DIRECT PRIMARY CARE

  • What is Direct Primary Care?

    What is Direct Primary Care?

    Direct Primary Care, or DPC, is a model of healthcare that puts patients first by getting rid of the red tape that constrains traditional practices. How? It’s simple: we don’t accept insurance, and – believe it or not – this actually saves you money in the long run.

  • How will this save me money?

    How will this save me money?

    You won’t have to pay a co-pay for office visits or routine physicals. Also, you’ll be able to avoid many visits altogether by sending your questions directly to us via email and text – something you won’t get from a traditional practice. We’ve negotiated amazing deals for prescription medications, blood tests, X-rays, and MRI/CT scans on your behalf. If we had contracts with insurance companies, we would be legally obligated to charge higher prices.

    More importantly, since you are getting all this amazing care from us, you can cut way back on your insurance premiums. Most DPC patients find a high-deductible, low premium insurance plan so they’re covered in the case of a major health issue. But leave the rest of your care to us.

  • Will I benefit from Direct Primary Care if I don’t require frequent medical attention?

    Will I benefit from Direct Primary Care if I don’t require frequent medical attention?

    Of course. Everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them. That’s why we offer truly custom healthcare. We’re here for you if you’re sick or hurt, but we also help you proactively maintain good overall health. Every visit with us will be thorough, relaxed, and will last as long as you need to address your health concerns. The longer you’re our patient, the more we learn about your health and lifestyle, and the better we can help you maintain (or even improve) your health.

  • Is this the same as concierge medicine?

    Is this the same as concierge medicine?

    The terms are often mistakenly used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Both DPC and concierge practices charge a periodic fee. However, under the concierge model this fee only gets you access. That is, it doesn’t actually cover any of your care. Instead, a concierge practice still bills insurance for you visits. Under DPC, your visits and other care are included in your fee. Plus you’re provided with other incredible benefits, like wholesale pricing for labs and imaging studies, deeply discounted prescription medications, direct digital communication with your doctor, and a host of other benefits.

  • Want to know more about Direct Primary Care?

    Want to know more about Direct Primary Care?

    Here’s a few articles that profile the Direct Primary Care approach to medicine:

    FORBES: Direct Primary Care: Restoring the Doctor-Patient Relationship

    TIME: Medicine is About to Get Personal

    US NEWS: Physicians Abandon Insurance for Blue Collar Concierge Model

    AARP: The Doctor Will See You But Not Your Insurance

    American Academy of Family Physicians: Direct Primary Care

    WRAL: Patients Pay Monthly Fee, Not Insurance Co-Pay to See Raleigh Physician

MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS

  • So how much does membership cost?

    So how much does membership cost?

    See our prices on our pricing page. We charge a flat monthly fee, and in exchange you get unlimited office visits, wholesale prices of prescription medication, your doctor’s cell phone number, and a whole lot more.

  • What does the membership fee cover?

    What does the membership fee cover?

    The fee covers excellent primary care through office visits with no copay. This includes the following: annual wellness exams, sports physicals, school physicals, chronic care office visits, basic office procedures, and treatment of acute illness or minor injuries. All with minimal wait times in the office. This fee also covers direct communications with your doctor: phone, text, video chat or email.

    Our patients also will have access to discounted labs, prescriptions, and imaging not included in the membership fees.

  • What medical conditions do you care for?

    What medical conditions do you care for?

    We treat all kinds of common everyday problems like colds, flu, strep throat, rashes, and injuries. We also treat more complicated, long-term medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and thyroid disorders.

  • What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?

    What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?

    For starters, having such unprecedented direct access to your doctor will help prevent hospitalizations and specialty referrals in many cases. However, when those types of care are required, we will certainly continue to work with your hospitalist during your hospital stay, as well as work closely with any specialists. Depending on the level of care and sorts of expertise required, we may rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.

  • Can children become members too?

    Can children become members too?

    Yes. We are happy to accept the children of our enrolled clients. See our pricing page for details

  • Can I contact my physician after hours?

    Can I contact my physician after hours?

    Of course! Physician access is one of the greatest benefits of the Direct Primary Care model, because illness and injury do not respect office hours. When you enroll, you will be given guidelines about how to best reach your doctor when the need arises.

