Are you afraid to ask a question when you’re at your yearly physical appointment with your doctor? Have you ever been charged extra for asking about a cough, or that your blood pressure isn’t controlled, or you asked whether you might have an infection?
In traditional medicine, there are all kinds of regulations from insurance companies. The yearly physical includes certain components which we must address. And if we document a couple issues that are not included in the routine physical, it’s FRAUD if we don’t bill for the extra issues! It’s like providing free care for all the extra answers. We can’t provide free care to some and charge other people. We can get in trouble if we charge too little or charge too much. We must submit “codes” that document what services we provide. We spend a lot of time justifying ourselves to the insurance companies, hoping they will pay us for our work.
That’s why it’s SO freeing for me to have my own DPC (Direct Primary Care) practice. I don’t answer to insurance companies. If someone asks me about a splinter, I pull out my magnification and take a look, removing the splinter if needed. A price list from a traditional practice says the charge for “remove foreign body subcutaneous simple” (removing a splinter) is $260! What do I charge? Nothing extra – it’s included in the DPC membership.
With DPC, patients pay a monthly membership, and all office visits and communication are included. And we develop a personalized doctor-patient relationship. I’m working for my patients, instead of the insurance companies.