Take a moment to explore the benefits of doctor direct’s practice so you can decide whether or not it's the right choice for you and your family.
Direct Primary Care, or DPC, is a model of healthcare that puts patients first by getting rid of the red tape that constrains traditional practices.
How? It's simple: we don't accept insurance, and instead we charge a low monthly membership fee that covers all your primary care office visits.
This membership is coupled with discounted medications and labs.
Believe it or not – this actually saves you money in the long run.
You won't have to pay a co-pay for any office visits or routine physicals.
You'll be able to avoid many visits altogether by sending your questions directly to us via email and text – something you won't get from a traditional practice.
We've negotiated some pretty good deals for prescription medications, blood tests, and even XRays on your behalf.
And, we pass those savings right on to you.
More importantly, since you are getting all this amazing care from us, you can re-think and adjust your insurance premiums.
Most DPC patients find a high-deductible, lower premium insurance plan so they're covered in the case of a major health issue.
But leave the rest of your healthcare to us.
Awesome, you're healthy. HIGH FIVE. FIST BUMP. Good health is what we all strive for.
Chances are, however, you will at sometime get unexpectedly sick or have an inconvenient accident or injury. doctor direct will be there for you, able to give you the care you will need without long waits or expensive Urgent Care co-pays or ER fees.
With out-of-pocket deductibles close to or over $5,000, it doesn’t take much more than a trip or two to Urgent Care or the ER for the cost of doctor direct to be well worth the low monthly fee.
Yes, sort of… but with a few distinct differences.
Concierge medicine has traditionally described a medical practice for wealthy patients who pay an expensive premium upwards of $5,000 annually to see their doctor. Concierge doctors typically still participate in insurance, so the rules and restrictions of health insurance are still in place.
Direct Primary Care does offer patients concierge like service and personalized primary care.
However, direct primary care like doctor direct offers membership fees that are much more affordable (typically only $500-1000/ year) and does not participate in insurance.
This makes personal healthcare without hassles affordable to everyone.
Here’s a few articles that profile the Direct Primary Care approach to medicine:
American Academy of Family Physicians Direct Primary Care
See our prices on our pricing page. We charge a flat monthly fee and in exchange you get unlimited office visits, close to wholesale prices on prescription medication & lab testing, your doctor's email address & cell phone number, and a whole lot more.
We don't charge an enrollment fee when you sign up.
The fee covers all of the office visits you may need with no copay, ever.
This includes the following: annual wellness exams, sports physicals, school physicals, chronic care office visits, follow-up visits, basic office procedures and treatment of acute illness or minor injuries, all with minimal wait times in the office.
The fee also covers direct communications with your doctor: phone, text, email or video chat.
Our active members also have access to discounted labs, prescriptions and special procedures pricing not included in the membership fees.
We treat all kinds of common everyday problems like colds, flu, strep, rashes and injuries.
We also treat more complicated long term medical problems like adult diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and thyroid disorder.
Our physicians will coordinate a patient’s care with the hospital’s team and there isn’t an extra charge for this service. If you require hospital care you will likely be under the care of a specialist, and that’s not covered by our fee. Other hospital charges and associated costs will still apply. That’s when your insurance will come in. Dr. Walsh and Dr. Kwark will then pick up your care upon discharge. They will work closely with the specialists and hospital team upon admission and discharge so that there is continuity in all of your care.
Yes. doctor direct currently accepts patients 5years and older.
We ask that children be fully immunized according to North Carolina requirements.
Although we like to try and answer most routine questions and calls during office hours, we realize illness and injury don't always happen between 9am-5pm.
You may call, text, or email your physician whenever you need.
Physician access is one of the greatest benefits of the direct primary care model.
We'll be there for you~ via phone, email or text.
Because you'll have your doctor's email and phone number, you can reach out to us whenever you need, wherever you are.
Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation.
We’ll help you locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most appropriate for your circumstances.
