A small but growing movement of doctors that don’t accept insurance and charge a monthly fee could be a model for big employers like Amazon and JPMorgan

The practices are part of a movement known as direct primary care. Instead of accepting insurance for routine visits and drugs, these practices charge a monthly membership fee — often between $50 and $150 a month — that covers most of what the average patient needs, including visits and drugs at much lower prices. The movement’s been gaining momentum at a time when high-deductible health plans are on the rise.

In most cases, the practices recruit patients on an individual or on a family-by-family basis. But often, employers who cover their employees healthcare have turned to practices as well.

For many large companies, they’re the ones ultimately paying out their employees’ claims. Insurance companies are there in the middle to handle the logistics of getting the claim from one place to another, which means you might not realize your employer’s footing the entire bill on the other end.

“I tell people, JPMorgan Chase already buys a $1.5 billion of medical, and we self-insure,”JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told Business Insider. It’s why his company, along with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway, two other massive self-insured employers, are looking for new options through a nonprofit healthcare venture. “Think of this, we’re already the insurance company, we’re already making these decisions, and we simply want to do a better job,” Dimon said.

Finding ways to “do a better job” could mean a number of things, from leveraging the number of people they cover to negotiate lower rates, to digging in and upending the way healthcare’s done entirely.

And it’s possible direct primary care could be a consideration. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos was an investor in Qliance, a direct primary-care system based in Washington state that got its start in 2007 and closed in 2017. Amazon in January also reportedly hired a doctor who had run Iora Health’s Seattle practices.

Read the full article at Business Insider.

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