Frequently Asked Questions
What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care, or DPC, is healthcare that is between the doctor and the patient – exactly as it should be. For too long, insurance companies have run healthcare – who you can see, when you can see them, how much they have to charge and how much they will be paid. With Direct Primary Care, you decide who to see and when to see them. Period.
How does it work?
Instead of having to pay copays and meet deductibles to use the over-priced insurance they have, our patients simply pay a monthly fee that covers all of their care from their primary care doctor. Everything. Research has shown that 90% of a family’s medical and healthcare needs can be met by their primary care doctor. Yes, there may be an instance where you need a higher level of care, or a specialist’s services. But when you get regular preventative care and timely care for acute illnesses, those times are rare.
How is Covington Family Health different?
You can find other DPC practices, but at Covington Family Health, we do things a little differently. Our monthly membership fee covers all of your care. Many other DPC practices will charge you for labs, minor procedures, and medicines they give in the office. Some even charge a copay on top of the membership fee. We don’t. We believe your monthly fee should be all you have to pay. So all visits, all procedures, all injections, and all regular labs are covered by your membership fees. For more information, read about our services here.
Can I contact Dr. Covington after hours?
Yes. We know illness and injury doesn’t always respect regular office hours, so you may call, text, or email him any day, at any hour. If you prefer, you may also use our secure patient portal to access your medical record and contact your physician. It’s how we do custom health care.
Do you accept insurance?
No. Very happily no. The healthcare insurance industry, and it’s restrictive participating agreements and endless red-tape, are one of the main causes of the breakdown of the healthcare system in America. There was a time that health insurance was reserved for “catastrophic” illness or disease – sort of the way automobile insurance or house insurance still is. You would never hand your automobile insurance card to the mechanic and expect him to change your oil, repair your brakes, and tune-up your engine for a low copay of $25. You expect to pay for minor repairs and upkeep on your car, knowing that the better you do, the better shape your car will be in. Healthcare can be the same. A DPC membership is affordable and can keep you healthy longer.
Do I still need insurance?
Yes. We are not an insurance plan. We do not cover care that we don’t provide, such as surgeries and hospital stays, and you would still need insurance to cover these emergency situations. Since you won’t ever have a copay to pay, or a deductible to meet when seeing your doctor, you can opt for a lower premium, higher deductible plan if that’s available. Another option to consider is healthcare sharing plans like Zion, Christian Healthcare Ministries, or MediShare. Pairing one of these plans with our low monthly fee can save you thousands on your healthcare expenses each year. Click here to find out more about how you can save money.
Can I join if I have Medicare?
Unfortunately, right now, no. If you’ve ever worked in any part of healthcare in the US, you know that Medicare has a death-grip on all healthcare insurance, and through that, on most physicians. In order to see Medicare patients without billing Medicare, we have to “opt-out” of Medicare. And that takes a while. (Note: You never have to “opt-in” to Medicare. All new medical school graduates are automatically opted in and required to follow all Medicare rules and regulations.) We will let you know when we are able to see Medicare patients.
I rarely go to the doctor. Why should I join?
Just as you would never neglect maintenance on your car and expect it to last very long, you do need to maintain your health. Again, multiple studies have shown that regular preventative healthcare can reduce the risk of developing chronic disease. But even more, why do you never go to the doctor? Is it because you really never have a bad sore throat, or bronchitis that just won’t go away? Do you never cut yourself and wonder if it needs stitches? Never have your child complain of a tummy ache or run a fever? Or do you avoid going to the doctor because it just isn’t worth the hassle? Having to find a doctor, calling and getting the automated voice secretary, waiting endlessly on hold, just to have to leave a message, and then wondering if they are ever going to call back? And when they do call back, being told the soonest they can see you is two weeks away? Yeah, we’ve all been there. But what if you could call your doctor whenever you need to, talk to him immediately or almost immediately, get seen that day, or even better, be able to handle your problem over the phone? Are you sure you wouldn’t use that kind of healthcare? What if, when you went in to see him, he was able to take all the time you needed to answer all your questions and explain everything you needed to know? That’s what you will get at Covington Family Health.