What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative alternative payment model for primary care. DPC providers are focused on service, patient choice, advocacy, stewardship and elimination of fee-for service medicine. The hallmark of DPC is adequate time spent between patient and physician working towards a lasting relationship based on trust. Patients are empowered to choose their personal physician. DPC providers are committed advocates for patients within the healthcare system. DPC providers believe that healthcare must provide more value to the patient. The ultimate goal is health and wellbeing, not simply the treatment of disease. DPC eliminates undesired fee-for-service (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. DPC replaces FFS with a simple flat monthly fee that covers comprehensive primary care services.
What is Ashewell Medical Group?
Ashewell Medical Group provides direct pay Internal Medicine and direct primary care to Asheville, NC. Our care is timely, thorough, comprehensive, affordable, and very, 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 DPC practices?
At Ashewell Medical Group our monthly fee includes unlimited visits and there are never any co-pays. We have an in-house pharmacy where we provide medicines at wholesale prices. We have also negotiated lab prices and medical imaging prices for our patients at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at a traditional medical office or imaging center. The purpose of Direct Primary Care is to bring significant savings to the community it serves and it is only by offering these services that we can eliminate the out of pocket costs that weigh heavily on individuals, families and employers.
Tell me more about your pharmacy?
We are proud to be working with DPC providers nationwide and this relationship offers us the opportunity to 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 us, 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?
At Ashewell, 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 $59/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.
Is concierge medicine the same as direct primary care?
No, though the terms are often used interchangeably. Direct primary care is a healthcare model focused on putting the patient first. Ashewell Medical Group may be different from other “concierge practices,” in its focus on delivering affordable direct care without unnecessary and underutilized benefits and costs.
What separates Ashewell from other practices?
We don’t do bureaucracy or anything that stands between the patient and the physician. We don’t take insurance. Our low monthly fee covers comprehensive primary care services delivered by a Board Certified Internal Medicine doctors. Dr. Brown and Dr. Bartow have both outstanding credentials and experience. They listen, and focus on achieving patients healthcare goals. We offer wholesale medications and labs because it is easier and cheaper for our patients.
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.
If I have Medicare, can I still join Ashewell Medical Group?
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 monthly fee to Ashewell Medical Group tax deductible?
Yes! Speak to your tax advisor, but ours ensures us that services rendered are tax deductible.
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?
Currently we see all patients 14 years old and up.
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. Video call is also available, during office hours.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
As a general rule, WE DO NOT MANAGE CHRONIC PAIN and will not routinely prescribe narcotics or other controlled substances (Tramadol, Codeine, Hydrocodone, Soma, etc.) on an on-going basis. 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 interventional pain management specialist for chronic pain management.
As a general rule, WE DO NOT ROUTINELY PRESCRIBE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES FOR THE LONG-TERM TREATMENT OF ANXIETY. Anti-anxiety drugs 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.