Your average physician’s office cannot accommodate the needs of the 2000+ patients that they have per doctor in the normal day. If the doctor is full or not in the office that day, they will often either recommend that you come in and see a non-physician practitioner or go to the local urgent care where you can walk-in anytime you need it.
At Direct Primary Care practices, like Direct Doctors, we do our best to be available to you when you need it. While we can’t guarantee 24/7 in-person access, we can be sure to get back to you when you have an urgent need. Our patients text, email and call us when they have an urgent concern and they hear back from their doctor directly within hours (and usually within minutes!). When scheduling allows and the need requires an in-person assessment or treatment, their doctor directly schedules them to come in for what they need.
We’ve done a few blogs about health care pricing (medications, office/ER visits, etc). Another big health care cost hurdle that patients deal with quite often is the cost of labs or blood work. If you’re a patient with typical insurance, have you ever received a bill from a lab for several hundred dollars for “routine blood work?” You probably assumed insurance would “cover” everything because you pay for an expensive health insurance plan. Or maybe you’re a patient without insurance or a high deductible plan that has to pay for many costs before insurance even kicks in. Have you ever wondered why labs cost so much? Or why the typical primary care practice you were going to didn’t warn you about the costs or ask your financial situation to be sure you could pay for such costs? Most likely, the pricing you received on your bill didn’t look like this:
Every year we release a blog about the open enrollment season and things folks should think about when purchasing health insurance. Most of the information is consistent this year, though I’ve updated things a bit below:
Whether you purchase your insurance through the state, government, employer or directly from the vendors, this can be a daunting process. There are often many choices, with slight differences that are difficult to decipher. Beyond that, because price transparency is such an issue in healthcare, it is often hard to plan or budget for future costs when there is no way to find out how much these services actually cost! Below, I’ve tried to outline a couple tips while going through this process.
Over the past few years, we’ve highlighted the savings of over $3000 in 2 years that the Smith family was able to keep on hand because of being members of our DPC practice at Direct Doctors.
In 2016, we highlighted the following cost savings on medications:
Since then, we’ve continued to share our wholesale medication pricing with our patients. Some of the most common medication savings we pass on to patients are:
Because in RI doctors are able to wholesale order medications for their patients when clinically appropriate, we can cut out the pharmacy/insurance middle men and offer direct pricing to our patients at cost. This reflects a savings to patients, especially on chronic medications, that is not found in the typical primary care practice.
These are just examples but we are always happy to help interested patients compare pricing to see if the addition of medication-cost-savings may tip the scale in favor of a DPC membership. Check us out at www.directdoctors.org for more info!
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.