By Michael Tetreault, Editor, The DPC Journal (accompanied by more than 50 physicians and over 700 patient insight inquiries)
JAN 15, 2016– With the help of a couple of hundred self-proclaimed, satisfied patient readers in more than 50 Direct Primary Care (DPC) clinics across the country and several dozen tweaks over the past two-years, we’ve put together an updated and comprehensive list of the top 50 questions we see patients ask, forget to ask and wish they would have asked their direct-pay doctors, clinics and staff before they walked out the door or signed-up.
What To Expect From Your DPC Doctor …
When choosing a DPC or Membership Medicine doctor, there is an entirely set of new questions that you want to be sure you have answered for you and/or your family. Here are a couple of tips shared by physicians and patients to help get you started down the right path.
- Before you sign-up and pay a DPC or Membership Medicine doctor’s office their fee, you should schedule a complimentary meeting with that doctor to discuss the benefits, services and cost of their DPC or Membership Medicine practice.
- Bring a copy of these 50 questions as your guide. You probably won’t get through all of them (maybe 20-25) … but you should come prepared to get your concerns and questions answered to your satisfaction.
- If your questions are not answered to your satisfaction, don’t feel any pressure from the physician or the staff to join at that moment. Move with certainty and spend your money with wisdom. Most Membership Medicine doctors office do not deploy hard-sell tactics anyway … but there are always a few that do. Most physicians in this sector say they encourage their new patients to take the necessary time they need to decide whether or not this is an expense and professional healthcare relationship they need/want in their lives. Your next physician should be just as respectful.
- If you need help locating a Membership Medicine Clinic (MMC) near your home/office, click here.
Your Direct Primary Care Physician Checklist Questionnaire (50 Questions)
Below is a comprehensive list of the questions we see patients ask their direct pay doctors and Membership Medicine Clinics quite frequently. Feel free to share this list with those thinking about DPC or Membership Medical Care and email us if you have any additional questions to add or input to our list. Additionally, feel free to share this list with those thinking about this type of healthcare and email us if you have any additional questions to add or input about our list.
Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of any opinions, advice, services or other information provided as it pertains to your practice. All information contained is distributed with the understanding that the authors, publishers, distributors and its related, affiliated or subsidiary companies, are not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters, and accordingly assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. In no event shall the authors, publishers, distributors and its related, affiliated or subsidiary companies, be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use of the information herein.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Source: The Direct Primary Care Journal, Checklist Last Updated: July 2015)
- Doctor’s Full Name?
- Total years in Practice?
- Years in practice?
- Do you have multiple locations? If so, where?
- Do you have a web site?
- Can I read patient reviews about the doctor and his/her practice?
- Does your web site have the Doctor’s bio? on it?
- What is your monthly, quarterly or annual membership fee(s)?
- How do I pay the doctor?
- Do you accept quarterly or monthly fees?
- What services are covered by the annual fee?
- Do you offer any discounts for couples and/or families that join (if applicable)?
- What additional fees are not included in the annual membership fee?
- Will I be required to pay even if I do not need to use your services?
- What services can I expect to receive directly from your nursing staff or other healthcare professionals at the practice each year during my membership?
- Do you accept Insurance? How compatible is your medical practice and services with my health insurance plan?
- Do you participate in Medicare? (If applicable)
- Do I need insurance to enroll or sign-up?
- Is there a co-pay?
- May I see a copy of your Medical Service(s) Agreement?
- What if I need to go to the hospital or emergency room?
- Will my insurance reimburse my monthly fee?
- If applicable, tell me about what’s included in your Annual Physical?
- Tell me about afterhours care and the doctors 24/7 availability.
- Can I still see my gynecologist? (If applicable)
- If a duplicate test is ordered by your office and by a specialist I’ve recently seen, will you coordinate with that specialist’s office to receive the results so I do not have to go thru the same process more than once? If not, why not?
- What is your annual patient retention? (I.e. do you retain most of your patients annually?)
- What about lab, x-ray and specialists’ fees and hospitalizations?
- How long do in-office visits typically last?
- How long will I have to wait if I come in for a visit?
- Do you provide home visits or delivery of prescriptions to my office of home?
- What if I have an emergency or need hospitalization?
- What hospitals does this doctor have admitting privileges to in this area?
- What about the cost of prescription medicines?
- Can I receive text messages from my doctor? E-visits, Skype Video chat, or FaceTime thru iPhone?
- What type of new technology do you use regularly in your concierge medical practice?
- If I call my concierge doctor at 8pm or 2am for an urgent healthcare concern, what will happen? I.e. Will the doctor be available?
- What if I need to see a medical specialist or need surgery?
- How difficult is it to get an appointment?
- Do you provide same or next-day visits with unhurried appointments that start on time with the doctor?
- What happens if my doctor goes on vacation?
- What happens if I am hospitalized in another state or country?
- How will you, your office staff, etc., communicate with me and oversee my care?
- What happens if I move out of the area after I enroll?
- Can I enroll in a concierge medicine plan anytime in the future?
- What if I get married or have/adopt a child?
- Can I extend coverage to my new family members?
- Do you provide help for out-of-town family members visiting for a few days in the event that they have a health issue?
- Do you have any specials/discounts running right now?
- How do I sign up?
Still Have Questions? Or, Need To Find A DPC or Membership Medicine Doctor or Doctor’s Office?