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frequently asked questions

I’ve answered the questions I am most often asked about DPC all in one place. I’ve also included a short video link with each question. The videos are less than 60 seconds each. If you have further questions or want to talk to me, Dr. Flowers, send me an email, and I will either reply, give you a call, or set up a time to meet you and discuss your questions in person. There is also a live chat option available at the bottom right of the page. DPC is about getting what you need, on your time, and that starts now.

How do I (as an existing patient) make an appointment?
What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?

A membership model for primary care. You pay the doctor directly, and the doctor takes care of your primary care needs. There is no middle man or insurance company to inflate the cost or delay your care.

How is Mira DPC different than a traditional medical practice?
I am restoring control of your healthcare decisions to you, the patient. We will work together to determine what is best for you. My DPC practice is focused on you, not on your top two complaints. The current encounter based traditional practice is comprised of rushed visits and brief encounters. This does not allow for the development of the doctor-patient relationship. Time is required to get to know my patients and to understand their symptoms, context, fears, and concerns. This relationship is vital to providing the best care for you. I will have as much time as we need to take care of you without being rushed to get to the next patient.

I will be able to take care of simple issues without an office visit. In the current encounter based traditional practice model, the only way a physician can get paid by insurance and Medicare/Medicaid is to see patients in the office. This takes up your time and forces the doctor to hurry through many visits to be able to pay their overhead costs. Many times, direct communication with your doctor via text, email, or a phone call results in the doctor knowing what will work best for you, and thus the doctor is able to quickly resolve the issue because there are no insurance hurdles in the way.” Quickly resolving the issue could be you picking up a medicine in the office, swinging by for the nurse to give you a shot, calling in a medicine to a traditional pharmacy, or when a more thorough history and physical exam are needed, scheduling of a same day appointment may be needed. Depending on your needs and preferences, it will be possible to set up a home visit, meaning the doctor comes to you.

Is Direct Primary Care a type of insurance?
No.  Direct Primary Care is not health insurance.  You should have health insurance that is right for you.  I recommend an insurance plan that best complements a DPC membership because that’s the most cost-effective way to cover your medical needs.
What are the benefits of DPC?
More time with your doctor. Your DPC doctor is no longer tied to a computer screen, typing away trying to get reimbursed from the insurance company, which frees them to sit down and listen to you. They are able to do what doctors love, and that is take care of patients. Most visits are scheduled for at least 45 minutes of face to face time with your doctor, and this can be extended when needed. We offer same-day scheduling with little to no wait.

The convenience and connectivity with your doctor are unparalleled. You’ll have their cell phone number for texting and calling, and you can contact them through other social media outlets as well. You’ll have peace of mind and trust in knowing that your doctor is available for you.

Price transparency is a benefit. You’ll know before you leave the office exactly what you are paying for, where that money goes, and how much money you saved by using direct primary care instead of a traditional practice.

Family Focus – Our office staff is professional, knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Because our practice is small, you will always talk to someone you know.  There is no large, impersonal, production-based office here! Our small size allows us to bring the family back into family practice.

What is not included in DPC?
The following is a list of the services that are not included under our direct primary care model:

Services provided by other practitioners, such as a sub-specialist to whom the patient is referred.

Outpatient medication purchased at a pharmacy or through our office as well as supplies we cannot provide in the course of treatment during a patient visit.

Hospital care, including inpatient admission, rounds, and discharge.

Imaging studies (i.e. x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, etc.), although we have negotiated lower prices for these items.

Lab studies done outside the office, although we have negotiated lower prices for labs drawn in our office.

Any services rendered by other facilities or by another provider, in the rare event that Dr. Flowers is unavailable.

Newborn circumcisions.

Certain ancillary services such as home health or hospice orders.

Now, with all that said, it is important to understand that Dr. Flowers has a number of strategies in place designed to help patients save money when he cannot provide a particular service in-house (such as lab work or imaging services).  He and his staff are also able to obtain name-brand prescriptions free of charge for those patients who need a certain medication and who financially qualify.

What if I don't have health insurance, can I do Direct Primary Care?

Yes.  Everyone is welcome in Direct Primary Care.  But you have to understand that DPC is for primary care purposes only.  I strongly recommend you have health insurance in the event that more serious medical or surgical problems arise.

I do have health insurance, can I do Direct Primary Care?

Yes, everyone can do DPC! Then why pay for DPC if I already pay for health insurance?  With the high deductibles that most people have, many find that a DPC membership, along with its access to discounts on labs and medicines, is actually cheaper than using their health insurance for primary care. This is a proven model to save money. Others have to decide if they value the time, access, and more personal care that they receive from their DPC doctor.  I feel very strongly that personalized care and time with your doctor is an exceptional value and an invaluable part of quality healthcare. So, you don’t have to change or cancel your insurance to do DPC. Direct Primary Care is open to everyone.

Is this a type of concierge medicine?

No.  Usually, concierge medicine is expensive and the physicians still participate with insurance plans.  DPC is inexpensive and has no middleman between doctor and patient. The easy access to the physician is a common feature of both, however.

What does Mira DPC cost?

Most DPC memberships cost less than the average cell phone bill. The monthly fee, as well as the other charges, are usually much more affordable than insurance-based premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. Here at Mira DPC, the cost is $89 a month. See the next FAQ to see what that includes!

What do I get with Mira DPC?
In-depth, comprehensive, annual wellness evaluation with lab and a personalized yearly wellness plan.

Communication (phone, text, emails, or virtual visits)

Unlimited Clinic visits (regular hours)

Some routine labs & tests such as urinalysis, strep screens, flu tests, and pregnancy tests

Medical equipment lease (crutches, etc.)

Minor procedures such as cryotherapy, minor laceration repair, IV fluids

Yearly flu shot

Access to discounted, wholesale pricing on other services (labs, meds, procedures, etc.)

I'm healthy and rarely go to the doctor. How does this benefit me?

I will be available to answer questions about small things via text so you do not have to take a half a day off to address them like you would at a traditional medical practice.

What happens after hours and on weekends?

Text, call, or email me. I will answer, take care of the problem, and if needed will meet you at the office.

Does your practice bill my insurance, Medicare or Medicaid?

No. I work directly for you, providing exceptional, personal, direct health care without the increasing constraints and limitations of the government and insurance companies.

Does your practice accept Medicare/Medicaid patients?

Yes. We can see patients who have Medicare and Medicaid. However, the membership fee is not covered by Medicare/Medicaid, and you will need to sign a waiver stating that neither of us will be billing Medicare/Medicaid for my services. Other services I order such as lab, radiology, specialist care, and hospitalization may be billed to these programs.

What happens if I need to see a specialist?

I will coordinate your referral to a specialist in your insurance network, and they will bill your insurance.

What happens if I need to be admitted to the hospital?

I will coordinate with the hospitalist who is taking care of you, to get them the most up to date information on your current healthcare and records with your approval, and work with them to coordinate your post-discharge planning to optimize your care and keep you out of the hospital in the future.