Business Packages for Healthcare at Hickory Medical

For a fee of $39 per month (divided among employer and employee at the discretion of the business), employees have access to primary healthcare services – usually the same day – including sick visits, chronic disease management, lab work, diagnostics, health care counseling, and a wide range of procedures. Employers also have access to onsite wellness screenings, health coaching, drug panels associated with hiring or ongoing employment, and a host of other healthcare services at member-negotiated rates.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees: The Affordable Care Act Mandates have a much smaller impact on businesses that employ fewer than 50 people. For businesses of this size that choose to enroll all employees, Hickory offers direct primary care services and waives restrictions on entrance and exit from the practice so that employers can simply identify employees as members on a monthly basis.

Businesses with more than 50 employees: This group is more directly and dramatically affected by the Affordable Care Act Mandates. Generally, there are two different ways for larger businesses to engage with Hickory Direct Primary Care, LLC. The first is to simply add membership as a benefit for some or all of the workforce. At $39 per month, membership represents a relatively small investment that is a meaningful contribution to the employee's healthcare. Direct Primary Care can serve as an alternative form of healthcare coverage for part-time employees or a more robust program that is an added benefit to some larger portion of the workforce. This approach may allow for specific savings through the use of increased deductible plans and may decrease total healthcare expenditures. The staff of Hickory can help to negotiate with your insurance company to determine if there are other savings that might be realized through the inclusion of Direct Primary Care coverage. A second option is to seek alternative forms of health coverage that are exempted from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are a range of healthcare sharing ministries that, if used, may exempt the employer from the ACA mandates.


Direct Primary Care Explained

Direct primary care is about refocusing on patient-physician relationships as a source of health and wellness. Rather than engaging with the inefficiencies that come from over-documentation and fee-for-service models, direct primary care is built to be sustainable purely on the basis of monthly subscription fees paid by employers and patients. In the case of Hickory Medical, these monthly fees are $39 for adults and $19 for children. This means that a group of 500-600 patients can sustain a physician, nurse, the costs associated with a clinic, and related insurance/business expenses. A small scheduling fee of $20 is intended to cover the marginal (additional) costs associated with any given visit, from basic labs to hospitality services in the waiting room to the gloves and medical instruments that are used. More extensive procedures such as the removal of skin lesions, stitches, or minor surgeries incur an additional $20 charge to cover the costs of additional medical instruments. More unusual and costly labs are completed at a lower negotiated rate or can be billed to insurance. All pricing is entirely transparent.

The limited size of the patient panel and the elimination of the hassles of insurance documentation/billing make it normal for patients to have 30 minutes or more with their physician and can often be seen on the same day. Taken together, the practices of Direct Primary Care medicine appear to have a substantially beneficial impact on both the quality and cost of care. In an article on Direct Primary Care in Time magazine, cost savings were estimated to be between 15% and 30% with over 95% of patients expressing satisfaction with their experience (December 22, 2014.) In another analysis of Direct Primary Care, the Heritage Foundation reports a savings of over $2,500 per patient per year over traditional care with dramatically better outcomes including substantial decreases in admissions to hospitals, surgeries, and use of specialists (August 6, 2014).