Unlock new growth opportunities with DPC networks. Direct Primary Care networks can now manage all their affiliate clinic relationships directly from HintOS, and Hint will facilitate relationships between DPC networks and DPC clinics. This helps networks expand their geographic footprint through partnering with other DPC clinics, and helps independent DPCs grow their membership numbers.

What is a DPC network?

DPC networks are an emergent trend that can bring the benefits of DPC to a wider audience—and ultimately make DPC the standard of care. A network usually begins as a DPC clinic that teams up with other DPCs. Then, the network will contract directly with employers and retail patients. Once employees and retail patients enroll, they will select a doctor from a list that includes both owned-and-operated locations as well as affiliated practices. Patients will receive care at their selected clinic.

Networks benefit independent DPC clinics by growing their patient panel more quickly at a zero-dollar marketing cost.

Powering the scale of Direct Primary Care networks

Existing DPC networks can now do away with updating their affiliate clinics by email and spreadsheet. Nextera Healthcare, for example, had relied on manual spreadsheets and emails to update their affiliates with patient demographics, membership status, invoices, and payment terms. Now that they’ve begun to manage affiliates with HintOS, “the manual spreadsheet is done,” said Katie Harmon, Employer Accounts & Affiliate Manager at Nextera. “This is a ‘ginormous’ time saver.”

Managing an affiliate network has a few key components that HintOS can now automate:

  • Enrolling a patient with an affiliate clinic
  • Tracking active and terminated memberships at each affiliate
  • Calculating the monthly payout amount per affiliate

When a DPC network uses HintOS, the Hint Customer Success team pre-loads their account with all their affiliates and negotiated payment terms. Affiliate clinics that use HintOS to manage their memberships will simply see their synced network patients show up in their account. Networks can also provide a free affiliate portal to those clinics that don’t use HintOS for the rest of their practice.

Once a patient enrolls and selects an affiliate provider, HintOS automatically syncs patient demographics, membership details, and payment status with the affiliate responsible for giving care. This means the affiliate clinic will always know whom should receive care and how to contact them.

Networks may have a variety of rates they pay affiliates. HintOS can support multiple payment types and rates among affiliates. Hint’s Customer Success team will pre-load the payment schema into the network account, and HintOS will automatically calculate the monthly invoice that is owed to each affiliate. Affiliate clinics have the ability to view and adjust these invoices. It’s always transparent why an affiliate gets paid what they do by the network. For affiliates that manage the rest of their practice using HintOS, those invoices are included in all financial and membership reports. For affiliated clinics not currently using HintOS, networks can give a free HintOS affiliate portal with the same synced patient list and invoices.

Starting a DPC network

Highly successful DPC networks, like EverMed and MyMD Connect, have one thing in common: they start with one region and then expand. Typically a single DPC clinic working with employers will end up with employer groups who have members that exceed the care capacity of or are in different geographies than their owned-and-operated walls. Strada Healthcare, for example, started in Omaha, Nebraska with scant “pure” DPC clinics in the region. Fortunately they were easily able to convince local fee-for-service physicians to begin seeing Strada patients on a DPC basis.

By starting in Omaha and staying fairly regional, Strada has been able to prove themselves at a state level. The State of Nebraska is currently piloting a DPC program via Strada Healthcare. When asked what’s next, Kathy Bessmer, Founder & President of Strada Healthcare, said, “We would love to go across the Midwest.”

Practices that start regional DPC networks today have the benefit of using HintOS to manage their networks “from scratch”, meaning all historical transactions related to their affiliates will be tracked as they grow.

Katie Harmon, Employer Accounts & Affiliate Manager at Nextera Healthcare, explains how to run a DPC network in this webinar.

Affiliating with a DPC network for practice growth

Joining a DPC network as an affiliate clinic has been a way for independent DPCs to grow without spending a cent on marketing. “It’s a no-brainer,” said Dr. Brieanna Seefeldt of Direct Osteopathic Primary Care, who is affiliated with Nextera Healthcare. “It actually has been a ‘win-win-win’.”

Independent clinics do not pay any money to acquire their network patients and they don’t have to pitch them on the concept of DPC; rather, they negotiate the monthly affiliate fee per member with the DPC network. This allows independent DPCs to retain autonomy.

Dr. Michael Bianco of Bianco Primary Care is an affiliate of HIPnation and is able to see all his network patients directly from the same HintOS account that he uses to manage his other clinic business. “I believe DPC networks are going to be key to our success as a movement,” he said.

Hear more from Dr. Bianco in this webinar about joining a DPC affiliate network.

Be a part of DPC networks on HintOS

To start managing your DPC network with HintOS, fill out this form and Hint will be in touch soon.

Hint has begun facilitating new relationships between independent DPCs and DPC networks. To share your information, get started here.