Frequently Asked Questions
WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR A MEMBERSHIP?
When you join, you know right away that it isn’t a typical doctor’s office. Forget about the headaches and frustrations you experienced before. You now have a trusted physician ready to care for you.
You will have longer face to face time, better communication, and no wait times. You will be able to text me. You will be able to call me with any questions. My focus is keeping you healthy!
In the direct care membership model, patients are free to talk to their doctor whenever and wherever they need them, with no extra costs. This significantly increases access to a doctor and decreases the cost to a patient. Being able to talk to your doctor when you need them has tons of benefits.
I have chosen a membership model because it allows me to take care of my patients in the best way I know how.
WILL I SAVE MONEY?
Numerous reports show better care and cost saving throughout the United States. In an actuarial study, they found that my type of practice led to fewer specialist referrals, hospital admissions, and ER visits. By providing urgent care services at Clear Medical, you can avoid unwanted bills from the urgent care center or ER.
I’ve partnered with resources that may save you additional money if you would like to pay cash rather than submit to insurance. For example, I’ve partnered with labs, and a prescription wholesaler for dramatically lower cash-based pricing. However, if you still would like to submit to your insurance you are welcome to do so. I can provide you with those options that allow you to make the right decision based on your situation.
HOW DO I COMMUNICATE WITH YOU?
My practice leverages a telemedicine app that allows me to be available after hours, especially in urgent concerns. This dedicated tool allows us to securely text, video chat, and send pictures in real time. If we determine that you need to visit the office, I have same day or next day appointments available.
HOW ARE OFFICE VISITS HANDLED?
It’s easy – schedule a visit via secure messaging or call in and come into the office to see me when your visit is actually scheduled. You and I also have the option to a televisit as an alternative for a quick checkup or if you’re sick at home and would prefer not to come in. As a member of my practice there are no additional charges to see me-ever!
HOW MANY PATIENTS WILL YOU SEE?
Because my main priority is you and I want to make sure I’m available for you while maintaining little to no wait, same day or next day visits, as well as non rushed, 30-60 minute visits, I cap my patient panel at 600 patients (a traditional panel is 2000-3000 patients).
WHAT ABOUT LABS AND PRESCRIPTIONS?
Through my national FreedomDoc network, we’ve partnered with local companies that provide my patients discounts for paying with cash. However, if you still would like to submit to your insurance you are welcome to do so.
WHAT IF I NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL?
If you feel you need to go to the hospital, please call and discuss with me at any time. I can help you decide whether it’s something we can take care of or if the emergency room is necessary. As your private physician, I will be involved in your care and will keep in touch with your families during your stay.
CAN I USE MY HEALTH INSURANCE?
Our practice welcomes all patients – no matter what kind of health plan you do or do not have. We like to say everything done within the walls of or by the practice is covered by the membership. If you need to go outside the office – like for labs, blood work, or specialists you can use your health plan like you normally would.
DO I STILL NEED HEALTH INSURANCE?
We recommend you continue to have some type of health plan coverage. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to obtain catastrophic care (childbirth, surgery, accidents, etc…), we recommend you enroll in a healthshare. This new type of health plan is affordable, provides great service, and is actually useful to alleviate any emergency medical bills.
WHAT IF I AM ON MEDICARE?
Medicare offers a low baseline of primary care services and typically makes it hard to gain personal access to a primary care physician. My practice is excellent for the Medicare patient who values having unlimited access to a primary care physician that knows them. My Medicare patients pay practice fees directly, but Medicare coverage remains in place for everything else: specialists, testing performed outside of our office, and hospitalizations. Your Medicare will also cover lab services I prescribe as these are performed by an independent lab affiliate. I can still refer, write prescriptions, and fully act as your primary care physician.
CAN I PAY WITH MY HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT (HSA)?
Some patients utilize their health savings (HSAs), flexible spending (FSAs) or health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) to pay our fees as “qualified medical expenses”. Legal experts have recommended these patients follow the best practice of paying annually or semi-annually. If requested, we can provide you with an invoice and/or submit a notice to your employer if any questions arise about our programs. Please note that we cannot provide tax or legal advice, and you should consult your own tax advisor for guidance.
IS THERE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT?
My service contract is for one year. If you are unhappy with the services OR for any reason wish to cancel your contract, you may do so with a 90-day notice. Any services already performed (i.e. preventive exams) will be itemized for payment. Any refunds will be granted after the service items are paid. All contracts are automatically renewed unless a 30-day notice is received by us not to renew.
HOW DO I JOIN THE PRACTICE?
Is concierge medicine the same as Direct Primary Care?
The terms are often used interchangeably, however there are some differences. Concierge practices typically bill insurance like traditional practices, but then also charge patients a “concierge” retainer fee in addition. Direct Primary Care is a healthcare model focused on putting the patient first. That means treating them when they need it, not rushing patients through appointments, and being proactive with healthcare treatment plans. The doctor-patient relationship is just as the name suggests – direct. Direct Primary Care clinics don’t accept insurance, rather they choose to work directly with the patient, providing wholesale labs, deeply discounted prescription prices, and other cost savings along the way.
Do you make house calls?
Yes, we make house calls. We charge $150/house call. Membership to the practice includes any/all visits in our office or via virtual platform for no additional charge. We typically make house calls for members who cannot leave their homes in the Kalaheo and Poipu areas.