Dr. Bryan Hill spent his career working as a pediatrician, teaching
at a university, and working at a hospital. But in March 2016, he
decided he no longer wanted a boss.
He took some time off, then
one day he got a call asking if he’d be up for doing a house call for a
woman whose son was sick. He agreed, and by the end of that visit, he
realized he wanted to treat patients without dealing with any of the
Then he learned about a totally different
way to run a doctor’s office. It’s called direct primary care, and it
works like this: Instead of accepting insurance for routine visits and
drugs, these practices charge a monthly membership fee that covers most
of what the average patient needs, including visits and drugs at much
That sounded good to him. In September, Hill opened his direct-primary-care pediatrics practice, Gold Standard Pediatrics, in South Carolina.
is part of a small but fast-growing movement of pediatricians,
family-medicine physicians, and internists who are opting for this
different model. It’s happening at a time when high-deductible health plans are on the rise
— a survey in September found that 51% of workers had a plan that
required them to pay up to $1,000 out of pocket for healthcare until
insurance picks up most of the rest.