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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Direct Primary Care or DPC?

Simply put, DPC is a return to medicine the way it used to be. Instead of the fee-for-service model, where you may be charged copays and expensive office visit charges, Direct Primary Care uses a membership model to cut down on wait times, reduce the cost and burden of health care, and allow you to spend time and build a relationship with YOUR doctor, both in person and virtually. It’s a simpler approach to care, so that you can get what you need, when you need it.

Are your services paid for by my insurance?

Our care is based on our monthly fee structure. No billing of insurers or third parties is undertaken, which allows us the freedom in our business model to provide the kind of care that we believe will make the difference in quality, patient satisfaction, and cost. With the reduction in paperwork and administrative burdens for us, it allows us to focus on YOUR care, which improves provider satisfaction as well, and allows us to do the work we were trained to do. 

What sets Big Trees MD apart from other clinics?

We believe that health care should revolve around decisions that patients make between themselves and their doctor, not what the third party providers or the fee-for-service model dictates because of cost, time, or convenience. We believe that medical decision making should be evidence-based, in the context of the patient, their family, and their community, without the interference of outside interests. Our model allows more time to get to know you, which we believe is critical to developing relationships and making appropriate decisions for wellness, medical care, and chronic care management.

So is this concierge medicine?

While Direct Primary Care provides concierge-level care (better access to your doctor and less rushed visits when you see them), concierge medicine practices still bill insurance for each visit and charges an additional fee on top of insurance, simply for access to the doctor. That fee can be several hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars per year. 

Can I get a same-day appointment? Do you offer walk-in clinic services?

Same and next day appointments are available to members only. Exceptions are made for certain procedures such as IUDs and newborn circumcisions, see the services for more information.

Do I still need insurance??

Yes, certainly. While we believe that better access to care and a better relationship with your physician lessens the need for specialty services, we believe it is important to have coverage for complex conditions, procedures, imaging, emergency visits and hospitalizations that would require higher levels of care that could be expensive and can be covered under insurance plans. Plans that work best with our model include catastrophic plans, high deductible plans, and PPO plans and cost-sharing organizations. HMO plans are very difficult since those plans choose a primary care physician for you in their network, usually requiring a duplication of our efforts and our work through the DPC practice.

Can I still benefit if I don't go to the doctor frequently?

We believe that access to your doctor is invaluable, especially for questions that could be simply answered or addressed by someone who knows you, preventing a visit to the emergency department or hospital or a search on Dr. Google. We do however design care around "wellness" and want to become your partner in an overall wellness and and prevention care plan. Access to care includes virtual visits, texting, emailing in addition to in-person visits. Virtual care is provided on an unlimited basis and included in the monthly fee. Because you will not be burdened with co-pays, and with our accessible schedules, the appointment process is streamlined and not rushed as it is in the current model. Individuals with high deductibles or who are uninsured especially can benefit from  a direct primary care practice. 

What about after hours care?

Weekday non-emergent virtual and in-person care is available to our members and to non-members based on available appointment slots. Weekend and after-hours care is also available only for members. Coverage will be provided by another Physician if our physicians are not available (if they are on vacation, for example). Refills are addressed only during business hours and require 72 hours M-F minimally to process. Holidays observed: see HERE.

What if I leave? Can I re-enroll?

As Big Trees MD provides relationship-based care, are board-certified doctors only able to accept a certain number of patients at at time to ensure quality of care for all her members. That said, the clinic is based on monthly membership fees. A patient can stop membership when they want according to the patient agreement. If a patient wishes to re-enroll, they will be charged a $250 re-enrollment fee + the fee equivalent of the number of months away from the practice. Patients can only re-enroll once if approved by our team and if space allows.

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