Unass that s%$t!!!!

  2. David
    September 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Is ‘unass’ a word?

    • Doug Farrago
      September 24, 2015 at 6:41 am

      It is. Urban. And Military.

  3. Steve O'
    September 23, 2015 at 8:55 am

    They don’t get it, that’s like having your own Mardi Gras parade by writing sufficient regulations to have one. With regulations, it’s not a Mardi Gras parade.

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