FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?


Direct primary care is an increasingly popular model of care that is restoring the doctor patient relationship. DPC is a membership-based model and for one low monthly fee, we are able to provide you with longer more relaxed visits, wholesale prices on medication and labs, and a variety of ways to connect with your physician. There are no co-pays and all additional lab and medication fees are transparent. We pass all of our wholesale saving on to you. By eliminating insurance, DPC minimizes the time consuming administrative burdens placed on traditional model practices. When Dr. Mendelsohn left her fee for service family medicine practice, she had over 3000 patients! She wasn't able to talk directly with people on the phone, wasn't able to spend more than 15 minutes with someone without getting significantly behind on paperwork, and wasn't able to use telemedicine when appropriate. In the DPC model, she will limit her panel to no more than 600 patients - this means she can spend 5x longer with YOU, focus on what is important to YOU, and keep you healthy!




What is Family Medicine?


Family medicine is a medical specialty designed to train physicians to care for people "from cradle to grave." In our training, we experience almost all aspects of medicine, with emphasis on internal medicine, pediatrics, and OB/GYN. We also spend time with specialist to gain experience in cardiology, dermatology, psychiatry, and surgery. Family medicine is largely about taking care of you in the context of what is important to you and your well-being both physically and emotionally. We are well-versed in preventative care and having discussions with you about your future healthcare goals. These goals change throughout a lifetime and family medicine positions recognize the importance of addressing those changes and caring for you as an individual. In primary care it is important to "know what you don't know." We are your advocates in navigating the healthcare continuum when it is necessary seek specialty care beyond our practice setting.




How is Direct Primary Care different from concierge medicine?


These terms are frequently used interchangeably, but the models are not the same. Both offer a longer appointment times and more personalized care, however, most concierge practices charge a significant annual membership fee in addition to billing your insurance at each visit (as is done in a traditional medical office). In contrast, direct primary care charges one low monthly fee to cover as much of your primary care needs as possible. We negotiate low cost labs, imaging, and medications then pass the savings along to you. Since we don't have to comply with insurance regulations and billing, it illuminates the need for more staff and time-consuming documentation in the EMR, which allows better access and affordable care for all.




Does DCP mean this is an alternative or holistic practice?


Dr. Mendelsohn believes in treating the whole person and is open to all forms of treatment, as long as they are safe. She recommends and practices evidence-based medicine. If you are interested in complementary or alternative treatments to various elements, Dr. Mendelsohn is absolutely open to discussing these options in the context of what is safest and most appropriate for your well-being! Acupuncture, meditation, and other complimentary forms of treatment have helped many of us and we are open to what works for you while making sure we are also discussing the safety and efficiency of these options. Dr. Mendelsohn does not personally perform these treatments.




How do you feel about vaccinations?


Dr. Mendelsohn believes fully in vaccinating our children to reduce the risk of spreading preventable diseases. We support all recommended childhood vaccines and follow the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC schedules. We are open to some alternative schedules as long as a child receives all appropriate vaccines before starting school. We will not sign any documentation allowing a child to enter school without being fully vaccinated unless there is a medical reason they should not receive a specific immunization.




Do treat chronic pain?


Dr. Mendelsohn does not treat chronic pain with opioid medications. We do not store opioids (narcotics/controlled substances) or benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium) in our pharmacy. We will treat pain with other modalities and will refer you to an appropriate specialist if chronic narcotics are necessary.




Do I still need insurance?


Yes, we encourage all of our patients to continue their insurance coverage to be used for more expensive aspects of healthcare continuum, such as specialty care, emergency visits, hospitalizations or surgery. We can help you find an agent that can pair the best, most affordable plan with your family's needs are continuing to provide low-cost, high value primary care in our office. The PC pairs well with high deductible plans, catastrophic plans, and healthcare sharing groups




Do you offer lab testing?


Just like any other outpatient office, we order labs when appropriate. We offer in-house lab testing such as blood sugar/hemoglobin A1Cs, urinalysis, urine pregnancy test, rapid strep and rapid flu. We are able to pass our DPC wholesale lab pricing along to you. This means spending less than 10% of the cost do you typically pay our insurance-based practices. For blood draws, we partner with LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics for these low cost. If you choose to bill your insurance, either reference lab can do this for you. Your annual physical labs will include a complete blood count, cholesterol level, and comprehensive metabolic panel (blood sugar level, liver and kidney function and thyroid function) at no extra cost to you.




What if I need a referal?


We are able to refer you whenever a specialist is necessary, for x-rays and scans, and for procedures we do not perform in the office. Having practice in the greater Charlotte area for over 15 years, Dr. Mendelsohn can recommend the most appropriate specialist for your needs. We are currently working to negotiate lower rates for imaging and will let you know




What if I need medical care while I am away from home?


Give us a call! Because our patient panel is smaller and more personalized, we can help you even when you are sick and far away from home. Many illnesses can be managed by phone, text or Skype, so let us locate the nearest pharmacy and call in what's necessary. If you need to be seen in an urgent care or ER, we will make a personal call describing your medical condition to the provider and send any records that are necessary for a more comprehensive evaluation.




What if I need to be hospitalized?


Hopefully this will be a rare (if ever) occurrence. If for some reason you need to be hospitalized we will refer you to the hospital of your choice. Contact the receiving provider with all of your relevant information and send any records that will aid in your care.




What if I have Medicare?


DPC physicians are typically unable to bill Medicare for their services and are "opted out." This allows us to spend more time with YOU - not checking boxes to comply with Medicare's rules and regulations. You will need to sign a one time waiver declaring that either you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for our services. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medication, or hospitalizations prescribed by our office.




How do I know if this is the right practice for me?


Schedule a meet and greet! We won't be giving medical advice during this visit, but it will give you a sense of who we are, what we do, and our practice style. This will help you decide if we can provide the type of care that is r




What happens if I change my mind?


We want you to be satisfied. Should you decide to leave our practice at any time, for any reason, we will refund the "unused" portion of your service fees. Please note that the $100 enrollment fee will apply should you choose to re-enter our practice at a later date.




Can I gift a year of care at New South Family Medicine to someone else?


We love this idea! If you know someone that is unable to afford medical care or is on our waiting list, you can help them by providing them with a year of services. Your gift can be recognized my name or remain anonymous. Please let us know if this is something that you were interested in participating in





ASK US

Thanks for submitting!