These are some of the mostly commonly asked questions about our practice, the care we provide, and the direct primary care model.
Direct Primary Care
What is Direct Primary Care of Wellington?
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?
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 healthcare to us.
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 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 that health.
Is this the same as concierge medicine?
The terms are often used interchangeably, and essentially refer to the same thing. Direct primary care is a healthcare model focused on putting the patient first. That means treating them when they need it, never rushing patients through appointments, and being proactive with healthcare treatment plans. The provider-patient relationship is just as the name suggests – direct. Direct primary care clinics don’t accept insurance, rather they choose to work directly with the patient, providing wholesale labs and prescription prices along the way.
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 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
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 on prescription medication, your doctor's cell phone number, and a whole lot more.
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, follow-up visits, basic office procedures and treatment of acute illness or minor injuries, all with minimal wait times in the office. The fee also covers direct communications with us: phone, text, video chat or email.
Our patients will also have access to discounted labs, prescriptions and special procedures not included in the membership fees.
What medical conditions do you care for?
We treat all kinds of common everyday problems like colds, flu, strep, rashes and injuries. We also treat more complicated long term medical problems like adult diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and thyroid disorder.
What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?
For starters, having such unprecedented direct access to your provider will 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 specialist. Depending on the level of care and the sorts of expertise required, we may rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.
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 provider after hours?
Of course! Access is one of the greatest benefits of the direct primary care model. Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may call, text, or email us whenever you need.
What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?
Of course – this sort of care is "baked in" to the DPC model. Because you'll have your providers 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?
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.
What if I decide to cancel?
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.
Is my membership fee tax deductible?
Unfortunately, no. Your retainer is not yet defined as a "medical expense" in most states and as such is not deductible. Please confer with your tax consultant to clarify tax consequences in your particular circumstances.