Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions
What is direct primary care?
The direct primary care model is a growing model of care that acknowledges that primary care should not be dictated by an insurance company, but should be based on the trusting relationship that a physician and family can build. Because we spend less time dealing with the rules of insurers and more time with you, our patients can expect less wait for appointments, more time with your doctor, and an apporach to your health that is right for you rather than for your insurer.
How is DPC different from Concierge medicine?
Why don’t you accept health insurance?
We do not believe that insurance is needed in the primary care office. We use the analogy of insuring your car for when it gets totaled, but not for routine oil changes and when things break. Direct Primary Care is more like your new car warranty. We believe that third-party payers have driven medical care in America, and associated soaring costs, and it is our belief this is not the best approach for primary care. Without the added complexity of coding, documentation, prior authorizations and co-pays, primary care can be delivered much more efficiently!
Do I need some type of insurance still?
Yes, even within the direct primary care model, we do think every person needs a high-deductible catastrophic insurance plan that covers hospitalization and prolonged severe illness. Primary care covers over 80% of a person's medical needs. There are affordable options for catastrophic plans, such as health sharing plans.
What’s wrong with our current healthcare system?
Primary care in America is in trouble. The typical primary care doctor has 2,300 patients. It is estimated that to truly care for 2,300 patients, the typical doctor would have to work 20 hours per day. Insurance for the average family of four costs over $16,000 annually and is increasing much faster than the average pay raise.
What about the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, mandating each person have health insurance?
Our model is not insurance and will not meet the criteria for the Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate will no longer be in effect begining 2019. There are alternatives to the insurance exchange that still meet the ACA mandate for insurance. If you would like to know more about that, let us know.
Are you always on call? Will I still be sent to the Urgent Care or ER on holidays/weekends?
You will always be able to reach a doctor. You can talk with us about what is happening and we can help you determine if the emergency room is really the right place. Sometimes, it is. Often times, it is not. If it is not the right place, we will help you figure out the best plan. Because we do not have to worry about the confines of insurance reimbursement, we can provide care whether you are in the office or not. Because we will have substantially fewer patients, we will know who you are and feel comfortable that the plan that we are creating is best for you.
What if I am sick while traveling?
Our members can call or text. Let us know what is happening, and we will discuss what is going on and decide if being seen at a local urgent care is necessary, or if your issue can be addressed over the phone with a local pharmacy if needed. We want to save you an unecessary trip to the ED or urgent care if we are able!
Does my membership apply to Urgent Care, ER or Specialist costs?
We provide primary care, and are committed to helping you avoiding a costly ER or Urgent care visit. However, sometimes this is necessary. Any Urgent Care or ER costs are your responsibility, as well as seeing Specialists, and any labs and imaging.
I own a business, can I provide this service to my employees?
This works great for smaller companies that want to attract high quality employees by offering this great benefit. Ask about our special corporate rates. NoCo Primary care is not a worker’s compensation provider, but can treat minor work related problems, and minimize your employees time away from work, often saving a claim on your worker’s compensation policy.
How can I save on insurance costs by being a patient of NoCo Primary Care?
You can purchase an expensive insurance plan with little to no co-pay, and with coverage of lab and prescription costs. However, your membership with NoCo Primary care covers your office visits at our practice, in-office tests, and may procedures without co-pays or surprise charges. You also get the benefit of discounted labs and imaging, as well as wholesale +10% on many prescriptions. You may find that combining your membership at NoCo Primary Care and a low cost “catastrophic” plan may save you significant amounts of money.