Why Direct Primary Care?
Dr. Shabazz first made an annoucement on Facebook that we'd be transitioning to a Direct Primary Care (DPC) hybrid model in November 2021. Many patients want to know why we are making this change. Direct Primary Care is an increasingly popular model of care that many independent physicians and their patients are choosing.
Micro-management by insurance companies has gotten out of control.
Despite high premiums for health insurance, deductibles and other out of pocket costs for patients have gotten higher and higher.
Having lots of patients in the insured model detracts from the level of attention each patient can get.
We can do what you've come to expect: Keep it real with you!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a practice style that is quickly spreading across the country. We won’t accept your insurance and instead will contract directly with our patients to provide medical services for an affordable upfront fee that fits most income levels. The core structure has several basic principles that return the privacy, quality and time to the doctor-patient relationship.
What are the advantages to DPC for me?
There are no copays. You can schedule as many appointments as you need, call, or send a secure text or portal message whenever you need. Everything that is routinely done in the office is included (physicals, forms, EKG’s, lesion freezing or removal, nebulizer treatments, on-site testing, etc.). For any tests that must be sent out, you have the option of using your health insurance to cover those costs. If you do not have health insurance, we have discount arrangements with a lab that allows you to get charged at our cost, which is usually the lowest price available.
Because we are taking the middleman out, we can maintain the practice with fewer patients. Visits are scheduled for between 20-60 minutes long depending on what you need. I already try to be thorough and discuss lots of issues at one visit, but that usually makes me run late. Now, if we need to schedule another appointment to take care of other issues, there’s no extra cost to have another visit the next week or as many visits as it takes to get you squared away.
You’ve always had after-hours access via phone. Now we will also be able to communicate via secure text message. There may be times when you need to go to the ER or urgent care center, but most times, we could figure out how to get you taken care of without that extra expense.
We will reserve space on the schedule for same day/next day DPC visits either in person or via telehealth.
We are actively negotiating discounted process for medications, labs, & imaging. These costs are often pennies on the dollar and can be applied to an HSA, FSA or out-of network deductible. You may be able to off-set the upfront service fee through submission of a fee slip to your plan when you have an office or telehealth visit.
There are no denials of care we provide or insurance company restrictions on what is ordered. The art of healing cannot be timed, quantified, or restricted.
How much will this cost?
Our current patients can enroll with an automated payment method by 6/1/2022 for $99/month for the first year with no added processing fee. If you choose to pay in one lump sum, we’ll discount the cost to $999 for the first year (9 is my favorite number)
Beginning March 15, patients will be charged based on the payment plan they choose:
$1200/yr when paid in one lump sum.
$119/month ($1200/yr + $228 processing fee) if paying in 12 monthly installments. First 2 months due at sign up.
$325/quarter ($1200/yr + $100 processing fee) if paying in 4 quarterly installments.
The cost for children & young adults aged 0-21 is 50% off of the annual fee ($600/yr). If you have a big family and you’re not sure you can swing it, let’s talk.
What if I can’t afford this?
We will continue serving our Medicaid and Medicare patients to make sure that those most in need will be able to keep Dr. Shabazz & Fountain Medical Associates as their PCP using their government benefits. However, we will no longer participate in Independence Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plans. When the next open enrollment period rolls around, we will further streamline to the Medicare Advantage plans that are easiest for us to work with.
Do I still need insurance?
Yes…and no. While insurance is not required to stay with us as a DPC patient, we strongly recommend that you maintain some type of coverage. While primary care services are affordable, unexpected health expenses like hospitalization are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. We are negotiating discounts for many common outpatient services, but it is wise to have something in place for big medical expenses.