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Saturday, June 6, 2015

The 21st Century Employee Retention Tool -- Direct Primary Care

It has taken 60+ years to finally undo the employee retention strategy that has largely contributed to the spiraling cost of health insurance.  Since the IRS allowed companies to deduct expenses on health insurance for their employees back in the 1950s, that became a dominant employee retention tool; and the more comprehensive the insurance, the greater the "benefit".  It became so common to get full health insurance through our employers that we really didn't even stop to question how little sense that made.  It wasn't until the cost of offering that coverage became prohibitive that we have stopped to contemplate what we have been doing all these years.

The purpose of insurance is to insure against high cost, low probability events.  If you know you are going to have certain expenses over the course of the year related to everyday health needs -- acute illnesses as well as the care of any chronic illnesses you already have -- why would you use insurance to pay for that care?  If we used our car insurance to pay for oil changes, tire care and car maintenance, the extra cost of submitting all those claims to the car insurance companies would drive up the cost of auto insurance to unaffordable levels.  Sound familiar?  Look at the irony of our situation.  This employee retention strategy has become so expensive that companies near the 50-employee level are actually laying off employees to avoid tax penalties for no longer offering the expensive employee-retention strategy of the last century.  And offering a group health insurance plan that carries a high deductible (the only way that group plan is affordable) is no longer really a benefit to the employee because their out-of-pocket cost for receiving care is so high that they often delay seeking care or avoid it entirely.

The new employee retention strategy is to offer "access to care".  Direct Primary Care (DPC) is lost cost, high access care.  A small business owner can purchase, for $40-$50 per employee per month, the ability for his employees to see their own personal primary physician as often as they like, at no cost to them.  There are no co-pays for office visits and all the tests and procedures that are performed in the primary care physician's office are included in the monthly membership.  The employee has access to care 24/7 so he can stay healthy, recover from illnesses more quickly, and miss work less often.  In addition, in a DPC practice, there are many opportunities to receive care without even going to the doctor's office (UTI, rashes, skin infections, stress-related problems) by doing a "virtual visit" over the phone, face-time, Skype, etc.  Again, less time away from work.  This is a true benefit for employee as well as the business owner.  There are many different ways for the employee to get coverage for catastrophic illness at reduced cost to themselves and the employer -- individually or through a less expensive small group plan.  I would be happy to discuss this is greater detail with any interested business owners.  #group-to-individual strategy

River Jordan Direct Family Medicine has rebranded itself to more effectively do B2C and B2B marketing, and to emphasive the fact that you are getting your own personal physician.  We are now myDPCdoc Family Medicine!  For individuals and families who have questions on how having a DPC physician can benefit them, you can email me at  Business owners can reach me at
You can also follow me on twitter for regular updates on info related to health care and health benefits.  #myDPCdoc   #myDPCnetwork

1 comment:

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