by Blake Fussell
Providing an impressive benefits package has always been a good way to acquire and retain top talent. As health benefits continue to evolve, Direct Primary Care (DPC) has emerged as a popular and valuable addition.
According to a study conducted by Glassdoor, 57 percent of employees said a benefits package is a top priority when choosing a job. Healthcare is the most prioritized benefit, but traditional healthcare models have presented many issues for employees.
Traditionally, health insurance plans permit patients to see a doctor when a problem arises, which has given primary care providers an incentive to see more patients in less time. In turn, patients in need of care experience very long wait times and very short appointment times. Patients with multiple or complicated issues are then referred out to costly specialists, or ultimately do not receive the care they need.
Hint Health, a company transforming the healthcare system to enable easy access to high-quality affordable care, created Hint Connect, a health plan add-on, to implement the benefit of direct primary care, which aims to solve some of those problems. Preventative care is prioritized with Hint Connect, where employees are connected with a wide network of DPC clinicians, that work together to build a personalized healthcare plan.
When a DPC benefit is offered, employers sponsor all or a portion of their primary care provider’s fee, just as they would for a wellness package membership at an athletic club. Employees then receive enhanced access and treatment from their primary care provider for both themselves and their families.
“Rather than the antiquated fee-for-service model, direct primary care practices are paid through a monthly membership, which is paid by the employer, and provides employees with a standardized set of both virtual and in-person services, resulting in a better healthcare experience and improved health outcomes,” said Alex George of Hint Health.
How does Hint Connect work?
Hint Connect enables businesses to implement Direct Primary Care (DPC), a new healthcare model that has aimed to strengthen the relationship between an employee and their primary care provider. Through Hint Connect, employees can find a doctor in their community that will provide any service offered as often as needed, so long as the membership fee is paid.
In a way, Hint Connect removes insurance from healthcare. Wellness, chronic disease management, urgent care, and other services are included through Hint Connect’s DPC benefit. There are no co-pays or deductibles and services that are not covered in the plan, such as x-rays, are offered at a low cash price.
“Through DPC, employees and their families have access to a dedicated primary care clinician in their community who can help them get healthy and stay healthy,” George said.
What makes Hint Connect different from traditional healthcare?
Using the DPC format, Hint Connect removes many of the barriers to care present in the traditional format. Since doctors are paid in a membership model rather than a fee for each service provided, their incentive to see as many patients as possible is removed. With a smaller patient panel for doctors and better access to care, the connection between primary care providers and patients becomes stronger. This gives primary care providers the opportunity to get to know their patients and their medical history without rushing, all while the patients enjoy shorter wait times and improved access to their doctor.
Since employers that offer DPC pay a fixed monthly fee that provides access to better care, the cost to patients is not a concern and utilization of the benefit increases. In turn, much of the care provided by Hint Connect is preventative rather than reactive.
In addition to improved care, DPC can also lead to extensive savings for both the employer and employees. While employers will spend more on primary care with DPC, they will spend far less in other areas such as ER visits, specialist visits, outpatient surgery, and urgent care, and in some cases avoid the need for high-cost, long-term care.
“Hint Connect is a benefit for health-focused employers, innovative plan sponsors, and brokers in search of a true difference maker when it comes to the health of the employees covered,” George said.
How can I offer DPC through Hint Connect?
Hint Health currently supports over 2,000 direct primary care practices nationwide, however, the benefit of Hint Connect is still growing. The network is available in 25 states and will expand to 40 states by the end of 2023. Employers can get more information on Hint Connect at www.hint.com/connect.
For locations where Hint Connect is not yet available, interested employers can contract directly with a primary care doctor in their community while Hint Connect expands its footprint.
We are proud to feature Hint Health on The Granite List.