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DPC is Different, but is it New?

In 1929, a former school superintendent Justin Kimball was serving as the hospital administrator at Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, Texas. One day, he had an idea of offering a prepayment plan instead of trying to collect on bills later. Soon, folks signed up to pay 6 dollars a year (50 cents per month) in exchange for a fully-paid 21 day hospital stay (should they ever need it.) This is the origin story of Blue Cross.

Since that time, insurance has changed. (Notice I didn't use the words grown or evolved.) It is confusing and expensive. Deductible, premiums, copays, out-of-pocket maximums, PPO, HMO, in- and out-of network. They want to say who your doctor should be. They want a say in which medicines you take. And they made doctors put it all down in a computer for them, instead of spending time with you.

Here at SWVA Direct Primary Care, we are proud to NOT take your insurance. We are NOT insurance. I am a family doctor trying to provide transparent and affordable prices so people can receive the care they deserve. Just like folks used to call on the town’s general practitioner when they needed help or a shot of penicillin, we want to be here for you and your family–not your insurance company.

I will close with this quote from an article shared to me by a mentor and friend, Dr. James Garner. In 1927, Dr. Francis Peabody at Boston City Hospital published an article entitled “The Care of the Patient.” He writes:

“The good physician knows his patients through and through, and his knowledge is bought dearly. Time, sympathy and understanding must be lavishly dispensed, but the reward is to be found in that personal bond which forms the greatest satisfaction of the practice of medicine. One of the essential qualities of the clinician is interest in humanity, for the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.”

This has not changed in a hundred years and hopefully will not change for the next hundred years. In many ways, DPC–by returning to a simpler way to pay for healthcare–has allowed doctors and patients an avenue to return to a simpler (and better) way to live healthcare.

Call us at (276)477-4183 or write us at

Jarrod Couch, DO

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