Frequently Asked Questions
What is Washington Park Direct Care (WPDC)?
Washington Park Direct Care is a Direct Primary Care medical practice. It is a redesigned approach towards primary care that puts the patient at the center of the decision making and strategy for managing primary care.
Is Concierge Medicine the same as Direct Primary Care?
No. The terms are often used interchangeably, but there is an important difference. Concierge medicine was born in the mid 1990’s for mainly wealthy individual’s for unrestricted access to the physician who took care of 200 or less patients. Direct care was born in the mid 2000’s with the focus on putting the patient first, charge a much lower fee and caring for up to 1,000 patients. This means the doctor is more available, treating patients when they need treatment, never rushing patients through appointments, and being proactive with treatment plans. The doctor-patient relationship is just as the name suggests – direct. Direct primary care clinics don’t accept insurance, rather they choose to work directly with the patient, providing them wholesale labs and prescription prices along the way.
What sets WPDC apart from other practices?
By refusing to allow any interference with the privacy and sanctity of the patient/physician relationship, we have returned family practice medicine to the old-fashioned values of clinical excellence for, and compassionate knowledge of, every patient. In every aspect of family health care, and custom health care, we promise accessibility, convenience, and affordability.
Will I still benefit from WPDC even if I don’t require frequent medical attention?
Of course. Everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them. That’s why we offer custom healthcare. 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. In wellness and therapeutic care alike, WPDC’s great ally is time. Large amounts of precious, irretrievable time given to you as needed. Every visit, for whatever reason, will be easy-going in its absolute thoroughness, relaxed in answering your questions and addressing the need of the moment. Then, as the months and years go by, we’ll build a comprehensive, intimate knowledge of you and your health.
Does WPDC accept health insurance?
No, and that is the point. 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. We forgo insurance payments in order to save our patients from the arbitrary, intrusive decisions that inevitably follow with third-party payors. Furthermore, this direct fee-for-services arrangement frees us from the typical contractual agreements that prevent physicians from offering wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging, and medications.
As a patient of WPDC, will I still need health insurance?
WPDC does not provide comprehensive health insurance coverage and provides only the health care services specifically described. WPDC encourages direct care patients to obtain and maintain insurance for services not provided by WPDC.
We recommend that our clients continue to carry a major medical plan and a health savings account, thereby ensuring financial help should hospitalization or referral to a specialist be necessary. If you are interested in talking to a health insurance expert, you can either contact Mr. Lance Fletcher or Mr. Bob Holland at Centralia General Agencies: 360.736.8283, or Jeff Holman Insurance at 360.748.0450 for questions about individual and/or group quotes.
If I have Medicare, can I still join WPDC?
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 WPDC tax deductible?
Not yet, but are anticipating that it will be defined as a “medical expense” through the IRS soon. Washington State Senators have sent a letter to the IRS, in June 2014, explaining that the Affordable Care Act does consider membership a medical expense and the IRS needs to recognize it as such. In the meantime, consult with your tax consultant to clarify tax consequences in your particular circumstances.
Can children become members of WPDC?
Yes. We are happy to accept the children (birth to 18 years of age) of our enrolled clients.
Can I contact my physician after hours? And how?
Yes. Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may contact your physicians outside regular office hours, by phone, email or text message.
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. In the age of telemedicine, many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation by phone or sending a picture, or facetime. In most instances we can call in a medication to a pharmacy nearest you.
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.