As we celebrate National Health Center Week, one should take a look at the direct primary care (DPC) model, an innovative alternative payment model improving access to high functioning healthcare with a simple, flat, affordable membership fee — no fee-for-service payments or third-party billing.

The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider. Patients have extraordinary access to a provider of their choice, who are accountable first and foremost to their patients. DPC is embraced by health policymakers on the left and right and creates happy patients and happy doctors all over the country, and is even being considered an option by local insurance brokers.

CostCare Direct introduced the DPC model in Missoula two years ago and several more have opened their doors statewide. This group communicates regularly to ensure that the care is consistent and affordable. Employers can make the most of this program by lowering their health care costs, increasing the health of their workforce and providing additional voluntary benefits to employees.

There truly is an affordable healthcare option right here in Missoula and the ability to provide quality family practice and urgent care to everyone!

Carol Bridges,

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