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So What Is Direct Primary Care?

 It’s medicine the way it used to be, your Family Physician caring for you when you need to be cared for, not being shoved off to a lower level practitioner until you can fit into the doctor’s busy schedule when she can take time away from meeting insurance company requirements . . . and then getting five minutes of her time, ten if you’re lucky. It’s seeing your doctor when you need to, not when the insurance company says so. It’s same-day appointments when possible or next day at the least. And it’s enough time with your doctor to be able to address all your concerns. It’s what medicine used to be. So what’s the hook here? It’s that I don’t accept insurance or file insurance for you. It’s a straight monthly fee, in many ways like a membership. If you see me once, you pay that fee. If you see me twice a month, that fee covers it. If you see me three times a month, it’s still that fee. What’s the catch? Well, if you don’t see me during a month (or for two months), you still pay that fee. Like I said: a membership. And the fee is around what insurances are billing you for copay each time you see the doctor. But what if you don’t expect to be seeing me that often? You still pay the membership fee or get placed on a waiting list to get back in because, with direct primary care, I don’t have to have a patient panel of 3,000 to survive. The panel is limited to 500 patients so I can give everybody the care they need.Some things do cost above the monthly fee: lab tests cost way less than what the lab will charge you, and I’m working on getting low cost x-rays. You pay me and I pay the lab company. The cost will be less than the lab’s copay if you did it with insurance. Now direct primary care is not insurance. It won’t cover ER visits or hospitalizations. But it’s perfect for high deductible insurance policies and health savings accounts. But you should have a wraparound policy in keeping with the Affordable Care Act. 

Author
Dr. Tess Dr. Tess Garcia Dr. Garcia and her team provide a level of personal care that maximizes patients’ health and well-being. We treat the whole patient: spirit, body, and soul.

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What Is Direct Primary Care?

So what is direct primary care? It’s medicine the way it used to be, your Family Physician caring for you when you need to be cared for, not being shoved off to a lower level practitioner until you can fit into the doctor’s busy schedule when...