FAQs - DIRECT PRIMARY CARE
- What is Direct Primary Care?
- How does our Direct Primary Care practice differ from the average doctor’s practice?
- What does the membership plan include?
- Who does this membership plan work best for?
Appointments, Referrals and Care
What happens if I’m admitted to the emergency room or hospital?
- Do you make home visits or nursing home visits?
- What if I need a specialist?
- What if I need urgent care?
- What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?
- What if my doctor is on vacation?
How Insurance Works in the Direct Primary Care Program
- Do you bill insurance plans?
- Do I still need to have health insurance?
- Can you see me if I have Medicare or health insurance?
- What if I have an HMO insurance plan?
How to Join
- How much is the membership fee? Do you have discounts?
- Can joining Total Family Wellness actually save me money?
- Will I still benefit from membership even if I don’t expect to need frequent medical attention?
- Is there a limit to how many patients can join Total Family Wellness?
- What if I want to end my membership?
- HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
- I’m still not sure. Can we sit down and talk?
Direct Primary Care and You
What is direct primary care?
Direct primary care is an exciting and rapidly growing model to provide primary care without the costly interference of private health insurance companies. Instead, our patients pay us directly through a convenient and affordable flat monthly fee. This allows us to keep our practice small and provide you with highly accessible, personalized, and preventive care when you need it. It’s like having your doctor available at the touch of a button. Our focus on ensuring a strong and satisfying doctor-patient relationship is the key to helping you stay healthy. In fact, it’s the way I’ve always wanted and expected to practice medicine!
How does our Direct Primary Care practice differ from the average doctor’s practice?
You will see and feel the difference immediately when you visit us at Total Family Wellness. Our reception area is relaxing and comfortable, and our office staff is friendly. You will experience very short if any wait times to see me. Office visits will never feel rushed so we can take the time to address your health concerns and questions with me. Because my practice is limited to just a few hundred, not thousands, of patients, I really get to know my patients so I can take a more proactive role in your health and wellness – and be there when you need me. My goal is to provide you and your family with an experience that will not just meet, but exceed, your expectations for a doctor’s office.
What does the membership plan include?
Your membership covers all of the primary care services we offer in our office. In addition, we can provide a large amount of care and care coordination by phone, email and text, including virtual visits when appropriate. We are available to discuss urgent concerns nights and weekends when needed. We are working hard to create a practice where you can access us when you need us, without having to jump through multiple hurdles! You will enjoy greater convenience and peace of mind, and may also find a reduced need for visits to specialists and the emergency department. CLICK HERE for a list of the many services you will receive.
Who does this membership plan work best for
Everyone benefits from the value-added services we offer at Total Family Wellness CLICK HERE to find specific advantages for your particular age group.
It works especially well for:
- Patients desiring easy and direct communication with their doctor
- Patients who want a doctor to address the root cause of illness, not just treat the symptoms
- Those who want to participate in improving their health and staying well
- Those with high insurance premiums, high-deductible health plans or no insurance
- Self-insured businesses seeking to provide their employees with affordable health care and improved well-being, while simultaneously reducing everyone’s healthcare spending
Appointments, Referrals and Care
What happens if I’m admitted to the emergency room or hospital?
Emergency room visits and hospital admissions for serious medical problems are stressful and often confusing for patients and their families. Direct communication with someone who knows you and your medical history can be critical at these times. At Total Family Wellness, we’ve got your back! We will contact your emergency room physician and/or anyone providing care during your hospitalization to make sure they have the most accurate and up-to-date information they need to treat you. As your health care advocate, we will communicate with you and your loved ones. We will also be in the best position possible to provide your post-hospital care.
Do you make home visits or nursing home visits?
Yes, I do. I appreciate that it is often difficult, painful, and even expensive to get to the doctor’s office. Distance and circumstances permitting, I will see patients in their home or nursing facility, rehab facility or ALF in medically appropriate situations. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis. Our practice has a “Home Visit Plan” exclusively for patients who are home-bound or in a nursing home.
What if I need a specialist?
As your Family Medicine trained doctor, my comprehensive training allows me to handle most of your healthcare needs. However, in the event that you do need to see a specialist we will help you find the right doctor and coordinate your care. Our referral process may include direct physician-to-physician consultation prior to your appointment so that your specialist knows exactly how s/he can help us improve your health.
After your specialist visit, we will follow up to discuss any questions or concerns you have, and arrange additional or testing if needed.
What if I need urgent care?
If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately. A family member or caregiver can call us later so we can be in contact with the emergency room.
For urgent problems that are not emergencies, you can contact me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In many cases, I can diagnose and treat your need without a visit to the ER. In fact, private medicine has been shown to result in fewer ER visits for members because we can discuss your medical needs any time of the day or night, and you know you can see us the next day!
What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?
You can speak with me wherever you are. I will help diagnose and treat any medical conditions that can be done by “virtual visit.” If you have a condition that requires in-person evaluation and treatment, I will direct you to appropriate, nearby care, and coordinate follow-up when you return home.
