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Ashley PoynterApr 304 min read

The benefits of a solid doctor-patient relationship

Updated: Jun 25

The doctor-patient relationship is integral to modern-day healthcare. Patients must be able to trust their physician -- and be confident in their physician’s competence -- in order to openly confide with them. This ability to confide allows doctors to adequately and thoroughly address the patient’s questions and concerns and provide better care for the patient.

The opposite is true, too. When the doctor-patient relationship is not strong, it can hinder the doctor’s ability to fully assess a patient’s health and may compromise a patient’s ability to comply with any treatment plan the doctor provides. According to Statista, one-third (33%) of U.S. doctors spend between 17 and 24 minutes with patients. For every hour that physicians spend directly with patients, they spend an additional two hours on administrative work like reporting. These bureaucratic tasks not only lead to doctor burnout, but they can also impede the doctor-patient relationship.

The influence of middlemen in the healthcare process has shifted the focus away from the doctor-patient relationship, taking with it better outcomes and affordable healthcare. At Decent, we believe this relationship is fundamental to quality care.

Good doctor-patient relationships yield positive experiences

A survey by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) highlighted how important doctor-patient relationships are to quality care. Consumers believe it is the single most important factor.

This means it should be easy for patients to connect with quality providers that have — and take — the time to provide quality care. In other words, patients want access to knowledgeable providers who listen carefully, can translate health care jargon to lay terms and are able to spend as much time as needed with the patient.

We’ve likely all been rushed around at a doctor’s office before. It’s not a great experience. Rather than getting enough time to discuss important medical concerns with the doctor, patients find that they are speaking to the doctor’s back as he or she types up visit notes on a computer. Doctors, similarly, feel pressured and rushed to see as many patients as possible to meet quotas and keep middlemen happy.

It’s a lose-lose scenario.

Direct primary care is changing the landscape

Both patients and doctors have realized the need for change. Both parties are looking for an enhanced experience that cuts down on waiting room time, enables same- and next-day appointments, and allows the doctor and patient to make a positive plan to keep the patient healthy.

The current fee-for-service healthcare system does not facilitate this type of care. Instead, it incentivizes the opposite behavior from providers. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is changing all of this.

Under the DPC model, patients pay a flat fee (usually monthly) for concierge-like care that includes all primary care services, including routine labs, blood tests, and preventative care. It makes same- and next-day appointments as easy as pie, and even enables virtual primary care for patients that may have a harder time seeing a doctor in-person. With DPC, your primary care physician manages all of your care and can refer you to specialists as needed.

This new model incentivizes the right kind of care: your DPC doctor is free to focus on keeping you healthy. The more they need to see and treat you, the more money the clinic needs to spend. Even when you need an outside specialist’s help, the primary care office is responsible for scheduling, coordination, and follow up. It’s in their best interest to keep you as healthy as possible.

Pricing is more transparent. You know the cost upfront and will not get hit with unexpected bills weeks or even months later. Knowing that high-value care will be returned with loyalty, DPC doctors aim to provide top-notch service via a trusting relationship.

Decent gets DPC

Decent stands behind the doctor-patient relationship. We believe in it so strongly, we’ve built all of our plans around the DPC model. The DPC’s flat fee is included in your monthly premium, giving you access to high-quality, affordable, and coordinated primary and specialty care options at transparent rates.

In simple terms, visits to your primary care doctor are free. No matter when or how often you visit your doctor, you can be confident that it will cost you $0 out-of-pocket. You simply enjoy personalized care with your primary care doctor via same- or next-day appointments. You can connect with your doctor in-person, via telemedicine (video calls), or through 24/7 phone, texting, and email support for your health questions.

Sound like something you can get behind? Get your free quote today!