What Makes a DPC Office Special?
One of the key differences between a conventional insurance-based primary care practice and a Direct Primary Care practice is the overall structure of the office space. (see the latest update on new location)
When you first walk in, you’ll immediately notice a difference:
- Instead of a large waiting area, we will have a cozy “lounge” area. I do not call it a waiting room because patients will not actually WAIT to see me or my nurse Meghann.
- There will not be a crowded waiting room with contagious patients. There will be no front desk staff of 5-10 employees. Instead, patients who enter the door will be greeted by Meghann at the reception desk, checked in without the need to verify “insurance”, and brought back into an exam room.
The exam rooms are different, too:
- The exam room as well as the rest of the space will be a warm, homey environ with lots of soft colors and natural light so patients feel relaxed.
- The space will be sterile and immaculate without feeling like a a cold and impersonal conventional office.
Your visit with me will be thorough and personalized:
- Instead of visits that last 15 minute or less, patients will be in the exam room or my office for no less than 30 minutes (or even more if needed).
- There are no rushed visits with patients being filed in and out of exam rooms.
- There will be no computers or kiosks in the exam room. Attention will be given to the conversation being had with the patient. Laptops may be brought in on occasion to demonstrate medical education or show anatomical pictures, but never at the expense of patient-physician interaction.
The whole focus of a DPC office is to make our patients feel relaxed and comfortable, whether they are there for a routine checkup or a sick visit.
We want our office to feel like our patients’ true medical home!
Update on the Office Construction
We are getting close to opening day on February 2, 2015!
Our office is located at 123 Pleasant Street in Marblehead, MA – in the same building as the Warwick Theater and Palmers Restaurant.
We’re located conveniently on corner of the first floor, with an entrance right from the sidewalk. The area has ample street parking, and the building includes a large parking lot in the back.
See some picture of the status on our office construction:
2015 Edition of “DPC Consumer/Patient Guide”
Direct Primary Care Journal is a great resource for news about Direct Primary Care.
They’ve just released the 2015 Edition of “DPC Consumer/Patient Guide.”
“At about 98+ pages, “The DPC Consumer Guide“ is widely used in physician offices. undergraduate and medical college classrooms, and corporate offices worldwide. More than a dozen of the new entries in the 2015 Edition are in the sections on FAQs About DPC, which include: The Difference Between Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care (DPC); How Does This Work With My Flex Spending Account, Medical Savings, HSA or HRA? and Does DPC pair well with insurance plans? and more.”
How to Learn More
At Gold Direct Care we are working with a team of consultants at MedFirst Partners. They specialize in converting traditional primary care practices into DPC practices. They are thoroughly educated in the DPC model of medicine and will be able to answer any and all questions that you may have.
You can get in touch with Susan from MedFirst Partners via email at SUSAN.ABRAMOVICH@MEDFIRSTPARTNERS.COM or via phone at 1-800-939-1850 ext. 1.
Direct Primary Care – A Primer
What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
DPC is an innovative primary care model of medicine in which the physician-patient relationship is at the heart of how medicine is practiced. DPC practices offer a full range of primary care services for a monthly or annual retainer fee paid directly to the practice.
How does a DPC practice differ from a traditional primary care practice?
In a traditional primary care practice, doctors are compensated based on how they code and the quantity of patients they see, rather than based on the quality of care that they provide. In a DPC practice, quality of care is the number one priority. By cutting down on the panel size of patients from approximately 2500 patients to 600-800 patients, doctors working in a DPC practice are able to spend unlimited time with patients; patients have easier access to appointment times that meet their scheduling needs; patients are guaranteed to see their doctor, not another provider; patients are able to reach out to their doctor via e-mail and cell phone. These are just some of the benefits of a DPC practice.
What role does insurance play in a DPC practice? Will Gold Direct Care accept insurance?
Insurance has no role in a DPC practice, therefore Gold Direct Care will not be accepting insurance. Gold Direct Care will charge a flat monthly or annual fee that will cover all comprehensive primary care services. The patient will still need to retain an insurance policy in the event of catastrophic illness or hospitalization. At Gold Direct Care we recommend a high deductible insurance plan with a lower monthly premium as we have discounted labs done on site, reduced imaging fees at outside sites, and reduced generic medication prices at a local pharmacy. We can also work with you to customize an insurance plan that works in conjunction with DPC.
Is DPC Insurance and does it replace insurance?
No it is not insurance nor does it replace it as stated above. Insurance is an important part of specialist and hospital care. Similar to automobile insurance, our health insurance system was originally designed to pay for rare, unpredictable, and extremely expensive problems. It is essential when patients need emergency care or an operation and chemotherapy treatments, care provided by specialists and hospitals.
Can I use my insurance elsewhere if I join Gold Direct Care?
Your insurance plans will continue to operate “as usual” at other doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies. Some plans do not require a designated “gatekeeper” doctor for referrals, medications, tests, and the like, so Gold Direct Care can order those services as needed just as any other doctor would do. Some HMO-style plans do require an “in-network” primary care doctor for access to other services, so these plans do not pair as well with membership at Gold Direct Care. Please check with your insurance company.
What if I need to be referred to a specialist?
The hope is that by spending more time with your primary care physician, the need to refer you to a specialist will decrease significantly. However, in the event that you do need to be referred to a specialist, Dr. Gold will personally call the specialist on your behalf in order to schedule an expedited appointment. Gold Direct Care will also be offering a service called RubiconMD that does online consultations with some of the top specialists in all fields from teaching hospitals across the country. Dr. Gold will also continue to work with all of the NSMC/MGH specialists in the area.
What is the impact on Medicare patients?
At Gold Direct Care, we accept patients that are on Medicare; however, we do not bill Medicare, nor can the patient bill Medicare for primary care services that we provide. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications, referrals to specialists, and hospitalizations. Our consultants at Medfirst Partners can also answer more specific questions regarding Medicare as this can be very confusing for patients and we want to simplify this as much as possible.
What services are included with membership?
Your annual physical exam; up to 12 sick visits throughout the year; guaranteed same-day or next-day appointments; access to Dr. Gold via his personal cell phone and e-mail. E visits through Skype, FaceTime, etc are also included.