Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Direct Primary Care?

Direct primary care (DPC) is the name given in the ACA (Affordable Care Act) to a physician-led model of outpatient medical care for cash. DPC is based on the idea that better care can be delivered much more affordably by separating primary care from traditional insurance. Learn more about why we believe in direct primary care here. 

What if I don’t have insurance?

Independent Family Doctors will take care of you just like everyone else.

Do you take care of patients in the hospital?

Our doctors will visit their patients when they are in the hospital. We will discuss your care and provide any needed charts or records with the hospitalist doctor to facilitate the best possible care. Upon discharge, we will readily follow up with you and your family to try and keep you on the road to recovery and reduce confusion after discharge.

We do not write the orders, bill or ‘call the shots’ when you are in the hospital. Patients are encouraged to select whichever hospital they feel most comfortable with for their inpatient care.

 

How does this work with my existing insurance?

You have choices.

We recommend all patients have and maintain insurance coverage for medical catastrophes such as cancer, trauma and unexpected surgery. These events are extremely expensive and there’s no way around it. Patients who need regular sub-specialty care (say if you have multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis) need reasonable insurance coverage for the specialists they see along with any specialty drugs they may need.

We understand, however, that many hard-working people simply cannot afford insurance. We encourage you to consider consulting with an insurance agent (we can recommend some, if needed) who understand direct primary care. Our patients have found ‘high deductible’ plans that are ACA compliant on yourhealthidaho.gov. Other patients choose to work with cost-sharing programs like Samaritan Ministries to arrange some type of financial coverage in the event of a medical catastrophe.

There are other options currently in process. In two states patients can purchase ACA compliant high-deductible plans that are somewhat designed with direct primary care in mind. The Primary Care Enhancement Act, a piece of tax legislation introduced in 2017, 2019 and again in early 2023 would allow for HSA dollars to be used for the monthly direct care fee. The bottom line, however, is in most situations, insurance or no insurance, we can save you time, money and headaches with our straight-forward transparent care model.

 

What if I have Medicare?

Independent Family Doctors will take care of you just like everyone else.

Are you available outside of normal business hours?

If you have an urgent after-hours concern that you believe cannot wait for routine business hours, we will be available by phone to assist you. While we will come in on the weekend for urgent needs, we find that that need is very rare. We are not available for routine needs or matters that can wait until normal business hours on the weekends. Our doctors are dedicated to your care and to a healthy, cultivated physician-patient relationship.

In this age of instant responses and digital access, we are striving for sustainability. We ask our patients to utilize our services, in person or electronically, when they need us. We also ask that if matters can wait until waking hours that they do.

We believe in partnering with you in your healthcare. We will listen, work, help and educate. This is a different relationship, however, than our doctors serving up whatever lab or test or medication you may want. Healthcare continues to evolve. We know there are places where you can go and get whatever you believe you need for wellness. We don’t function this way because we have learned that is not often what leads to the optimal outcome.

We work with our patients in a dignified collaborative model. We honor you and what you know and experience living in YOUR body. We also honor, greatly, the time, energy, education and expertise our physicians have worked to cultivate.

Can I submit Independent Family Doctors charges for reimbursements?

sYou are unable to submit charges from Independent Family Doctors to your insurance. 

Currently, you are unable to get reimbursed for Independent Family Doctors fees from your HSA. Please review the Primary Care Enhancement Act article for more information. 

What is NOT available at Independent Family Doctors?

Our providers do not manage chronic pain and do not prescribe chronic pain medications. They do not have or keep any pain medication at the clinic. This is because these medications are heavily regulated, need substantial monitoring, have a high rate of diversion and for most patients, long term, are detrimental to their overall health and well-being.

We are not a fee-for-service same day clinic. We work hard to meet our member’s needs as they arise but do not offer ‘same-day’ or ‘one’time’ visits for non-members. We believe in long-term primary care relationships. It’s what we do best.

We do not do pregnancy(OB) care, chronic pain management, or determinations for medical disability. We are not the admitting doctor when our patients need hospitalized.

If there is not something specific you would want to ask about before signing up, please fill out our contact form. 

 

Still have a question?

FAQs for Independent Family Doctors