Frequently Asked Questions
What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
Direct primary care describes both the payment model and the model of care. The physician is paid directly by the patient, not by an insurance company. The only fee obtained is that from the patient charged at a monthly flat rate. DPC is a model of practice that allows the care team to take the time needed to care for each patient, managing details without calling the patient into the office unnecessarily. DPC disconnects the care from the charges, and allows the physician to focus on the patients' medical questions without concern for billing. Billing is transparent: a fixed monthly, quarterly or yearly fee. The practice size is limited, allowing for greater time with each patient and time is saved by avoiding non-essential documentation and payment substantiation.
Is this Concierge Medicine?
No. Concierge Medicine charges a retainer fee, either yearly or monthly AND charges insurance for doctor visits. With DPC there is a transparent monthly, quarterly or yearly fee, and no co-pays or other charges. DPC focuses on affordable primary care, but the relationship is simply between the physician and the patient, not the physician, the patient and the insurance company.
Do I still need Insurance?
Yes. With this model, one fee covers primary care costs, but labs, imaging and medicines can be purchased within the insurance model. For those with high deductibles, cash prices will be available for some medications (only for active patients), some labs, and some imaging studies. We will do our best to find reasonable cost options, as the cost of medicine is one of our challenges with the current system.
Will you take Medicare?
No. In order to have this kind of practice, a physician must opt out of billing Medicare.
Why is this different?
Fiddlehead Family Health Care is a small family practice, with fewer patients and dedicated staff. We will know your issues and have the time we needs to address your problems and communicate with your specialists, if necessary. We will have the time to teach wellness and mind body strategies. Also, since this is a small practice, it will be agile to solve problems that develop and respond to concerns. Dr. Bouchard and her staff are here to serve you, and will be open to your input. This will not be an institution, but a lithe, responsive mini-practice.