Direct Primary Care FAQ

“What’s DPC?”

Direct Primary Care, or DPC, is a model of healthcare that delivers primary care at an affordable price. This model focuses on full spectrum of outpatient care, chronic diseases and preventative care, ease of access, convenient communication and the personal relationship of patient and doctor. The practice relies on membership fees to finance care with no third party billing (Insurance is not accepted) keeping costs low and quality high. By not having the third party rules and regulations, the office can run more efficiently,in some practices, with as few as 2 people - the doctor and an assistant. It allows the doctor / practice to give their time to patients and continued learning, instead of the very time consuming non-medical issues of insurance companies (preauthorizations, declined billing, long waits for payments, reimbursement often below the cost of business,...). DPC allows doctors to focus on QUALITY not quantity.

“What is Buffalo Plains Health Center?”

Buffalo Plains Health Center is a Direct Primary Care clinic. We offer a style of family healthcare that is immediate, thorough, comprehensive, specific, easily affordable, and very personal.

“Is concierge medicine the same as Direct Primary Care?”

The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they have significant differences. Direct Primary Care (DPC) - affordable monthly membership fees are paid by the patient and sometimes the patient's employer, where the concierge is usually an annual contract on average, with higher fees paid monthly or annually. With DPC the membership covers outpatient primary care through extended visits, in house lab, care coordination and a comprehensive approach caring for the patient. Concierge fees usually cover a comprehensive exam and screenings. Insurance is not accepted in a DPC practice but may be in the concierge model, so they are billing insurance in addition to the patients paying monthly fees. Concierge generally has higher operating costs navigating insurance and government programs billing. This results in patients paying for comprehensive insurance plans as well as membership fees resulting in mostly higher income patients being able to afford the Concierge model.

“What sets Buffalo Plains Health Center apart from other practices?”

We have cut the red tape of bureaucracy. The restrictions that typically leave traditional healthcare physicians in a setting buried in nonsense paperwork are lifted through Direct Primary Care. This allows us to spend our time where it truly belongs: with you the patient. In refusing to recognize any interference with the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship, we have returned Family Medicine to its core values of clinical excellence and compassionate knowledge of every patient. In the area of family healthcare, we offer custom healthcare, accessibility, convenience, and affordability.

“Will I benefit from Buffalo Plains Health Center if I don’t require frequent medical attention?”

Of course. Our practice is devoted to the maintenance of your good health, to the enhancements of your daily experience that only physical well-being can bring. We are here for your reactive acute needs. But, proactive healthcare is also very important, and we are here for that, too, through conventional approaches, lifestyle medicine, wholistic and intergrative options, all customized for you. At Buffalo Plains Health Center, we give the gift of time. Large amounts of precious, irretrievable time, given to you as your need arises. Whether it is a question about a new virus, your scratchy thoat, a new symptoms or just advice on how to maintain a healthy life at any stage of the journey, and so much more. Every visit, fno matter the reason, will be easygoing in its absolute thoroughness, relaxed in answering your questions and addressing your concern. As time passes, we are building a comprehensive, intimate knowledge of your health goals and needs, an invaluable personal understanding not available in other care models.

“Does Buffalo Plains Health Center accept health insurance?”

No. Perhaps the most critical distinction in our model of care centers on a direct, personal relationship between you and your doctor. That directness carries over to our business model as well. While the tender mercies of an insurance company might apply to fixing the damaged fender on your car, we see no good reason for any insurer to have a voice about the medical care for your family. We forgo insurance payments in order to save our patients from the arbitrary, intrusive decisions that inevitably follow with third-party payors. Furthermore, this arrangement, just between doctor and patient, frees us from the typical contractual agreements that prevent physicians from offering wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging, and medications. It also allows us to take the time your health conerns deserve rather than having to rush to document for the insurer and on to the next patient.

“As a patient of Buffalo Plains Health Center, will I still need health insurance?”

Yes. We recommend our patients continue a major medical plan with a high deductible and health savings account to ensure financial help should hospitalization or referral to a specialist be necessary. We’re happy to refer you to insurance representatives who can help customize an insurance plan to your specific needs.

“Can you help me find affordable insurance for my family or my business?”

Absolutely. We’re fortunate to work with the industry leaders in health insurance who build custom plans that remove much of the waste and inefficiency from a typical, bloated policy. We can help save families nearly $1,000/month and many businesses up to 50% while providing a higher level of care. If you’re interested in speaking with a health insurance expert, you may contact Joe Martin at 316.259.8710.

“If I have Medicare, can I still join Buffalo Plains Health Center?”

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 our offices.

“Is my membership to Buffalo Plains Health Center tax deductible?”

As tax laws are continually changing, please check with your accountant. However, please consult your tax advisor to clarify tax issues in your particular circumstances.

“What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?”

In providing excellent care with unprecedented access, we seek to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. In those instances where hospitalization or specialty care is needed we will help you find the best options for you and work closely with hospitalist / specialist to coordinate your best care.

“Can children become members of Buffalo Plains Health Center?”

Yes. We are happy to accept all children of all ages with an adult member. At this time, we are not able to provide routine vaccinations for young children but we will happily work with you to arrange for these.

"Do you accept HMOs, Tricare Prime or Medicaid?”

We are not Medicaid, HMO or Tricare providers. If you have these types of insurance, only your assigned primary-care provider may make referrals and order tests for you. Because we are not compatible with Medicaid, HMO or Tricare plans, we may not be able to provide the administrative support you may require. As a member we can work out cash pricing for many services. If using your insurance program, we will try to work with your assigned primary care provider and make recommendations on appropriate studies and referrals, but we cannot guarantee they will follow our recommendations.

“Can I contact you after hours? And how?”

By all means, yes! Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may contact us any day, at any hour. We even invite you to arrange for home visits when necessary, schedules permitting. If you prefer, you can call, email or text us. It's how we do custom healthcare.

“What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?”

Naturally we provide such care – yet another freedom we enjoy together as a result of Buffalo Plains Health Center's independence from the restrictions of third-party payment. Because we know you well, we can streamline your care when you are sick and away from home. Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation by phone, email, or text. If needed, we will help locate the nearest pharmacy to order medications appropriate for your circumstances.

“Are my medical records ever shared with insurance carriers or pharmaceutical companies?”

We maintain scrupulous standards of privacy. We are never obligated to provide any third party with a copy of your records unless you specifically ask that we do so.

“How will I know if the doctor/staff of Buffalo Plains Health Center are right for me?”

Come get to know us! Schedule a free, unconditional 30 minute visit to discuss your healthcare goals and needs. See if we are the right partner for that new healthier you.