What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care is a membership-based medical care model that is similar to a Gym membership. It is a nation-wide movement of Primary Care physicians working to re-establish the patient-doctor relationship by taking insurance companies out of the relationship. Instead of using health insurance to pay for access to primary care, the patient pays a simple monthly fee, and in return gets timely, quality care visits with their doctor without copays or deductibles. It is designed to be affordable for patients who both have and do not have insurance. DPC includes the regular office visits, same day visits, and more modern, flexible care options including being able to communicate with the provider and his staff via email, text, phone or video telemedicine because insurance does not dictate how or when care needs to be delivered. Also, iMed.MD DPC providers limit the number of patients that they take care of so they can deliver the highest quality of care to their patients.
Is Direct Primary Care Insurance?
No. The monthly fee only covers ongoing primary care services. You can come to the office for an in-person visit. If you cannot get away from work, are traveling or just find it more convenient, you can be seen via telephone, text or video call. There are some types of visits that need to be done in person, and it will be great to see you in the office on those days.
We still recommend having at least "catastrophic" or wrap around insurance to cover emergencies and the unexpected. Many times, changing to a high deductible plan and HSA (health savings account) will more than pay for the monthly fee in DPC.
Why is Direct Primary Care a better option?
Many patients today and in the near future will end up having high deductible plans, where the insurance won’t cover the first $2,000-$5,000 that they spend anyway. At Wishing Wellness we strive to serve our patients not only through prevention but through peace of mind. We are accessible to our patients when our patients need us the most. Using a DPC membership model, patients can maximize the amount of healthcare they get and minimize their cost. In this new model of care, we work with our patients directly to address issues when they come up as well as help set up lifestyle goals. We do not charge co-pays. Any procedures we can do in our office like: EKG, PFT’s, biopsies, joint injections are included without additional charge.
Is this like Concierge?
There are similarities to concierge medicine in that they both give you better access to your doctor when you need them. One main difference is that Concierge doctors still bill insurance, therefore, they are required to share patient information in order to collect a copayment, coinsurance, deductibles, and any non-covered service amounts as required by the health insurance contract. We do not bill insurance and therefore are not required to share your personal information with insurance companies.
Do I need to be a frequent utilizer of health care services to benefit from iMed’s Direct Primary Care?
There are so many benefits to DPC that you will likely discover many specific reasons personal to you that will make it invaluable to you. With careful planning, and using our discounted add on services, the DPC relationship may actually save you money while still providing all the wonderful benefits built into the model including timely access to care when you need it, a better patient-physician relationship, longer more meaningful visits, better preventative care, and discounted labs, medications, X-rays and other services. Some benefits save you money, and some are simply priceless.
Why pay if I have insurance?
Insurance doesn’t always equate to coverage. It also doesn't equal total quality healthcare and having insurance alone is not enough to have a medical home. High deductibles and long wait times to see a provider in a standard practice can be barriers to patient care. Direct Primary Care allows for better access to your physician reducing wait times to be seen and more flexibility by using electronic communication to simplify communication and save patient travel time when a face-to-face visit is not required including same day visits, visits through electronic means, etc.
Additionally, because of today's high deductibles and copays, many patients are not getting recommended labs, studies, and procedures. iMed’s direct primary care clinics negotiate discounts with labs, radiology centers, and medication discounts. We are continually working to improve access to services needed by our patient's and community and striving to lower overall healthcare costs.
Does iMed accept health insurance?
We do not bill or accept any insurance. We have a membership model via a monthly membership fee.
As a patient of iMed, will I still need health insurance?
Although health insurance is NOT necessary for membership, it is advised. We do encourage patients to maintain some level of health insurance to help cover the costs of medical care that you receive from medical providers/facilities outside of our practice. Insurance may help cover costs associated with, but not limited to, prescription medications, labs, imaging studies (X-rays, CT scans, MRI's, etc.), specialist consultations, hospitalizations, and surgeries. If you do not have insurance we can still work with you to find the most affordable options for medications, imaging and testing.
Can my insurance still be used in your office?
No. We are an insurance-free medical practice which means that we do not accept insurance. This does NOT mean, however, that patients with insurance cannot become members in our practice. Again, payment for our basic membership services provided through our office will be covered by the membership fee. We do have some "premium" services and supplies that are not covered, but are cash based. Because we do not contract with any insurance companies, we do advise you to review your insurance contract regarding "Out-of-Network" benefits for possible reimbursement of services you receive from us.
Are the membership fees reimbursable by my HSA/FSA?
