Updated: Apr 29, 2019
What exactly is "Direct Primary Care"?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a primary care model that allows the doctor and patient to contract directly with each other. Instead of billing insurance companies, patients pay their PatienTrue Physicians for services. This means that patients can pay a monthly fee along with visit fees straight to their doctor instead of paying an insurance company premiums and co-pays.
Direct primary care provides much more personal attention for patients. We offer more flexibility in appointment times and spend more time during patient encounters. If you decided to become a member, Direct Primary Care members have access to their PatienTrue Physician every time they make an appointment. In addition, our PatienTrue Physicians provide a larger array of non-face-to-face interactions, such as tele-visits or e-visits, for their patients, to ensure primary care services can be accessed in a manner most convenient for patients and their families.
How is Direct Primary Care different from Concierge Medicine?
Our Clinic offers the benefits of "concierge" medicine but remain affordable.
Concierge practices typically bill your insurance, just like a normal medical office, on top of their membership fees. Concierge practices are often too costly for the general population. In contrast, Direct Primary Care aims to make care affordable to all. We can keep the cost to patients low by maintaining low overhead costs, largely by taking out the insurance "middle man." This translates to less employees to handle coding, billing and claims, and eliminates the need for a costly EMR directed at billing and coding rather than patient care.
Yes. It works great with most commercial insurance. Of course, check with your carrier first to see. Generally, most commercial insurance and Medicare pair great with our membership. Patients who receive health care insurance coverage, either through employers or individual insurance plans, can receive primary care in a DPC practice. This is true even if the DPC practice does not participate in any insurance contract. receiving care in a DPC setting can increase the responsibility of patients to manage their health care-related finances. Insured patients can typically receive reimbursement from insurance carriers for care received in a DPC practice via the claims process. The process typically requires the patient to submit an itemized bill for review and approval by the insurance carrier.
Do I still need health insurance after I receive membership?
Patientrue does not require insurance coverage. We do encourage all of our patients to have at least minimal catastrophic coverage. While we can manage many common medical problems in the clinic, a medical emergency, hospitalization, surgery, or serious diagnosis like cancer can lead to financial disaster and worse, limit your options. DPC pairs particularly well with a high deductible plan with a Health Savings Account.
What if I have Medicare?
You will need to sign a one-time waiver declaring that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for our services. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications, or hospitalizations prescribed by our offices.
We offer walk-in visits at a higher price per visit. As a member, you will get lower cost healthcare and more frequent visits.
Yes! All ages can benefit from having a doctor you know and trust even if you only see them once a year.
We are excited that many people in our community live a healthy lifestyle! Our role is to keep keep you healthy and informed of the best ways to maintain your health. We provide health coaching and preventive annual wellness exams. Predicting what life throws at you can be difficult. Illness usually is not planned. Should you get thrown a "curveball", we will be accessible for you to quickly get back on track.
Do you manage chronic pain?
Patientrue physicians offer holistic approach to chronic pain but we do not prescribe narcotics for management of chronic pain issues. Management of chronic pain can be difficult and often requires specialist care and treatment. If you are a regular patient of ours, we would be happy to arrange for you to see a pain expert. Of course, there would be a separate financial arrangement between you and this specialist.
Are prescription medications included in the monthly fee? No, though your PatienTrue Physician can write a prescription for any of your medications, the cost of these prescriptions is not included in your monthly fee. However, we are pleased to offer on-site access to a few medications for acute illnesses that can be dispensed to you at low cost at the time of your visit. That way, if you have strep throat, you can leave our office with a low-cost antibiotic and avoid a trip to the pharmacy. (Please note that we do not stock any narcotics or controlled substances.)
What about labs?
Patientrue Primary Care tries to make things simple for you. We order labs just like any other office and you can have your blood drawn at one of the convenient lab locations. Basic labs such as liver and kidney function, cholesterol and glucose testing are provided at low cost in out clinic. Most other labs are available to you at wholesale prices, this means less than 10% of the cost you would typically be billed at insurance-based practices. This is just another way DPC can save you money. If you prefer to bill through your insurance, the reference lab can file with your insurance.
What about other medical expenses, such as lab, x-ray? Much of our in-office lab work (strep screens, urinalysis, urine pregnancy tests, etc.) is included at no cost. Many other tests are provided at low cost. Services provided by specialists, hospitalization expenses, outside labs, prescriptions, etc. are not included and should be billed directly to your insurance company. We do have agreements with local radiology facilities that offer ridiculously low imaging studies, compared to what is usually billed to insurance.
Can you still refer me?
Absolutely. We are able to refer you for whatever specialty care is needed, for X-rays and scans, and for procedures we do not perform in the office. These more expensive parts of medical care can have billed through your insurance plan as usual. We are currently working on reduced pricing for basic imaging - stay tuned.
What if I need medical care while I am away from home?
We can provide care even when you are away from home. This is one of the great freedoms DPC practice patients enjoy because of independence from the restrictions of third-party payment. Because we have such a small group of patients, we know you well, and can streamline your care when you’re sick away from home. Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation by phone, email, text or webcam. We’ll locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most appropriate for your circumstances.
How do I know if this is the right practice for me?
Schedule a free, unconditional 30-minute visit to discuss your healthcare needs. This will help you decide if we can provide the type of care that is right for you.