Frequently Asked Questions
What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
Direct Primary Care is structured to emphasize and prioritize the relationship between a patient and their family physician to improve health outcomes and lower overall health care costs. The DPC fee structure enables physicians to spend more time with their patients, both in face-to-face visits, and through phone or other communication mediums should they choose, since they are not bound by insurance reimbursement restrictions. For more information about DPC, see dpcnation.org.
What will change at Chunn Family Medicine on January 1, 2023?
From the outside, there will be very little difference by appearance. The location, logo and phone number will all remain the same. We have enjoyed very low staff turnover in the past and we anticipate you will see familiar faces when you visit us. I will continue to work with Dr. Linker of Healthlink like we have for the last 15+ years. The changes will be seen in our approach to your care. With a commitment to providing care unencumbered by the insurance industry, meaningful and thorough interactions can occur to dive into your health needs and address the concerns you have. Enhanced access through the incorporation of telehealth, email and texting will expand your ability to receive care when and where you need it. Expanded services, such as deeply discounted prescription medications and office procedures, mean you will spend less time (and money) at the pharmacy, urgent care and ER.
Why the change from an insurance fee-for-service practice to DPC?
Most will agree that the US healthcare system is deeply flawed. I have seen a progressive shift from patient-centered care to government and corporate-mandated compliance, leaving patients to squeeze into predetermined pigeon holes of care, leaving individual needs neglected or ignored (examples - rigid treatment protocols for back pain, formulary restrictions for diabetes medications and documentation requirements for treatment authorization/payment) DPC allows for timely, individualized care with attention to wellness, in addition to the honest and transparent use of your healthcare dollars.
Is Direct Primary Care the same as Concierge Medicine?
There are some similarities, but a concierge practice charges a "retainer" or access fee in addition to billing for services, usually to your insurance plan. A DPC practice charges a periodic fee that includes the vast majority of services available. Insurance is not billed, allowing for transparent and accurate pricing prior to the service.
Is DPC better than an insurance-based practice?
I believe there are many advantages to the DPC model, over the insurance model. Interactions between physician and patient will not be limited by “network status”. Smaller panel size will allow for more thorough appointments to address multiple needs. Enhanced access and communication means you can get care when and where you need it. Without insurance restrictions, services such as medication dispensing, telehealth and lab/imaging tests can be done when you and I determine it is best and at dramatic savings.
Do you take any insurance? Medicare? Medicaid?
I do not take any insurance assignment or reimbursement.
Can I keep my insurance?
Yes, and in most instances, you should, with some cost-saving adjustments. Insurance is best used for catastrophic instances (think homeowners and car insurance). Things like appendicitis, a broken hip or cancer treatments fall into that category and major medical, low premium/high deductible or health sharing plans would protect you in the event a serious health condition occurs.
Can I turn charges into Medicare or Medicaid for reimbursement?
No. Members with Medicare or Medicaid coverage will agree that neither party, CFM DPC nor the patient, will submit charges from CFM DPC to Medicare or Medicaid.
Can I turn charges into my commercial insurance company?
Patients with commercial insurance may submit charges to their insurance plan to request reimbursement. Since a DPC practice is not participating with any plan, I will be considered out-of-network and those reimbursement rates would apply.
I already pay for medical insurance. How can I afford a membership fee?
The average cost for DPC membership ranges from $1-$3 per person/day, or about the cost of a Starbucks coffee or a Powerball ticket. There are several options to shift your costs from paying insurance premiums to paying the DPC membership. At open enrollment, you can opt for a lower cost option provided by your employer. This may mean choosing a higher deductible or copay (neither of which will be charged at my practice) or opting out of employer-provided coverage altogether and choosing a plan on the ACA marketplace, a health sharing plan, major medical plan or short-term medical plans. With reduced premium costs, you will be able to pay membership fees with those saved dollars. Use of FSA funds are allowed for DPC member fees. Use of HSA dollars has not been fully clarified in the tax code.
Who can be a member at Chunn Family Medicine DPC?
Anyone* can be a member of my practice. Though the total number of members will be limited, there will be no restriction to who may join. DPC can benefit all ages and demographics. Establishing a positive, mutually beneficial relationship will be the goal at my practice. *individuals in good standing with CFM at the beginning of CFM DPC or individuals/families new to me*
Does everyone in my family need to become members?
Individuals or entire families may become members. Some family members may have circumstances that make a DPC practice less beneficial. Large families will not pay for more than 5 members.
What if I was a patient of yours prior to January 1, 2023?
You will have the opportunity to join Chunn Family Medicine DPC prior to 2023. This will secure the DPC benefits moving forward. I will continue to update those interested on details about membership agreements and payment specifics.
How much does it cost?
See Members Pricing page.
Do I need other insurance?
I recommend you have catastrophic or major medical coverage for high cost medical care, such as hospitalizations or surgeries. If you expect to need specialist care in addition to primary care (though less likely in the DPC model) a traditional insurance plan may be financially helpful. I recommend discussing this with an HR representative, independent health coverage consultant or financial advisor. I can also give some insight into your potential coverage needs based on your current or prospective health.
What services are included in the membership fee?
Your membership will include enhanced access to Dr. Chunn via unlimited office visits, telehealth visits, phone, email and texting. Annual wellness visits, gynecologic screening exams (pap smear), work physicals (including DOT), pre-operative clearance, sports physicals, management of chronic illness (diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis, etc) and management of acute illness (headaches, strep throat, COVID, back pain, lacerations, etc). Tests, such as strep/flu/COVID tests, urine analysis, ECG at your wellness exam, pulse ox and wellness labs are included in the membership fees.
Are there any services not covered by the monthly fee?
Additional services, such as: prescription meds, skin procedures (laceration repair, cryotherapy, biopsy, nail removal, cyst drainage/removal, mole removal and wound care), and some injectable medications (steroids, antibiotics, DepoProvera, Toradol, etc) will be available at fees to cover the cost of supplies.
What kind of medications will be available through the office?
I will carry generic prescription medications that I commonly prescribe. They will be offered at prices lower than what your insurance coverage or pharmacy can offer. I will regularly check pricing, and will not offer meds that can be purchased at a lower price elsewhere. While convenience is considered, the primary goal is to lower your healthcare expenses.
How do I contact you after regular office hours?
Upon establishing membership, you will have access to telehealth, phone calls, email and texting.
What happens when you are on vacation or unavailable?
Coverage will be provided when I will not be available by phone, email or text. You will receive notification in advance so we can plan for your care when I may be away from the office.