I was a first responder. I understand first-hand how important having the appropriate health care is, now more than ever.
Some injuries came and went, but others, particularly the respiratory issues, became chronic and have occurred throughout the years. While not debilitating, they often require the requisite medical care and prescriptions.
Given that there is no specific pattern for the issues to occur, it was difficult to be at the whim of traditional doctor practices. Not being able to get the attention within the initial 24- 48 hour period that was so critical in minimizing the issues really dictated how severe and debilitating things would be.
I realized there was a difference between health insurance and health care, and explored the world of concierge medicine. I greatly appreciated the ability to see my physician when I needed him, and got the attention I required. The biggest drawback was the cost. It was extremely expensive, and often throughout the year, I paid for the option without actually needing it. And like many other concierge groups, they took on more patients than they could effectively handle.
Since moving to Florida, I have engaged in a direct primary care program. It is significantly more cost-effective than the concierge service, the patient numbers are strictly capped, and I see my physician within 24 hours of a request; often the same day.
She appreciates and understands my medical history, and I have never once felt rushed. Plus, as a freelancer, I don’t need to rely on my job to cover my medical care. I’ve actually become more pro-active in monitoring my health because of the ease of getting an appointment, and the general relationship and confidence we have developed. I have also never had a problem being referred to a specialist, which was important for me.
I believe that the best thing about direct primary care, is the peace of mind knowing it’s there whenever I need it.
Dutch is a writer and former first responder with chronic respiratory issues. He found a DPC doctor in Florida after realizing there was a “difference between health insurance and health care.”