ABOUT DIRECT PRIMARY CARE
Direct Primary Care is an increasingly popular model of care that puts the relationship between the doctor and the patient first while minimizing cost and restrictions that often burden traditional practices that take insurance. In this model, fees are paid directly to your doctor on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, and there are no hidden fees or complex invoices.
While most Family Physicians have a patient panel of 2,500 to 4,000, DPC physicians usually keep their numbers in the hundreds. This means more relaxed visits without feeling rushed, easier access for appointments and refills, and a doctor who calls you back personally when you have a question. Imagine a doctor who has time to focus on YOU, not on paperwork and billing.
The differences between DPC and CONCIERGE DOCTORS
Membership Fee: In both direct primary care and concierge medicine, there is an enrollment fee. In DPC, this is a one-time administrative fee, usually between $75-$300. In a concierge model, this is generally over $1000 and may be paid annually. In DPC, members typically then pay a monthly fee to include all of their visits throughout the course of the year. Concierge practice visits are usually billed through insurance, therefore subject to market prices.
What the Membership Fee Covers: In concierge medicine, the annual fee covers enrollment at the practice. Sometimes a comprehensive physical is a routine yearly benefit. Physical exam screening tests that go beyond what traditional insurance or a government program would support, may be paid out of pocket by patients. In contrast, the DPC membership fee generally covers all patient visits throughout the year. Most DPC physicians include an annual physical as part of the membership fee.
Cost: Concierge medicine membership fees tend to be higher than DPC membership fees. DPC membership fees are usually priced on a sliding scale, where younger patients pay less than older patients (assuming more complex). Sometimes family rates are available. DPC physicians secure low rates for labs and medications, passing those wholesale prices to patients. In concierge, these are typically billed through insurance, so rates are comparable to market prices.
Third-Party Payers: Most traditional concierge medicine physicians continue to accept insurance plans and government programs, and patient visits are billed in the traditional manner in addition to their membership fees. In DPC, the doctor does not accept third-party reimbursements. The membership fees paid by the patient cover all office visits for the duration of the membership.
Included in YOUR MEMBERSHIP
Annual Physical Exam, including well GYN and labs:
We will provide a yearly physical and wellness exam with your membership. Your basic lab work for this visit will include a complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic testing (liver, kidney tests, blood sugar), fasting cholesterol, and thyroid testing. The total cost to you for these labs is less than $20.00.
We will discuss all of the appropriate screening tests for your age and will refer to this testing when appropriate. For women, your pelvic exam is included if appropriate, based on screening guidelines. If a Pap test is indicated, it will be sent to the pathologist to be read at a discounted rate.
Pediatric good checks will also be included in your child’s membership. We are not able to offer immunizations at this time and will help arrange this for you. Please note, we follow the American Academy of Pediatrics and Family Medicine guidelines for ALL pediatric and adult immunization recommendations and schedules.
Extended, relaxed visits:
We schedule patients every 30-60 minutes. This will give us the time necessary to address all of your concerns at each visit. We will do our best to accommodate same-day or next-day visits when possible! We want to be available to you when you need us.
We will be available to you via visit, phone, text, email, and Zoom video. If Dr. Mendelsohn is with a patient, she will not answer the phone so leave a quick voicemail or text and it will be returned as soon as possible that business day. Many common medical issues can be handled via telecommunications – when this is appropriate, we can save you a visit. After business hours, phone calls should be limited to URGENT needs. Dr. Mendelsohn may be feeding her little ones, at a T ball game, jogging, or sleeping. Don’t hesitate to send that email or text when you need to though! Refill requests, lab results, and non-urgent questions will be returned early the next business day.
Access to in-house wholesale medications:
Dr. Mendelsohn will stock many common medications in the office. This may save you a visit to the pharmacy. If it’s not at the office, we can potentially order for wholesale prices that can save you tons of money! For example, we can supply 90 days of a common blood pressure medication for $2!! We will pass all of our medication savings on to you.
Significantly discounted labs/imaging:
As we have vendors that discount medication prices, we also have teamed up with LabCorp for heavily discounted lab prices. Bloodwork will be drawn at their outpatient sites – this can be billed to your insurance as usual or you can take advantage of the discounted cash pricing available through our office. Totally up to you. We are working on discounted imaging prices – stay tuned.