At Arrow Primary Care, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about our practice or about the DPC model in general. However, there are a few questions that get asked a lot, so we’ve answered some of them below. Simply click on a question to reveal the answer:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- 1What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a novel model of delivering superb and personal primary care to patients for a simple and affordable monthly fee. It’s like a gym membership. With your monthly fee you get direct access to your doctor at a time that you need and for the amount of time that is necessary. Insurance is not required to be a member and most services and procedures are included in the monthly fee. There are no co-pays. There are no middlemen, corporations or other third-party interests getting in the way. It’s just you and the doctor.
- 2Is this Concierge Medicine?
No. Concierge Medicine charges a much higher and usually unaffordable fee and they also bill your insurance company. Direct Primary Care has a much more budget-friendly monthly price that most families can afford and we will not bill your insurance. Like Concierge Medicine, Direct Primary Care will deliver personal and around the clock care. It’s an affordable luxury.
- 3If I am a healthy person, does it make sense for me to be a member?
Yes. We will not only see you when you’re sick without making you wait, but we will also be available to you via in-person visits and phone calls to discuss healthy lifestyle choices and to provide guidance in making medical or health decisions. Feeling stressed? Give the doctor a call or text to see what can be done to reduce this stress. Having trouble deciding on a diet plan? Come on in to discuss this today or tomorrow. The current medical system should value preventative medicine, not reactive medicine. With the monthly membership, you can have this assistance without additional cost.
- 4I have good insurance. Should I still become a member?
Absolutely! Add up your monthly premiums, paycheck deductions, co-pays, medication costs and diagnostic costs from last year. Average health care expenses for a family of 4 in 2018 was over $12,000. A yearly membership for a family to Arrow Primary Care is $2400 and this includes most services. We will also save you about 85% on medications and diagnostic testing. Combine this with a high deductible/low premium plan and you will save a lot. If you don’t change plans and break even, you are still getting personal and direct access to your physician when you and your family need it.
- 5Can I call or see you anytime I want?
Not exactly. We are available after hours by phone for urgent matters and via email and text for non-urgent matters. You can expect a reply via text or email within 24 hours if you choose to communicate that way. We do have office hours and ask you to contact us during working hours with questions that are less than urgent. We will be able to see you on weekends and evenings in the rare event your medical issue cannot wait until the next business day.
- 6Do I still need insurance if I am a member of Arrow Primary Care?
Although not required to be a member, we recommend having health insurance for emergencies, hospitalizations and specialist care. When paired with a catastrophic plan/high deductible plan, a membership fulfills the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for full insurance.
Many patients use their current insurance or switch to a high deductible plan when joining our practice.
- 7How does health insurance work with Arrow Primary Care?
We do not bill your insurance. We work with you directly for the best and most affordable care. We have decided to forgo billing insurance to provide more time with patients and provide uninterrupted care. You can still use your current insurance plan for labs, imaging studies, specialist care, etc. However, many patients will use our negotiated discounts on these services to save even more money.
- 8Will Medicare cover my membership?
We are unable to bill Medicare for your membership or other services we provide. However, you may still use Medicare for specialist care, labs, medications, imaging, etc. outside of our practice.
- 9Can I be seen at Arrow Primary Care if I am not a member?
We are trying to cultivate a superb doctor-patient relationship and do require a membership to be seen. We encourage you to schedule a meet and greet with Dr. Carnathan to see if this practice is right for you.
- 10What is not covered with a membership?
- Care given by providers outside of our practice is not covered.
- Medications are not covered but are offered a wholesale/discounted prices.
- Laboratory testing is not covered, but many inhouse testing is covered or offered at a discount.
- Vaccines are not currently offered, but we hope to in the future. In the meantime, your local pharmacy and the health department are great places to have these done.
- 11Do you prescribe narcotics or controlled substances?
For the most part, no. We will prescribe these medications in the rare case they are needed and for a short period of time. Not following our controlled substance policy will result in a discharge from our practice.
- 12Will you visit me in the hospital?
We do not have hospital privileges, but will coordinate closely with the hospitalist team to ensure you receive the best possible care. And of course, we are available via phone, text or email while you are in the hospital should you have any questions.
- 13What if I need specialist care?
Most patients will choose to use their current health insurance if they need to see a specialist. Dr. Carnathan will be able to contact the specialist directly to discuss your care completely. Some specialist visits may be avoided using telemedicine from Dr. Carnathan’s office.
- 14What happens if I have an after hours emergency?
- If you are having a life threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.
- For non-life threatening emergencies, call Dr. Carnathan and he will return your call as soon as possible. If your health concern is an emergency, Dr. Carnathan will recommend you go to an emergency room or urgent care center. If it is safe to wait, Dr. Carnathan will see you ASAP the next business day.
- For routine after hours questions, please text or email Dr. Carnathan and he can respond within 24 hours.
- Urgent care or emergency visits are not covered in your membership, however having access to your physician after hours may help you avoid an unnecessary visit to the ER.