Direct payment was introduced in many low- and middle-income countries in the 1980s with support from UNICEF and the World Bank. Proponents of this approach thought that it could make the health system more effective by directing demand to cost-effective care at the appropriate level, deterring people from unnecessary health care.
But for some time now, we have witnessed the reintroduction of the direct payment principle in developed countries; where insurances supposedly cover the entire medical needs of the patient.
The question of the advantages of this system compared to the insurance’s then arises.
- Principles :
DPC has been promoted by certain groups of physicians as a mean for patients to save money on their primary care services, as well as other auxiliary services such as laboratory testing.
- Its Advantages:
What makes direct pay an attractive alternative is that this model doesn’t accept payments from third-party payers, there are no insurance co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance fees thus avoiding the overhead and complexity of maintaining relationships with insurers.
Instead, practices charge patients a monthly fee—usually between $50 and $75—that generally covers all visits and standard services found in a primary care practice.
This emerging model provides a great alternative to self-insured or self founded employers through reduced primary care and office visit fees, this by paying a membership on behalf of the employee directly to the DPC practice.This allows workers to address evolving health concerns rapidly, thus treated more quickly the patient’s number of sick days might be reduced.
Also many DPC practices provide phone or email access to providers so that employees or patients may not even need to leave their workplace to seek medical advice, this service shows how DPC and telemedicine in association represent the future of healthcare.
- Telemedicine the new face of medical care
Telemedicine is a form of remote medical practice that relates one or more health professionals to one another or to a patient, including a medical professional and, where appropriate, other professionals providing care to the patient. .
Objectives of telemedicine:
- Improve medical coverage of health system users and follow-up of patients with chronic diseases or disabilities;
- Ensure continuity of home care;
- Prevent complications and thus limit hospitalizations.
The 5 types of remote intervention by medical professionals:
It consists of a remote consultation by a medical professional. A health professional or psychologist may be present with the patient and, where appropriate, assist the medical professional during the tele-consultation.
Remotely solicit the opinion of one or more medical professionals because of their training or special skills, based on medical information related to the care of a patient.
It consists of a remote interpretation of the data necessary for the medical follow-up of a patient and, if necessary, it includes making decisions concerning its management.
Attend remotely another health professional during the performance of an act.
- The medical answer:
This type is brought within the framework of the medical regulation of the permanencies and urgent medical aid.
- Today, in a world where the new technologies are part of our daily routines, patients claim rapid and less expensive access to medical care thus the idea of telemedicine emerged. Tele-medicine (if used well and responsibly) provides an accessible and less time wasting process in which anyone can be cared for by a health professional in the comfort of their homes.