Questions about Direct Primary Care (DPC)
Do I still need to have insurance if I have a DPC membership?
Yes. We strongly recommend that all of our patients have an insurance plan in conjunction with their DPC membership. Having insurance coverage is mandated by the Affordable Care Act, and is still necessary to cover services such as hospitalizations, specialist visits, and emergency care.
What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
DPC is a model of healthcare that emphasizes the direct relationship between the primary care physician and patient. With a DPC model, the patient pays the physician a set monthly or annual fee for their services, eliminating the involvement of insurance companies in decisions about their care. DPC practices offer longer office visits, reduced wait times for appointments, reduced prices for labs, diagnostic studies, and medications, and increased access to providers through different modes of communication such as telephone, text, email, telemedicine, and home visits. DPC physicians typically manage significantly fewer patients than traditional practices, which allows for improved quality of care for each individual, and an overall improved satisfaction among patients and their physicians.
What type of insurance plan should I have with my DPC membership?
We recommend that you work with your employer or a local insurance representative to find the insurance plan that best suits the needs of you and your family.
Can I pay for my DPC membership with HSA funds?
At the present time, DPC memberships may not be covered with funds from your HSA. However, there is proposed legislation (the Primary Care Enhancement Act, H.R. 6015) that would allow for this use of HSA funds.
Do you accept Medicare/Medicaid?
For the present time we will continue to bill Medicare for covered services that we provide. However, we will no longer accept Medicare after October 1, 2018 at the latest. We will no longer be accepting Medicaid as of October 1, 2017.
What does my membership cover?
Please refer to the Services tab for a full list of membership benefits. Briefly, your membership covers all visits at our office, in-office labs and diagnostic studies, unlimited communication with your provider, and access to reduced pricing on many labs, medications, and outside diagnostic tests.
How can I contact my provider?
You can contact your provider via phone, text, e-mail, Skype/Facetime, or in person at the office. We do request that after-hours phone calls/texts be limited to urgent questions or concerns, but we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for your convenience.
Can I still use my insurance to pay for medications, specialist visits, diagnostic studies, etc?
Yes. As mentioned, we encourage all of our patients to have insurance in addition to their DPC membership to help cover the costs of emergency room visits, surgeries, and hospitalizations. Your insurance may also help cover the costs of some medications and diagnostic studies, although we will work with you to find the most affordable option for any treatment that we recommend.
Is DPC the same as concierge medicine?
No. While there are similarities between DPC and concierge, there are also distinct differences. In a concierge practice, individuals generally pay hundreds to thousands of dollars per month for increased access to their physician. Concierge practices may also continue to bill insurance for their services, so they are paid by both the insurance company and the individual patient.
My employer pays for my insurance. Can they also pay for my DPC membership?
Yes. We are happy to meet with prospective individuals or employers to discuss the many healthcare and cost-saving benefits of a DPC membership. Please contact us to schedule an appointment, or refer to the ‘Sign me up’ tab for further details about joining.
I am an employer. What are the benefits of offering a DPC membership to my employees?
There are many cost saving benefits to offering a DPC membership, as well as improved employee satisfaction and well-being. We encourage prospective business partners to watch the video linked below to hear how incorporation of DPC memberships could benefit your business. We are also happy to speak with employers - please contact us to schedule a meeting.
I'm an employer, how can DPC help me?
Mark Watson details Direct Primary Care's benefits for Union County, N.C.
I am a current patient at FPSJ. Can I still be seen after October 1, 2017 if I do not enroll with a membership?
If you currently have Medicare for your insurance coverage, then you may continue to be seen by our providers without a DPC membership until 10/01/18. If you have Medicaid for your insurance, we will continue to bill Medicaid for your visits until the Michigan Medicaid DPC Pilot Project is established. We will then require all Medicaid patients to enroll in that program. All other patients will be required to enroll as a member in order to continue seeing our providers after 10/01/17.
What is the Elation Passport?
This is your way to review your patient chart in our Electronic Health Record system, Elation. Your provider will send you an invitation to set up your Passport Account via the e-mail address that is on record at FPSJ. Once you have set up your account, you can review your chart, receive communication from your provider, or send messages to your provider. You can access the Passport by clicking the Passport Link at the top of every page.
What is Spruce?
Spruce is a convenient way to communicate with your provider when you need to. Your provider will send you a link to set up a Spruce account via text message on your phone. If you have a smartphone, you will need to download the free Spruce app to set up your account. You may then use this function to send secure texts or photos to your provider, or call us when you have an urgent issue after hours. If you do not have a smartphone, you can still send text messages or call your provider using the number that is sent to you, but please be aware that texts sent outside of the Spruce app may not be secure.
Where can I find more information about DPC?
DPC is a movement that is rapidly growing in popularity among patients and physicians, and as such, several articles have been written about this care model. Some of the articles we recommend are linked below:
FPSJ hosts DPC doctor, Dr. Savage, to help explain how and why Direct Primary Care provides better care.
Watch one of our DPC presentations, 5/4/17 at The Chapel
Part 1: Presentation + first part of Q&A
Part 2: second part of Q&A
- The Direct Primary Care Journal
- Wall Street Journal