About Direct Primary Care
Direct Primary Care is an increasingly popular model of care that puts the relationship between the doctor and the patient first, while minimizing cost and restrictions that often burden traditional practices that take insurance. In this model, fees are paid directly to your doctor on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, and there are no hidden fees or complex invoices.
While most Family Physicians have a patient panel of 2,500 to 4,000, DPC physicians usually keep their numbers in the hundreds. This means more relaxed visits without feeling rushed, easier access for appointments and refills, and a doctor who calls you back personally when you have a question. Imagine a doctor who has time to focus on YOU, not on paperwork and billing.
The differences between DPC and Concierge Doctors:
Membership Fee: In both direct primary care and concierge medicine, there is an enrollment fee. In DPC, this is a one-time administrative fee, usually between $75-300. In a concierge model, this is generally over $1000 and may be paid annually. In DPC, members typically then pay a monthly fee to include all of their visits throughout the course of the year. Concierge practice visits are usually billed through insurance, therefore subject to market prices.
What the Membership Fee Covers: In concierge medicine, the annual fee covers enrollment at the practice. Sometimes a comprehensive physical is a routine yearly benefit. Physical exam screening tests that go beyond what traditional insurance or a government program would support, may be paid out of pocket by patients. In contrast, the DPC membership fee generally covers all patient visits throughout the year. Most DPC physicians include an annual physical as part of the membership fee.
Cost: Concierge medicine membership fees tend to be higher than DPC membership fees. DPC membership fees are usually priced on a sliding scale, where younger patients pay less than older patients (assuming more complex). Sometimes family rates are available. DPC physicians secure low rates for labs and medications, passing those wholesale prices to patients. In concierge, these are typically billed through insurance, so rates are comparable to market prices.
Third Party Payers: Most traditional concierge medicine physicians continue to accept insurance plans and government programs, and patient visits are billed in the traditional manner in addition to their membership fees. In DPC, the doctor does not accept third party reimbursements. The membership fees paid by the patient cover all office visits for the duration of the membership.
In Our Patients’ Words
“Dr. Jessica Kaiser Mendelsohn was my Primary Care Physician for many years. My health was complicated through those years and I will always be grateful to her for her care given to me. Dr. Kaiser (as she was then) was compassionate, caring, knowledgeable and professional. She KNEW ME....She LISTENED TO ME....She TOOK TIME TO HEAR ME....and TOGETHER I was given extraordinary care!! I will always be grateful for that care that brought to my life the ultimate care of a physician....care that enhanced my mind, body, and spirit!!”-- Nancy H., Fort Mill, SC
“I simply cannot say enough about the care my family and I received as Dr. Kaiser’s patients. I transferred to her practice at a time in my life when I needed not only physical care, but emotional and mental as well. She always encouraged me to be an active participant in my quest for overall well-being. Dr. Kaiser also served as my teenage daughters’ physician. Both girls absolutely adored Dr. Kaiser’s easy-going personality, approachability, and candor. Our family recommends her without hesitation!”-- Lori C., Charlotte, NC
“Dr. Kaiser (Mendelsohn) is the best doctor I have ever had. When she left her practice in Pineville I was devastated. She always made time for me, always listened carefully and never rushed me out of the office. She was so kind when my Mother passed away – I’ll never forget her huge hug. It was like visiting an old friend rather than the just an allotted 10-minute office visit. I will join her new practice as soon as she opens it and I will be delighted to be back with her.”-- Jane G., Fort Mill, SC
“I had just about given up on doctors and myself for that matter, until I met Dr. Mendelsohn. I was tired of being judged by my cover and not heard for my story. Not only did Dr. Mendelsohn not judge me, she listened to me. She looked me in my eye and heard what I had to say. Most importantly, she believed in me. She always made me feel like we were working as a team and her belief in me morphed into me remembering how to believe in myself. I remember the day she told me she was leaving the practice, I was sad...but when I learned she was moving on to Hospice, I realized it was ok. The Hospice patients and their families needed her more than I did – her care and compassion were something that I knew in my core they could not be receiving from any other provider and they were going to be blessed with an intelligent doctor who would also care about them as people and the life events that lie ahead. If you are choosing Dr. Mendelsohn, without a doubt, you are choosing to put your health in the hands of one of the best!”-- Lynn D., Fort Mill, SC
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