What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a growing model of medical practice in which patients directly contract with their doctor to provide primary care services in exchange for an affordable recurring monthly fee. Leave your insurance card in your wallet when you need an office visit (use it for any specialist consultations specialist or if you prefer to run labs or xrays through your insurance). Save your health insurance for the unexpected big health expenditures like ER visits, surgeries, hospitalizations, or specialist consultations. DPC practices operate with lower overhead and fewer staff. This allows for a more private and personal visit when you make a trip to the doctor.
Direct Primary Care patients pay their doctors a monthly membership. Membership includes annual physicals, visits to manage chronic medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma), sick visits (including in-office testing like urinalysis or strep tests), visits for injuries, and consultations for new problems that arise. There are no copays or per-visit fees (lab testing, skin biopsies, flu shots, stitches are extra, but the price will be made clear at the time of service and are very affordable). Patients can also communicate via secure messaging, patient portal, email, or phone.
Do you mean concierge medicine?
Although I can see people thinking this exact question when I describe my new practice, Direct Primary Care and Concierge medicine are not the same. There are two main distinctions. One is the annual fee for concierge practices is typically over $2500. Direct Primary Care memberships vary across the nation, but at Salt Lake Direct Primary Care, they are $25-$80/month depending on age. The second difference is that concierge practices collect a copay AND bill your insurance at each visit in addition to the annual retainer fee. In contrast, an active DPC practice member pays no office copay. Pricing for any additional costs (like stitches, skin biopsies, discounted cash price labs, or X-rays) is made clear at the time of service. DPC practices have concierge level service at a much lower price, making it a perfect choice whether you have no insurance or great employer sponsored health insurance.
I offer greatly discounted cash prices on lab tests. I can draw your blood in the office (for an additional $3). For example, a CBC, CMP, and lipid profile is $21.61. You can always choose to have labs drawn at a lab facility and run them through your health insurance if you prefer.
What about labs?
Let me help you streamline your medications so you only take what you need. I can also help you find affordable places to buy your medications. Sometimes paying cash will be cheaper than using your insurance to buy your prescriptions. Jolleys Pharmacy is conveniently located just downstairs.
What about medications?
What about imaging?
Mountain Medical Imaging has shared their cash prices for commonly ordered X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds. You also have the option to use your insurance and have imaging done elsewhere if this will cost you less.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. Membership in a DPC practice is NOT health insurance. I accept people with any type of insurance (or no insurance), but I do not bill any of my services to insurance plans. You will need health insurance to cover unexpected large health care costs such as ER visits, surgeries, hospital stays or significant health care issues like cancer. I will be able to treat most outpatient healthcare needs, so many people will do well having high deductible health insurance in addition to a DPC membership.
Do you take patients with Medicare?
Yes. However, because I contract directly with patients for my services, I am required to opt out of Medicare and can’t bill them for my services. Labs, imaging, procedures, and referrals can all be processed through Medicare.
DPC would be a great solution for you. I provide low cost primary care that will be able to treat most of your health care needs. You do not need health insurance to be a patient of mine. Keep in mind DPC membership alone does not satisfy the Affordable Care Act mandate. At the end of the year you may be subject to a tax fine if you don’t carry health insurance.
What if I don't have insurance?
What if I'm healthy and never see the doctor?
I like it! Let me help you stay that way through preventive visits and provide appropriate screening for silent conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and early cancers. Also, if I can prevent you from having to go to the urgent care or ER by treating you for an illness or injury, the savings alone will have paid for your membership fees. Everyone thinks they don't need a doc - until something comes up and they really need a doc - and fast!
Salt Lake Direct Primary Care will feel very different from other medical clinics. Dr Corson does not have any staff and will answer the phone when you call. After hours and on weekends, you will have access to reach out by secure messaging, phone, email for urgent matters or through the patient portal, a feature of the electronic medical record.
How do I contact the doctor?
You can use your HSA account to pay for lab tests, imaging, flu shot, or stitches. Talk with your tax preparer for advice on whether a monthly DPC membership is a qualifying HSA expense. This can be interpreted different ways and the DPC movement is pushing to clarify this issue.
Can I use my HSA?
Why a monthly fee?
Transparency, affordability, and efficiency. Medicine is the only field where no-one knows what anything costs until you get an explanation of benefits (EOB) weeks after your visit. After you read through your EOB, you get an idea of how expensive and confusing medical care and billing are. In DPC, you pay your doctor directly and costs are transparent and affordable.
What does it cost?
Monthly fees are automatically billed to your checking account or card:
$25 under 18 (with a paying adult)
$60 ages 18-49
$70 ages 50-64
$80 ages 65-85
Over 85, lets agree on something that works for both of us