What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
Direct Primary Care is a model of healthcare that puts patients first by getting rid of the red tape by which most other traditional practices are restricted. It does this by charging a monthly membership fee instead of billing insurance companies or Medicare. This eliminates the overhead associated with most traditional practices and allows a smaller volume of patients in the practice, with longer appointment times and easier access to your physician. It allows for the compassionate knowledge of patients to produce clinical excellence.
How will I know if Stahl Primary Care is right for me?
Come schedule a free, unconditional visit to discuss your healthcare concerns that can establish the basis for a long, healthy relationship going forward.
Are my medical records ever shared with insurance carriers or pharmaceutical companies?
I will maintain strict standards of privacy. I will not be obligated to provide any third party with a copy of your records unless you specifically ask that we do so.
What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?
Because DPC practices are free from the restrictions of third party payment, and I will know you well, I can facilitate your care when you’re away from home. Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation by phone, email or webcam. I’ll also be able to locate the nearest pharmacy and order medications as appropriate to your needs.
Can I contact you after hours? How?
Yes- because illness and injury do not often occur during regular office hours, you may call the practice at any time for urgent care. All calls will be forwarded to me if it is after hours. Through the specialized EMR I use, we can exchange texts, emails or even Video calls.
Do you accept children?
I am an internal medicine physician, not family practice. But as most 15 year olds have more adult like physical attributes, I do see patients down to the age of 15. Anyone age 15-22 with an adult membership is $15/month, without an adult membership is $52/month.
What if I do go to the hospital, what happens then?
My goal will be to keep you out of the hospital and a benefit of DPC care is usually less specialist referrals. But should either of these be necessary, I will be able to coordinate care closely with the hospitalist and/or specialist to ensure you receive the necessary care for your circumstances without duplicating work or incurring unnecessary expenses.
Is my membership to Stahl Primary Care tax deductible?
Unfortunately, no. Your retainer is not yet defined as a “medical expense” in most states and as such is not deductible. The American Academy of Private Physicians ( and of Physicians and Surgeons), however, is lobbying hard to win rightful deductibility for these expenses. In the meantime, confer with your tax consultant to clarify tax consequences in your particular circumstances.
If I have Medicare, can I still join Stahl Primary Care?
Yes, you need only sign a one-time waiver declaring that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for our services. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications, or hospitalizations prescribed by my office.
I will be “opting” out of Medicare, which will take effect April 1, 2017 so I will not accept new Medicare patients until April 1.
Will I still need health insurance?
Yes. I recommend patients continue a major medical plan with a high deductible and health savings account to ensure coverage should hospitalization or referral to specialist be necessary. You may still use your insurance to pay for prescriptions, procedures such as ct scans, colonoscopies, and mammograms.
As I will not be “in network” with any insurance providers this model likely will not work for patients with HMO’s as I will not be able to provide referrals for these individuals. For any non HMO plans I will be able to provide referrals.
Does Stahl Primary Care accept health insurance?
No. The model of direct primary care excludes billing of Insurance or Medicare. Without having to abide by a contractual agreement with insurance I can offer wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging and in the future, medications. No diagnosis codes or notes will be submitted to insurance companies or the government for perusal. You and I will be the sole arbiters of your care to a point, with no oversight from disinterested third parties.
No superbills will be generated, ie you cannot seek reimbursement from your insurance provider. You can use Health Savings Accounts to pay your Direct Primary Care Fees.
Will I benefit from Stahl Primary Care- a DPC practice- if I don’t require frequent medical attention?
Yes! The advantage of this type of practice is the time you obtain with your physician – both at your appointment, in eliminated waiting room times because there will not be a crowd waiting to be seen, and in time I can devote to your care between appointments as well. Because you appointment times will be between 30-60 minutes, we will have the luxury of addressing every concern, answering all of your questions, in establishing the rapport necessary to provide quality care. After your appointment, if there were concerns that arose later, I will have the time to fully address them. I will not have 22 patients per day scheduled and I will not be forced to try and return phone calls at 5:30 pm when trying to leave by 6 pm to get my children fed and to bed. The goal of care in this practice will be to provide proactive health care and not just reactive care of illness.
Is concierge medicine the same as Direct Primary Care?
No, they are often used interchangeably but most concierge practices charge a retainer fee of $1500 -3000 to achieve the same end as DPC while still billing your insurance company- ie the overhead is the same. The retainer fee covers those costs so they can see a smaller volume of patients. This still allows the insurance companies and Medicare to dictate regulations, reporting, etc. and inundate physicians with unnecessary paperwork.