If you need to go to the hospital or seek other medical attention while away from home, we can advise you on that as well.
In a nutshell, no.
Patient privacy is a natural benefit of this medical model and we maintain high standards of patient privacy.
We will never provide any third party with a copy of your records, unless you specifically ask us to do so or if doctor direct is legally required to so.
Charges will be added at the time of service and applied to your preferred method of payment.
In other words, you can pay for those at the time of service with cash, check or credit card.
We expect to have an open, honest, respectful relationship with you.
If you have voiced a complaint that we cannot satisfy together, we will gladly allow you to terminate your membership.
We do request a 30day written notice of cancellation.
If you choose to rejoin, re-enrollment fees will be applied ($100/re-enrollment).
No, happily no! And that is a bonus for both you and us.
Perhaps the most critical distinction in our model of care is that the patient & doctor are front and center.
We do only what is best and right for every patient, without restrictions on medication formularies, networks or authorizations.
When patient and a doctor work together like a TEAM, healthCARE becomes simple.
And when all the red tape is removed, healthCARE becomes affordable.
Think of your auto insurance. You use that for emergencies and accidents, right?
You don't expect your auto insurance to cover oil changes and tire rotations.
Now apply that same logic to health insurance.
Use health insurance for the "big stuff" like surgery or hospitalizations.
But primary care... Well, that's routine maintenance, much like your car's oil change.
So make it simple and leave health insurance out of the exam room.
Yes, we take care of any patient regardless of your insurance situation.
Since we work completely outside of the insurance system, none of what we do here is eligible for insurance reimbursement.
Yes. We recommend that you do have insurance to comply with Federal Law.
doctor direct is not an insurance plan, nor does it replace insurance.
Ideally, we encourage our patients to carry a high deductible, major medical plan or a plan with a health savings account.
Another option many of our patients use is a Share Plan, like Medi-Share or Liberty HealthShare.
Having a high deductible or a share plan ensures financial help should hospitalization or referral to a specialist be necessary.
You should consult with your insurance provider to help you find a plan that works best with our medical model and that will meet your specific needs.
Yes. However, your monthly membership fee cannot be submitted to Medicare for reimbursement.
You will be asked to sign a waiver that declares that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for your membership fee.
Medicare and medicare supplemental insurance will still cover medical costs that you incur outside of doctor direct.
For example, prescriptions that you fill at an outside pharmacy, or labs run at an outside lab, or hospital charges, physical therapy, x-rays and scans are can still be covered by your Medicare. You do not lose your Medicare coverage for other medical needs just because you are a patient of doctor direct.
Absolutely not. Our doctors’ motivation is simply to improve patients’ health care.
There is actually a provision in the ACA that allows for this type of practice.
Both Dr. Walsh and Dr. Kwark believe that this approach provides the best care at the best price for almost every patient.
This is a question that has a tough and confusing answer.
HSAs & FSAs are a smart way to pay for your health care needs with pre-tax dollars. IRS regulations make it pretty clear that all DPC services are covered medical expenses reimbursable through HSAs and FSAs, but at the same time, the IRS claims that DPC memberships are health plans, and therefore fees are not reimbursable when employees combine DPC with any other “health plan” (like the catastrophic or high deductible insurance most DPC patients need).
It gets even more complicated as the Affordable Care Act and many state laws have clearly stated that DPC plans are not insurance.
The issue is being addressed at the federal level with legislation called the Primary Care Enhancement Act.
In the meantime, the best thing to do is check with your health plan, insurance broker or employer.
In many ways, patients already are paying twice:
co pays, co-insurance, deductibles, non-covered services, out-of-network charges, the list goes on…
The average family of four pays over $4,000 in out of pocket medical expenses over the course of a year.
With Direct Primary Care, like doctor direct, you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in out of pocket costs.
Become a patient at doctor direct and get more value for your healthcare dollars.
Check out our FAQs, request more information, or become a member!