What if my doctor is on vacation?
As a member of Total Family Wellness, you are never alone. Even when out of town, I will still be available by phone for your urgent needs. You will be notified by email prior to any vacations. If I am not available, I will always have another trusted physician available to assist you for any urgent matters or to be seen in the office.
How Insurance Works In The Direct Primary Care Program
Do you bill insurance plans?
No. Our practice is designed to be unencumbered by the constraints and limited reimbursement from insurance plans so that we may better serve and care for our patients. You will NOT be charged for office visits or co-pays. You only pay the membership fee.
Our model results in significant savings: money, paperwork and time. The membership fee allows us to keep our overhead low, our practice small, and work directly for our patients, not the insurance company!
Do I still need to have health insurance?
Yes, you do. The Direct Primary Care Program is NOT a health insurance program. It is very important to maintain insurance (and/or Medicare) to cover expensive, unusual and unpredictable events such as surgery, emergency care and hospitalization – BUT NOT for everyday preventive primary care!
The current insurance-based healthcare system actually makes primary care MORE expensive, difficult and less effective too. Our practice does the opposite. By charging a set fee, I can spend more time with you and focus on your individual health needs to maintain and improve your health. I want you to see me as often as you need to, because my goal is healthy and happy members!
Can you see me if I have Medicare or health insurance?
Absolutely. Our healthcare model is particularly well designed to handle the more complex medical issues and medication management often associated with older patients. We can spend the time necessary to manage chronic disease and optimize your health and wellness.
Medical insurance is necessary for patients in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe. Still, many people are finding they can lower the cost of their total medical care by combining a high deductible health insurance plan with a membership based practice thus making private medicine quite affordable. Expect your insurance to pay for lab tests, mammograms, x-rays, durable medical equipment (DME), and specialist appointments. My services will be covered in the membership fee.
Our healthcare model is particularly well designed to handle the more complex medical issues and medication management often associated with older patients. We can spend the time necessary to manage chronic disease and optimize your health and wellness.
What if I have an HMO insurance plan?
If you have an HMO and are interested in joining Total Family Wellness, please call us at 727-754-4959 to discuss how membership may work for you.
How To Join
How much is the membership fee? Do you have discounts?
Our pricing is shown below. We have discounts for families and children.
There is a $90 setup fee. Then you can pay annually or monthly (with a first 3 months minimum deposit) by credit card or automatic withdrawal. The best part is, there are never any co-pays or deductibles to meet.
Ages18 and over
Can joining Total Family Wellness actually save me money?
It is expected that many patients will save money at our practice because we can handle the vast majority of your health issues and concerns.
Our practice is part of a growing movement called direct primary care.
Studies show that direct primary care can lead to:
- Less unnecessary medications
- Fewer specialty referrals
- Fewer emergency and hospital visits
- Savings on labs and imaging
- Less need for expensive testing
- Better overall care
- Less overall health expenses
By switching to a higher deductible, lower premium plan, we can actually help many of our patients save money.
We also have negotiated deep discounts with local labs and radiology providers for our patients who choose to pay cash for these services.
For even more convenience and cost savings, our medical assistant will draw your blood free of charge at our office. And you shouldn’t have any hidden costs or bills that come to you after-the-fact from the office or insurance company.
You won’t have any hidden costs or bills that come to you after-the-fact from the office or insurance company. And by switching to a high deductible, low premium plan, we can actually help many of our patients save money.
Will I still benefit from membership even if I don’t expect to need frequent medical attention?
Absolutely. Our focus at Total Family Wellness is on preventive care, lifestyle modifications, screenings and risk assessments. We want to identify and prevent disease before it starts, concentrating our efforts on long-term health and wellness. We listen carefully to you to understand how your life, work and family may be affecting your health. Together we create a personalized plan to achieve and maintain your optimal health and goals. Advanced diagnostic tests can help us identify risk factors and health issues before they cause disease, saving you money, time, suffering and higher costs in the long run. Unlike the traditional practice environment, we have the time to deliver this type of comprehensive and detailed care.
Is there a limit to how many patients can join Total Family Wellness?
Yes. One of the most important aspects of private medicine is limiting the practice size to be able to devote more time and energy to each patient. Therefore, once we have reached our ideal practice size, we will establish a waiting list.
What if I want to end my membership?
You are welcome to cancel your membership at any time as long as you give us 30 days notice. We will refund memberships paid for the full year at a prorated rate.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
Please see our Join Us page for more information, and to sign up for one of our upcoming information sessions.Please remember that space is limited and we accept members on a first-come, first-served basis. Once we fill all available slots, we will add your name to our waiting list, so we encourage you to act quickly.
I’m still not sure. Can we sit down and talk?
Fed up with waiting weeks for a medical appointment —
and then getting only a few precious minutes with your doctor?
DPC allows us to spend more time with each patient to develop
personalized, high quality care.