FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS DIRECT PRIMARY CARE (DPC)?
Direct Primary Care is a care model that puts the relationship between patient and doctor first, without the influence of insurance. For an affordable flat monthly fee, the patient gets unlimited, extended visits with their doctor without copays. Care can also be delivered outside of the office via text, phone or video chat, as insurance does not dicate how or when care needs to be delivered. DPC doctors limit the number of patients (usually a third or less of a typical practice) so they can deliver the best care to all in the practice.
IS DIRECT PRIMARY CARE INSURANCE?
No. The monthly fee only covers ongoing primary care services. This could be via telephone or text when you cannot come into the office directly. This provides a convenience for when you cannot get away from work or when traveling. We still recommend having at least "catastrophic" or wrap around insurance to cover emergencies and the unexpected. Many times, changing to a high deductible plan and HSA (health savings account) will more than pay for the monthly fee in DPC.
WILL I BENEFIT IF I DO NOT REQUIRE FREQUENT MEDICAL ATTENTION?
Of course. We might argue that everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them. That’s why we offer truly custom healthcare. Our practice is devoted to the maintenance of your good health and to the enhancement of your daily experience that only physical well-being can bring. We’re here for your reactive needs. However, proactive healthcare is important and we’re here for that too.
At Dare Direct Primary Care, we have the gift of time. Even better? We get to give the gift of time. Every visit, for whatever reason, will be easygoing in its absolute thoroughness, relaxed in answering your questions and addressing the need of the moment. As the months and years go by, we will build a comprehensive and intimate knowledge of your health with invaluable understanding available in no other regimen of care.
WHY PAY IF I HAVE INSURANCE?
Direct Primary Care has many benefits for both patient and doctor. For the patient it allows for better access to their physician (same day visits, visits through electronic means, etc.), access to discounted labs and can most times lower their healthcare costs. Even when health insurance is covered by your employer, this does not equal total quality healthcare. In DPC you can see your doctor when and how you want.
DO YOU OFFER HOUSE CALLS?
House calls can be arranged when needed or appropriate. Due to the geography of the beach, some extra cost may be incurred.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS A MONTHLY PAYMENT?
To re-enroll you simply need to cover the time that lapsed between payments. This model of care is dependent on subscriptions and we will only have a limited number of patients to ensure the best care for all enrolled. Should your subscription lapse, we cannot guarantee it will not be filled by another patient.
DO YOU TAKE CARE OF KIDS?
Yes! Dr. Austin would love to see all members of your family from babies to great grandparents. However, one of the limitations of the model is vaccine delivery. Due to the small number of patients and the high cost of vaccines, we will not be able to offer vaccinations on site. However, we do believe that all patients should be fully vaccinated and will help to arrange for vaccine administration elsewhere.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM HOSPITALIZED OR NEED A SPECIALIST?
In providing excellent care with unprecedented sorts of access, we seek to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. When those types of care are required, we will certainly continue to work with your hospitalist during your hospital stay, as well as work closely with any referred specialist.
WHAT IS THE POLICY ON CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES?
We believe that controlled substances, both narcotics (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, etc.) and benzodiazepines (Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc), have a limited role in primary care. Therefore Dr. Austin prescribes them rarely and only very sparingly. We believe chronic pain requiring narcotics is best managed by a pain management specialist. We are happy to work with you on non-narcotic options for your pain and to manage your other medical conditions. We do not treat anxiety with benzodiazepines, but are happy to offer other medications and techniques often successful in treating anxiety.
CAN I STILL JOIN IF I HAVE MEDICARE?
Dr. Austin will be happy to see you but he does not participate with Medicare, as he doesn't accept any insurance. You need only sign a one-time waiver declaring that neither you nor Dr. Austin will directly bill Medicare for services he provides. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications, or hospitalizations.