You may want to check with your human resources department regarding the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) as possible payment options for your annual membership. If you are unable to use these funds to pay for the annual membership fee directly, there is a good chance that you can still use your HSA/FSA as reimbursement for certain services provided through our office.
Will I still benefit from a Direct Primary Care practice even if I don’t require frequent medical attention?
We love that question and we hear it often! Everyone benefits from medical care personalized directly for them. Our practice is committed to preventative health maintenance which is a long-term investment in you! Physicals, i.e., preventative health visits, are not just routine; they are opportunities for early disease detection, much like a state inspection for your car. Have questions about exercise, health, nutrition, vitamins? Talk to your doctor about them. Set up a visit or a phone call. Every appointment, regardless of the reason, will give us the opportunity to get to know you better and to build a long-standing relationship over time. As a result, individual care plans can be developed that are tailored to the individual needs of each patient.
What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?
Our patients, if hospitalized, are seen by a hospitalist. Our team communicates with hospitalists to make sure our patients are getting the best care possible. We are available to continue to be a source of trusted medical care and our patients will not be alone. Your care team can still visit you in the hospital and we will continue to coordinate the care you are getting by keeping in close contact with the hospitalist and specialists taking care of you. We will still refer patients to specialists as necessary and communicate with them directly so that they understand exactly what is expected from them.
Can I contact my physician after hours?
The purpose of our model is to provide timely same or next day Primary Care within our business hours. We do not provide 24/hr care. In the event of an emergency day or night please call 911.
What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?
In the event of an emergency day or night please call 911. If not an emergency, contact us, and we will work with you to determine the best way to handle your situation. We can connect via email, cell phone, text message, etc. If medications are needed we can help you find the nearest pharmacy and prescribe the medications you need.
How will I know if doctor Ramsey is the right fit for me?
Please set up an appointment to come meet with us. Or call us at the office so that we can personally answer your questions.
How do I join if the practice is full?
In order to provide the highest possible level of personalized, quality care to patients who choose our practice, we must limit membership. As a result, once our practice membership is full, a waiting list will be established. As openings become available, you will be contacted by a member of our team regarding membership.
What costs are involved in becoming a patient?
A membership fee, paid monthly or paid in full with a discount, is all that is required. This will cover the costs of providing care to you and your family throughout the year. We will not charge or collect any copayments/coinsurance/deductibles for regular visits. We do have some specialty plans including weight loss, that have additional fees.
Will I benefit if I do not require frequent medical attention?
Of course. We might argue that everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them. That’s why we offer truly custom healthcare. Our practice is devoted to the maintenance of your good health and to the enhancement of your daily experience that only physical well-being can bring. We’re here for your reactive needs. However, proactive healthcare is important and we’re here for that too.
At Innovative Medical Wellness Center, we have the gift of time. Even better? We get to give the gift of time. Every visit, for whatever reason, will be easygoing in its absolute thoroughness, relaxed in answering your questions and addressing the need of the moment. As the months and years go by, we will build a comprehensive and intimate knowledge of your health with invaluable understanding available in no other regimen of care.
Do you offer house calls?
We do not typically offer House Calls.
What happens if I miss a monthly payment?
To re-enroll you simply need to cover the time that lapsed between payments. This model of care is dependent on subscriptions and we will only have a limited number of patients to ensure the best care for all enrolled. Should your subscription lapse, we cannot guarantee it will not be filled by another patient.
Do you take care of kids?
Yes! Dr. Ramsey would love to see all members of your family from babies to great grandparents. However, one of the limitations of the model is vaccine delivery. Due to the small number of patients and the high cost of vaccines, we will not be able to offer vaccinations on site. However, we do believe that all patients should be fully vaccinated and will help to arrange for vaccine administration elsewhere.
What happens if i am hospitalized or need a specialist?
In providing excellent care with unprecedented sorts of access, we seek to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. When those types of care are required, we will certainly continue to work with your hospitalist during your hospital stay, as well as work closely with any referred specialist.
What is the policy on controlled substances?
We believe that controlled substances, both narcotics (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, etc.) and benzodiazepines (Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc), have a limited role in primary care. Therefore Dr. Ramsey prescribes them rarely and only very sparingly. We believe chronic pain requiring narcotics is best managed by a pain management specialist. We are happy to work with you on non-narcotic options for your pain and to manage your other medical conditions. We do not treat anxiety with benzodiazepines but are happy to offer other medications and techniques often successful in treating anxiety.
Can I still join if I have Medicare?
Dr. Ramsey will be happy to see you but he does not participate with Medicare, as he doesn't accept any insurance. You need only sign a one-time waiver declaring that neither you nor Dr. Ramsey will directly bill Medicare for services he provides. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications, or hospitalizations.