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Ashewell Medical Group


How does Ashewell charge for our services?

Ashewell employs an innovative alternative payment model for primary care. We are focused on service, patient choice, advocacy, stewardship and elimination of fee-for service (FFS) medicine. The hallmark of Ashewell is adequate time spent between patient and physician working towards a lasting relationship based on trust. Patients are empowered to choose their personal physician. Ashewell docs are committed advocates for patients within the healthcare system. Ashewell providers believe that healthcare must provide more value to the patient. The ultimate goal is health and wellbeing, not simply the treatment of disease. Our model eliminates undesired FFS incentives in primary care. These incentives distort healthcare decision-making by rewarding volume over value. This undermines the trust that supports the patient-provider relationship and rewards expensive and inappropriate testing, referral, and treatment. Our model replaces FFS with a simple flat monthly fee that covers comprehensive primary care services.

What is Ashewell Medical Group?

We provide primary care to individuals living in Western North Carolina. Our care is timely, thorough, comprehensive, affordable, and very personal.

What is an internist?

An Internist or Internal Medicine Physician is a specialist who applies scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. To learn more, click here.

How does Ashewell stand out from other local practices?

We don’t do bureaucracy or anything that stands between the patient and the physician. We don’t take insurance. Our monthly fee includes unlimited visits and there are never any co-pays. Our primary care services are delivered by Board Certified Internal Medicine and Family Medicine doctors. Dr. Brown, Dr. Bartow, and Dr. Vieages have outstanding credentials and experience. They listen and focus on achieving patients healthcare goals.

We have an in-house pharmacy where we provide medicines at wholesale prices. We have negotiated lab and medical imaging prices in order to offer these to our patients at a fraction of the traditional cost. We offer wholesale medications and labs because it is easier and cheaper for our patients.

We are unique in that we provide mental health services including counseling and psychiatric care within our primary care home. We do this so our patients have access to the care they need. In this model we collaborate with our team of highly qualified mental health professionals to better serve our patients. We are focused on meeting your unique needs, taking care of fewer patients, and treating you like family. We want to make caring for yourself easier and in order to do so, we meet you where you are.

Tell me more about your pharmacy.

We provide significant savings to our patients. We purchase medications at wholesale prices and pass this savings on to our patients. This means meds at a fraction of the cost. For example, a course of antibiotics may cost less than $2. Anti-depressants, anti-hypertensives, and cholesterol lowering meds for 90 days at less than $6. Check out our medication pricing list. This is a small sample of what we can get. If you don’t see your medication, just ask and we can price it for you. Additionally, we can mail your medications to you directly every 90 days. Our pharmacy is only available to our patients.

What can Ashewell do for Small Businesses and their employees?

We know that providing health benefits to your employees is important to you. We are here to help! Any company can enroll 5+ patients for $99/employee per month. These fees can be paid pretax through a payroll deduction. An employer can choose to pay some or all of the monthly fee. By giving your employees the gift of direct pay primary care you will be providing timely access to a board certified specialist in adult primary care. No more wait or days off for doctor visits. Additionally, you will be giving them access to our wholesale medications, labs and imaging thereby significantly reducing their out of pocket expenses.

We can lower the cost of your employee health benefits up to 60% when you combine our care with a partially self-funded health plan. We work directly with an insurer who can put an employee healthcare plan together for you which combines major medical with our primary care services. Contact us for more information.

Are you a concierge medicine practice?

We defy labels. We practice medicine the way medicine should be practiced. We focus on putting the patient first, and believe all people should have access to our care.

Will I benefit from Ashewell Medical Group if I don’t require frequent medical attention?

Of course. We might argue that everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them. Our practice is devoted to the maintenance of your good health. You will find a modern, relaxed environment, with unhurried visits. When you need us we are here. With time we will build a comprehensive, intimate knowledge of your health allowing us to tailor your treatment plans and preventative health measures.

Does Ashewell Medical Group accept health insurance?

No, but we can save you money. Perhaps the most critical distinction in our model of care centers on a direct, personal relationship between you and your doctor. We forgo insurance payments in order to eliminate the middleman. Furthermore this arrangement frees us from the typical contractual agreements that prevent physicians from offering wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging, and medications.

As a patient at Ashewell will I still need health insurance?

Yes. We recommend that our patients continue to carry both a major medical plan and a health savings account to ensure financial help should hospitalization or referral to a specialist be necessary.

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

In providing superb care with unprecedented sorts of access, we seek to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. In instances where those types of care are required, your care will be managed by a board-certified hospitalist if admitted, and we will be available to work closely with them via phone. Additionally, we will work closely with any specialist, coordinating your care.

Can children become members of Ashewell Medical Group?

Yes! Dr. Vieages has limited space for children 2 years old and up, and is currently accepting new patients.

Can I contact my physician after hours? And how?

Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may call your physicians any day, at any hour. If you prefer, you may also e-mail your physician or text. We provide unlimited tele-health services which are also included.

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

Because we know you well, we can streamline your care when you’re sick away from home. Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation by phone, email, text or webcam. We’ll locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most 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 at Ashewell Medical Group is right for me?

Contact us at to schedule time to discuss your health care needs. Our care is not right for everyone, and our care can be terminated anytime with 30 days notice.

Do you treat chronic pain and anxiety?

We recognize many people live with chronic pain and understand the necessity of controlling such symptoms. We also recognize chronic pain management as a specialized field of medicine and believe long-term treatment of chronic pain should be addressed by a board certified pain management physician in an accredited pain management center. Just as you would expect us to refer you to a general surgeon to have your gallbladder removed, or to a cardiologist for heart disease, you should expect referral to an pain management specialist for chronic pain management.

We treat anxiety every day. We do not prescribe controlled substances for the long-term treatment of anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam) may be prescribed for the SHORT TERM treatment of acute anxiety, or on an infrequent “as needed” basis, but will not be prescribed for routine long-term use. Internists are experienced in the diagnosis and management of anxiety and depression and see patients with these issues on a daily basis. Anti-depressants and certain other anti-anxiety medications are not controlled substances and will be prescribed as needed.