Direct Primary Care

Myth #1: Direct Primary care is the same as Concierge Medicine. No way! Direct Primary Care and Concierge Care both provide more access and time with your doctor. Both may provide same day and next day appointments and access to your doctor 24/7. Direct Primary Care differs from Concierge Medicine in that we don’t charge a yearly retainer fee ranging anywhere from $5,000-$50,000. At Ashewell, we don’t even charge an enrollment fee. Another difference between Concierge Care and Direct Primary Care is that Direct Primary Care docs don’t bill your insurance. Our fees are simple and we believe that you shouldn’t have to have insurance to have quality primary care. Our fees are billed monthly based on your age and our care is unlimited and unhurried. We don’t have a billing department which allows us to charge affordable monthly fees ($59-$109 - read Myth #4 below for details). In fact, while we don’t have bloated overhead, we do offer benefits above and beyond Concierge Care which brings the cost of all the aspects of your healthcare down. At Ashewell, a key component of our model is our wholesale pharmacy. We buy medications at wholesale prices and provide them to our patients at cost. This means our meds are 95% less than market value. We do the same for labs and medical imaging. This gives you access to the highest quality of care with or without insurance. At Ashewell, we have taken it step further and work with many wonderful independent providers in the community to provide access to specialty care at significantly discounted rates. We believe it isn’t enough to give you access to a doctor. Direct Primary Care is the real deal.

Myth #2: Direct Primary Care isn’t for patients with Medicare. What? Have Medicare? We still got your back. As a Medicare patient, you can’t use your Medicare to pay for our monthly fee. For this you pay us directly or use an HSA. Our fees are billed just like a gym and our care is unlimited. There are no copays at Ashewell, and preventative visits, follow ups and sick visits are all included. We never charge for a visit and we aren’t here to nickel and dime you. You can continue to use your Medicare for medications, labs, medical imaging and any specialty care you may need. So, why would a Medicare patient want Direct Primary Care? Want care when you need it: Direct Primary Care. Want more time with your doctor: Direct Primary Care. Want to reach a human when you call: Direct Primary Care. Want a physical exam yearly: Direct Primary Care. Want to work with your doc to direct your care: Direct Primary Care.

Myth #3: You don’t need a primary care doctor because you are healthy! We would beg to differ. We are happy you are well and we want to keep you that way. In fact, prevention is our #1 focus. That is why your physical exam is included at Ashewell and we have pre-negotiated affordable rates on everything from pap-smears and mammograms to colonoscopies. We have flu vaccines and will counsel you endlessly on the benefits of diet and exercise for your health. Need to lose some weight? We don’t charge for weight loss counselling. We see this as a core component of your wellness. So, skip the urgent care for that occasional UTI, sinus infection or laceration needing stitches. We’ve got you covered. You will get a doctor who knows you, your family, and your quirks, even after-hours and over the weekend. We do our best to accommodate our patients.

Myth #4: Direct Primary Care is too expensive. No, no, no. This is Ashewell’s Pricing: If you are 18-30 years old, your monthly fee is $59/month. If you are 31-45, your monthly fee is $79/month. If you are 46-64 years old, unlimited primary care is only $99/month and if you are 65 years and older, access to your Board-Certified Internist WHEN YOU WANT IT, is only $109/month. There are no copays, no deductibles, and no hidden costs! Direct Primary Care aims to lower your costs and bring affordable care to everyone. Our medications are so cheap that often the money saved in our wholesale pharmacy more than makes up for the monthly fee. Our wholesale lab prices make routine monitoring easy. A full set of labs costs less than $15 and medical imaging is pre-negotiated so we can all access these services when needed.

Myth #5: I don’t have to sign up until I am sick. Oh no, no, no. We only take 500 patients per doctor. This gives you 6 times more access to us than a physician who takes insurance. I know, I used to be one. Most of these docs have 3000 patients, which means you must to see a patient every 15 minutes just to keep the lights on. With 500 patients, we can spend 30-60 minutes with you routinely. Need more time, you got it. But don’t wait to get sick. Our spots are going fast! We will be hiring another doc to accommodate more patients soon. Know a great doc who really cares? Have them call me.

Myth #6: I don’t need Direct Primary Care because I have insurance. Looking to meet that $10,000 deductible? Doubt it. For those of you lucky enough to have reasonable insurance through an employer or access to affordable insurance through the exchange, congratulations. For everyone else, the answer is Direct Primary Care. 90% of insurance claims are primary care claims and that is why now more than ever, we all need Direct Primary Care. Only 10% of individuals will ever meet their deductible and $0.40 of every dollar spent on insurance goes directly to the insurer and plays no role in your care. Is insurance important? Yes! I wish we all had access to affordable coverage for hospitalizations and major illnesses and surgery. However, you don’t need insurance for our care because it is cheap. Think of your car insurance. You don’t pay a deductible every time you change your oil or rotate your tires! You only use it if you’ve been in an accident or have major engine trouble. The same goes for your healthcare. Direct Primary Care ensures affordable access to care for all of us dealing with the ridiculously high premiums and deductibles in today’s insurance market. Insurance should not be a BARRIER to care and you shouldn’t worry about copays, coinsurance and deductibles when you need to see your doctor.

Myth #7: IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Direct Primary Care is not a unicorn. We are real. Come check us out. Ashewell is Direct Primary Care in Asheville, NC. We have patients driving 2 hours for affordable high quality primary care, wholesale medications, labs and more. Have more questions or just want to see if we are real? Call Carly Brown, MD, Board Certified Internist directly at (828)477-4077 or email her at drbrown@ashewell.com.

Posted by Dr. Carly Bown

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