Questions and Answers!
It is not uncommon that we humans always have questions and concerns AFTER we see the doctor. We're all probably ripe fruits by now, so it's alright! No worries. We've got this!
If you're new to our practice website and researching, WELCOME! If you have further questions, we invite you to please reach out to us on our Contact Page or Call our Office. We would be happy to answer any questions you have.
Here we have pulled together a Hot Topic Summary for the most common questions we receive to help in your "moment of research" process.
Please remember, IF you have ANY questions to "harvest" more information, you can call our office any time as a Member in our Practice. These are some of your perks with Direct Primary Care.
We will do our best to accommodate you and educate on your way in and out each visit!
First and foremost, what is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
DPC is a the most straightforward model of medical care. DPC practices offer monthly membership payments directly between the office and the patient that covers their routine medical care. The intent is to return medical care to what is used to be, a direct and transparent relationship between the doctor and the patient.
By not participating with government payers, insurance companies, or other third parties we keep things clean and simple. All of these third party payers end up requiring doctors to hire multiple employees just to deal with the bureaucracy. With DPC there is simply a straightforward relationship between the doctor and the patient (like it used to be). You know what is costs, you know what you get. Just that simple
Why is DPC better?
By taking medicine back to its roots of doctor-patient, we can dramatically change the way care is delivered, or more appropriately, return to the way it was once delivered. The average primary care medical practice has around 3000 patients (some more, some a little less). Average appointment times are about 15 mins, and face to face discussions average 5-7 minutes of that 15.
This practice will have about 1/10th of that population (around 300 or so patients). This model allows me to genuinely get to know my patients and their families. It allows me to have essentially no wait time for appointments and “no rush” appointments, almost always same day appointments if needed, after hours appointments when necessary, house calls when necessary, to have ample time to discuss all medical issues, and time for education. It will not be a patient mill or assembly line process. Chance’s are you will rarely see yourself and another patient in the waiting room at the same time.
24/7 access-when you call, email, or text you be will be talking to me, not a receptionist or nurse. And yes, you will actually be able to reach me in these ways. With a DPC practice I can offer more time and attention to your medical issues, and more ways of direct communication.
Because we will know each other better, we can confidently handle some things by phone or computer. You will have multiple ways to contact me (including through your electronic medical record) and we can discuss the issue while identifying the best way to approach it. It may be as simple as you sending me a picture or having a video visit to save you a trip to the office.
Finally, Freedom to Treat. Many third party payors try to require a doctor to treat certain illnesses in certain ways, and how many patients they must see per day. With DPC we have the freedom to treat you the way that you deserve, and in a way that works for you.
So, how does it work?
A monthly fee for members covers most of your everyday healthcare needs.
Unlimited office visits, direct communication with the doctor, some in-office labs, and some procedures including EKGs, minor laceration repair, IV fluids if warranted, skin biopsies, some joint injections, and hopefully soon, discounted medications.
If you need other labs, X- rays, or referrals we will recommend and prescribe them, but you will be responsible for those costs. We are working hard to find discounted and more affordable solutions for those without insurance.
What about Insurance?
First and foremost, a DPC practice is NOT insurance. We also do not accept or bill insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. We DO take patients with or without insurance.
If at all possible you should try to have some insurance to cover things like hospital visits, specialist referrals, and radiologic studies, all of which can be expensive.
If you have insurance or Medicare you will still be able to use it for referrals to specialists, hospital stays, X-rays etc just as you normally would.
We have had good experiences with a Health Sharing Plan to cover bigger/outside expenses and will be happy to give you some information that may help.
Can I make an appointment to see if this practice is right for me?
Yes. A one time free “meet the doctor” appointment is available for anyone trying to decide whether to join this practice or not. We can discuss your health issues, the practice, and address any questions you have. This appointment is not for a sick visit or to receive care, it is for you to interview me and see if the practice is a fit for you.
Does being a member of a DPC practice save money in the big picture?
I think it does. First, your time is valuable. You will be seen on time, no thirty minute to one hour delays after you arrive.
Additionally several studies show that patients of DPC practices have less hospital visits, less emergency room visits, less surgeries, and less specialist visits.
Why? Because I will have time to examine, discuss, and treat in a way that may prevent the need for escalated care.
What about my specialists?
“If you like your specialist you can keep your specialist”.
Ok ,maybe I should reword that. I expect to fully interact with any specialists you have by sharing any needed information, or contacting them when necessary. We are all supposed to be working for you.
If you need to be referred to a specialist I will send them your history and information before your appointment, and a letter with my concerns. This should make the visit smoother and hopefully save both you and the doctor some time. When I receive their recommendations they will be entered into your chart.