Tip of the day regarding Direct Primary Care:
“Do you accept this insurance?” is a misinformed question so a simple “yes/no” answer doesn’t really work.
Most people who ask this assume that if the answer is “no,” it means as patients THEY are not accepted by a medical practice.
Listen: our office doesn’t get paid by insurance plans. But that doesn’t mean we reject patients who have insurance. Patients have the choice to reject us if they are comfortable with the care and access they can get through their insurance without having to pay more. (Many don’t realize accessing care through almost all insurance plans involves paying more at some point anyway, particularly if there is a high deductible involved, but that’s another point for another post.)
Frankly, I firmly believe patients SHOULD have the liberty to CHOOSE THEIR DOCTORS. Unfortunately most patients consider themselves to be on the firing line, wondering whether or not DOCTORS WILL CHOOSE THEM.
In Direct Primary Care, we don’t think this is okay. People work hard for their money in order to have choices. You want the right to choose where you live, what car you will drive, what shoes you will wear. These choices hold value, and in our society we generally quantify value in dollars and cents. For higher value, you decide whether you are willing to invest more money. But the point is that because you know the value in advance, YOU get to make those choices accordingly. When you need or want various services, you call lawyers, mechanics, contractors, masons, bouncy-house renters, etc., obtain an estimate, and decide whether the service is worth the price. Why shouldn’t you be able to do this for routine primary care?
If you believe the only way to access health care services is through insurance, you are surrendering YOUR power of choice to the insurance company. THEY tell you what doctors you are “allowed” to see without adding that if you have a high deductible you may have to pay hundreds of dollars to see them anyway, or that the doctors on their list are so overwhelmed that it may take weeks or even months just to meet them, if they are taking new patients at all… meaning that YOUR choices are severely limited even though you are paying quite a bit for the “insurance” that promises to provide your care. Where is the value in that?
Meanwhile, if you have no insurance but walk into any health care service provider (lab, diagnostic center, medical office, even hospital) with enough cash, you won’t be turned away. You may get bowled over by the price tag, but if you have the money to meet the price tag, you will receive services. No one rejects patients willing to pay out-of-pocket for not having insurance any more than we reject patients willing to discuss our pricing for *having* any particular type of insurance. BUT NO: we do not have contracts with any insurance plans, we do not earn a dime from any of them in any form or fashion. AND YES: I ACCEPT PATIENTS with your insurance plan, regardless of what your plan is, or even whether or not you have insurance at all.
As such, I am proud to say that I am exclusively employed by and work for my patients rather than the insurance companies.
Turns out at Direct Primary Care practices, our price tags aren’t mysterious. For the cost of less than most cell phone, TV or internet subscriptions — roughly the same as buying a daily coffee at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks — my patients find the same medical professional they form a relationship with at the first visit is just one phone call, text, or email away. I also charge LESS PER MONTH than other professionals –such as accountants, plumbers or electricians– may charge PER HOUR.
If you still have questions, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
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