Dr. Delicia Haynes is a courageous leader, mental health advocate for medical professionals, author, speaker, and DPC trailblazer who transformed her practice, Family First Health Center in Daytona Beach, FL from traditional fee-for-service to pure direct primary care in 2015 after being in business for 6 years. There were a few different factors that propelled Dr. Delicia on this path to direct primary care.
In 2014, Dr. Delicia received a contract from the largest insurance company in the area, proposing new terms, which included a 40% cut to her rate of payment as a physician and because she was personally insured by this same insurance company, she knew that they had increased her premiums by 10%. This was a huge blow because it threatened the practice she had established and she quickly realized that she wasn’t actually working for herself and her patients, but instead was working for the insurance companies. “I had built my business on quicksand,” states Dr. Delicia who was clinically depressed at the time.
Not knowing how best to navigate the situation, Dr. Delicia consulted her mentors who advised her to either sign the contract or sell her practice as the insurance company controlled the area and she could not manage to continue to practice without them on board. Selling her practice would mean bringing in a new authority to manage what she built and would likely disrupt the integrity, heart and care she carefully weaved into the foundation of Family First Health Center, while signing the contract would mean having to squeeze in twice as many patients or letting go of her staff. Neither option would honor Dr. Delicia’s vow to be the doctor that she always wanted to have, so in 2015, Dr. Delicia took the leap and transitioned her practice to direct primary care.
Becoming a DPC doctor not only helped Dr. Delicia hold onto the integrity of her practice, but it also helped her improve her mental health. She knew what she needed to do to improve and maintain her mental health, but had no time to do it in the traditional fee-for-service model.
Having personally faced mental health challenges and witnessed others struggle with mental health, Delicia Haynes, MD started White Coat Safe Space to increase awareness, advocacy and prevention of physician suicide and released her book, The Dawn: A Med Student’s Roadmap to Finding a Light in the Darkest Hour in 2019. During medical school, Delicia took one year off to get treatment for depression. It was in this time when she thought that she was “the weakest link,” she discovered physicians have the highest suicide rate than any other profession, after doing some research on suicide and depression in the medical career path.
Delicia Haynes, MD believes that the doctor-patient relationship is sacred and describes the traditional health care system as akin to an “assembly production line.” Therefore, pushing volume is in direct competition with providing adequate care. In fact, in order for doctors to get to an accurate diagnosis, 85% relies on taking a good history of the patient. There is a time investment that is necessary in order to achieve this solid relationship that cannot be had in a setting where doctors have to manage 26.7 hours of work in a 12-hour work day. Alleviating this burden, not only improves health outcomes for patients, but also for doctors.
Dr. Delicia coaches other doctors on how to successfully transition to direct primary care and has been a Hint Summit speaker for the past two years, sharing impactful insights from her own personal journey to becoming the DPC doctor that she is today. We are proud to invite her back to Hint Summit ‘23 taking place Sept. 20-23 in San Diego as our emcee. Learn more about Dr. Delicia and watch her previous Hint Summit talks below.