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Q&A with the Doc

How is direct primary care different than a regular family doctor office?

Direct primary care doctors do not bill insurance. We do not offer “fee for service”. The patient pays one flat rate monthly fee and gets all services normally offered at a primary care office but they get the advantage of better access to his/her doctor. For example, when the majority of Americans go to a primary care office they wait an average of 25 minutes before they see the doctor. Then, the doctor has about 10-15 minutes to address all problems and has to move on to the next patient. In the direct primary care model, there is little to no wait for appointments and appointments can be as long as the doctor and patient need them to be. A normal fee for service primary care doctor has 2500-3000 patients that they care for. Direct Primary Care doctors usually have a total of 500 patients. This frees up a lot of time for me to provide the care that you need–that old time front porch care we used to have with doctors before insurance companies invaded the exam room. Not to mention all the amazing wholesale labs and medication pricing I can get for you!

How does this save me money?

You don’t need to pay any co-pay for office visits or a physical. You won’t have to come in for a visit every time you are sick or you need something you can just message me or call. Your medications and lab testing will be significantly cheaper because I’ve negotiated wholesale lab and medication pricing and I’m passing on my savings to you. You also can opt for a cheaper insurance plan with a higher deductible, which also saves money

Is direct primary care insurance?

No. We are not an insurance company and do not provide insurance. I recommend that you maintain an insurance plan for catastrophic health conditions and speciality care. You can still use your insurance when needed and can still list me (Dr. Phillips) as your doctor under your insurance plan. I will code all orders for imaging and speciality referrals under your insurance if desired. I do not provide super bills for insurance reimbursement. Think about it: you don’t have insurance for getting your car maintenance, right? You don’t need insurance for primary care!

What is a D.O.? Why doesn’t Dr. Phillips have M.D. by her name?

D.O. stands for “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine”. D.O. doctors attend medical school and undergo the same residency training as M.D. doctors. We even take the same board exams! The only difference is that D.O. medical school philosophy teaches the tenets of osteopathic medicine. We are taught early on in training to approach the human body as a whole person, and that the body wants to heal itself and regulate itself. We aren’t as quick to prescribe medications at the drop of a hat, and understand that structure and function are interrelated. For example, if you come in for swelling in your legs I’m likely going to ask questions about how much salt you are eating in your diet before just giving you a water pill. I may also do some OMT adjustments to help your somatic kidney function. I’m still able to prescribe that water pill, but I focus on all parts of the body and how they relate when formulating treatment plans for my patients. I am not a nateropath and I am not a functional medicine doctor. I adhere to medical standard of care and evidence based modern medicine. I am willing to work with all patients requesting alternative treatment plans and alternative vaccine schedules. I very much believe that I am your helper in your health–I don’t want to just tell you what to do but I want to come alongside you and your family members to help you be the healthiest you can be.

What extra costs can I expect in addition to my membership?  Are there any hidden fees?

There are no hidden fees at Front Porch Family Medicine.  We do have ancillary services in the clinic that you have access to as a member.  You will be charged for these services in addition to your membership fee.  These costs are outlined below and can vary.  We confirm with you before applying any of these charges to your account. Please understand that we are passing on dramatic savings to our members and are not attempting to make a profit off of these fees.  These charges simply cover the clinics costs.  These prices are for enrolled members only.  

Lab Fees: standard yearly labs cost $28 dollars. This includes cell counts (CBC), metabolic and

liver panel (CMP), cholesterol panel, diabetes screening (A1C), and thyroid screening (TSH).

Other labs may be indicated during the course of your treatment. We can negotiate lower fees

for specialized labs where needed.

Pap Smears and Skin Biopsies: pathology fees can range from 30 dollars and can sometimes

cost up to 600-700 dollars. We are unable to anticipate if a skin lesion pathology report will

have additional charges. Most skin biopsies end up costing 100-200 dollars but if it is a possible

skin cancer the pathologist will do additional stains and examination and you would be

responsible for this additional cost. Pap smear and Fit testing is usually 20-50 dollars. 

Medications: Dr. Phillips dispenses generic non-controlled medications directly to members. Most medications range from 3-10 dollars for a 90 day supply. If you want meds shipped you can pay another 4-5 dollars or medications can be picked up at the clinic during business hours.

Acupuncture: Dr. Phillips performs auricular acupuncture. The cost of the needles for the

procedure ranges from 10-20 dollars per treatment.

Joint injections, Intramuscular injections of medications: 8-10 dollars per injection

Medicinal THC cards: filing fee from government $25 (not billed through clinic).  These are only provided to established members as part of a tailored individual treatment plan under the care of Dr. Phillips.  These are not issued under a one time/urgent care visit.  

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