Jeff Gold, MD is the Founder and CEO of Gold Direct Care based in Salem, MA and delivered his talk, Sowing the DPC Seed to Fix Healthcare at Hint Summit 2022 highlighting that the healthcare system is functioning just as it was designed to and it is up to the grassroots movement of direct primary care (DPC) clinicians and patients to change the tide so that care is administered effectively. Dr. Gold begins by taking the audience down memory lane to when he got started with his own DPC practice 6 years ago and how he was told by many that not only would DPC fail, but he would also fail, especially considering the large hospital systems such as Harvard that dominate in the state of Massachusetts.
In this climate, many physicians attempt to survive in the fee-for-service insurance based healthcare system by either getting acquired by a major hospital system or entering into an Independent Practice Organization (IPO) to have stronger negotiating power with insurance companies. However, these efforts don’t resolve the issues for doctors because the structure is too linear and transactional without sufficient focus on the doctor-patient relationship.
In an effort to address this problem, Dr. Gold launched a new entity, The Starseed Group, LLC whose mission is to make healthcare more collaborative in its function instead of healthcare clinicians and administrators working in silos. Unfortunately, the business of medicine has not only compartmentalized the service of care with misaligned incentives, but also impaired the doctor-patient relationship. Jeff Gold, MD points out how much futile or unnecessary medical care clinicians practice because primary care doctors in the traditional fee-for-service model don’t have the time to have essential conversations with patients such as end-of-life care.
The relationship between a primary care doctor and patient has several elements that simply cannot be quantified. The delivery of care and positive health outcomes increase exponentially when the doctor-patient relationship is restored.
“These are the intangible things that we know everyday as primary care doctors, the value that we bring, but yet the system and the powers that be have totally devalued what we do and the reality is that without us, as we witness everyday, the system crumbles.” - Jeff Gold, MD
Dr. Gold proposes that the hub of the healthcare wheel needs to be patients, DPC doctors and mental health therapists. By focusing on this central foundation, patients can more likely avoid having the increased downstream costs associated with specialist care, hospitalizations, etc. Primary care doctors have an uncanny ability to navigate this wheel of healthcare and direct primary care physicians have the added advantage of time.
Watch the video to gain further insight into Dr. Jeff Gold’s vision for a new healthcare system that minimizes the use of insurance and empowers physicians and patients alike.