How DPC Can Save Municipalities & Businesses Money Too

May 25th, 2017 by Dr. Amat

Direct Primary Care of West Michigan has been closely following the news for stories and discussions about the Direct Primary Care model. As the popularity of DPC continues to grow, it’s getting the attention of employers and municipalities too, who are looking for a smarter way to provide employee health benefits.

This latest piece comes to us from, where contributor Katherine Restrepo delves into a deal between a DPC clinic and an HR director for Union County, North Carolina.

Here are some selections from the article:

Mark Watson, executive HR director for Union County, [North Carolina] will openly admit he is the ultimate skeptic. Naturally, he was pretty skeptical when his colleague, friend, and debate partner, Bill Webb, pitched to him the idea of integrating a direct primary care (DPC) option for county workers — an option that would guarantee them 24-hour access to a board-certified family doctor…. It just seemed too good to be true.

After meeting upon meeting, some more skepticism, and a few years’ worth of convincing colleagues that it would work, the idea came to fruition in April 2015 when Union County secured a contract with Paladina Health to establish one of its DPC clinics central to the sheriff’s office, Human Services, and other government buildings.

It was also at this meeting that Watson mentioned he was waiting on updated claims data to compare with the county’s projected annual savings of $1 million on medical expenses alone. Take a look at the stats below:

  • Of Union County’s 2,000 covered lives, 40% are DPC participants, while the remaining 60% are signed up with the CDHP (consumer-driven health plan.)
  • DPC participants incur 38% less in medical expenses than CDHP participants, yielding annual savings of $1,408,089.
  • DPC participants incur 37% less in prescription expenses compared to CDHP participants, yielding annual savings of $269,680.
  • DPC participants spend 46% less out of pocket for prescription and medical expenses than CDHP patients, a $333,639 annual savings.
  • 73 percent of DPC participants report significant improvement in their overall health since electing the DPC option.

For anyone skeptical that the clinic attracts a healthier patient pool, the available data indicate otherwise. The total number of paid claims exceeding $50,000 is evenly divided between DPC enrollees and traditional health plan enrollees. But because there are fewer DPC enrollees at this juncture, it makes sense to conclude that the DPC pool skews higher-risk. Watson followed up with this point by saying that half of DPC enrollees have at least one chronic condition, while 26 percent have at least two.

You can read the full article by Katherine Restrepo on

Whether you’re looking for better quality care and lower costs for your family or your employees, we invite you to get in touch with Direct Primary Care of West Michigan and experience the difference for yourself. To contact us, simply Fill Out This Form or give us a call at (616) 202-4088. We hope to see you soon!