What is “Direct Primary Care?”
“Direct Primary Care” means the physician works directly for the patient. The physician provides the patient with primary medical care without insurance or government involvement. The physician sets a fixed monthly fee and the patient pays this directly to the physician. The physician and the practice will not bill insurances for care.
While this is a big change for many patients, it has many advantages. Removing the middlemen (insurance) from primary care makes it affordable for most patients, less than the cost of typical cell phone or cable plans. Without the restrictions of insurance plans, physicians have more time for each patient and can address additional problems at one visit. Flexible, open schedules reduce unnecessary ER visits. When medically appropriate, some care can be managed over the phone or via secure messaging, without an office visit – saving time and money. Multiple problem visits, shorter waits, flexible office hours and more care outside of office visits means less time lost from work or family.
Direct Primary Care is NOT insurance and patients are strongly encouraged to have insurance coverage for emergencies and large medical expenses. Many patients and employers find a lower cost, higher deductible insurance plan works well with direct care and saves more than the price of a direct primary care membership.
Additionally, “out of network” reimbursement may be approved for some visits depending upon a patient’s insurance policy. We will provide visit documentation that patient’s may submit to their insurance twice annually as part of membership in the practice. Additional forms may be available for a small fee. Whether or not an insurance policy allows this reimbursement varies widely, check with your current insurance for information.
Most insurances, except HMO policies, will cover tests, consultations and procedures ordered by out of network providers. Again, check with your current insurance to confirm this and get details.
What does the term ‘Alpenglow’ mean?
Alpenglow describes the brilliant glow seen on mountain peaks at sunrise or sunset. Gold or red in color, it is often used to describe the glow from rocky peaks which can illuminate the dark valley below. It is an amazing sight which lasts only a few moments. We symbolize it to mean how our style of medicine casts light into the dark valleys of most of medicine today, bringing hope.
If I don’t have health insurance, can I still join Alpenglow Family Medicine?
Yes! While we do very much recommend health insurance to provide for catastrophic coverage of severe events requiring hospitalization, emergency treatment, and specialty procedures and treatments, we do not require you to have insurance. We also do not process or file insurance claims on your behalf, which is how we can provide much lower costs for your care. Like most Direct Primary Care clinics we feel, in most instances, insurance has limited or no benefit in the primary care setting as it creates far too much waste. By removing the insurance hassles, we can provide much better, personalized care through affordable monthly fees.
Is a Direct Primary Care clinic good for me even if I don’t see the doctor often?
We believe having a familiar, trusting relationship with your primary doctor is important even when you are well. We offer a number of beneficial services to help our members improve their health and prevent future illness. Also, many of our patients tell us they don’t see the doctor often, then once they try using our secure mobile app, or easy face to face access with an experienced clinician who knows their health situation, they really value the premium service we offer.
I’m a small business owner, can Alpenglow Family Medicine help our small business?
Absolutely! We are happy to partner with you to bring our quality services to your employees and save them time away from work waiting at the doctor’s office. Small businesses using Direct Care tell us their employees really value the accessibility to care which reduces lost time and workers comp claims, while increasing productivity and job satisfaction. Please contact us if you would like to learn more.