  • What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?

    What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?

    This sort of care is “baked in” to the DPC model. Because you’ll have your doctor’s email and phone number, you can reach out to us whenever you need, wherever you are. Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation. We’ll also locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most appropriate for your circumstances.

  • Are my medical records ever shared with government agencies, insurance carriers, or pharmaceutical companies?

    Are my medical records ever shared with government agencies, insurance carriers, or pharmaceutical companies?

    We maintain high standards of patient privacy. We will never provide your health information to any third party unless you specifically ask that we do so.

  • When do I pay my fees for non-covered labs and imaging?

    When do I pay my fees for non-covered labs and imaging?

    Charges will be added to your account and applied to your preferred method of payment at the time of service.

  • What if I decide to cancel my membership?

    What if I decide to cancel my membership?

    We expect to have an open, honest, respectful relationship with you. If you have voiced a complaint that we cannot satisfy together, we will gladly allow you to terminate your membership.

INSURANCE

  • Do you accept insurance?

    Do you accept insurance?

    No, fortunately for both you and us. Perhaps the most critical distinction in our model of care centers on a direct, personal relationship between you and your doctor. That directness carries over to our business model as well. You might use your auto insurance to fix a smashed fender or other major damages, but you’d never use it to get an oil change (or pay for gas!). For some reason, we’ve become accustomed to using health insurance for the equivalent of oil changes for humans – primary care: routine physicals, office visits, simple blood tests, and minor procedures. This just doesn’t make sense.

    We forego insurance payments in order to save our patients from the arbitrary, intrusive decisions that come with using insurance. Charging a direct monthly fee frees us from the typical contractual agreements and billing overhead that prevent non-DPC physicians from offering wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging and medications.

  • I don’t have insurance. Can I still join?

    I don’t have insurance. Can I still join?

    Yes. We take care of any patient regardless of your insurance situation. Since we work completely outside of the insurance system, none of the billing for care here is eligible for insurance reimbursement. However, we recommend that everyone have insurance coverage, which is still important in the event of a major injury or illness.

  • As a patient, will I still need health insurance?

    As a patient, will I still need health insurance?

    Yes. We recommend our patients continue a major medical plan with a high-deductible. If you experience a major health issue, you will still need insurance to help cover it. We’re happy to refer you to insurance brokers who can help customize an insurance plan to your specific needs.

  • What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?

    What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?

    For starters, having such unprecedented direct access to your doctor will help prevent hospitalizations and specialty referrals in many cases. However, when those types of care are required, we will certainly continue to work with your hospitalist during your hospital stay, as well as work closely with any specialists. Depending on the level of care and sorts of expertise required, we may rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.

  • If I have Medicare, can I still join?

    If I have Medicare, can I still join?

    Yes. You need only sign a one-time waiver declaring that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for our services. Even though Medicare will not pay us for any services you receive in our practice, your Medicare benefits will otherwise remain unchanged and can continue to be used for all other medical care received outside of our practice. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications or hospitalizations prescribed by our office.

  • How does DPC work with Obamacare?

    How does DPC work with Obamacare?

    As the Affordable Care Act was being drawn up, several doctors worked very diligently to insert into the health reform bill a clause that recognizes Direct Primary Care practices as a legal medical entity. However, a DPC membership alone does not meet the minimum coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The best option for our patients will be an “exchange qualified” major medical type plan combined with a DPC practice like ours. This combination will save the maximum amount of money, while also allowing for a maximum amount of health care coverage.

  • Is the DPC membership fee eligible for HSA or FSA reimbursement?

    Is the DPC membership fee eligible for HSA or FSA reimbursement?

    You may want to check with your human resourced department regarding the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) as possible payment options for your membership. There is currently legislation under consideration at the Federal level that will allow for limited use of HSA and FSA funds to be used for DPC membership fees.

  • Is my membership fee tax deductible?

    Is my membership fee tax deductible?

    Unfortunately, no. Your retainer fee is not yet defined as a “medical expense” in most states as such is not deductible. Please confer with your tax consultant to clarify tax consequences in your particular circumstances.

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