Frequently asked questions
What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a membership-based primary healthcare model that does not bill third parties (insurance). A small monthly membership fee provides an individual or family with affordable, transparent, and unprecedented access to their DPC clinic, provider and other healthcare services. What we mean by that is you, the patient, pay a monthly membership fee, to have access to unlimited office vists with Cole, as well as 24/7 access to him via phone/text/email.
Do you take (or bill) insurance at Flex Family Health DPC?
No we do not take insurance or bill insurance for anything we do at Flex Family Health. Nor ARE we insurance. We may, however, ask for a copy of your insurance card should you need a referral to an outside service we are unable to provide.
This is one of the best parts of DPC- we take out the insurance "middle man", therefore creating a cost savings opportunity for you, the patient!
I have health insurance so why would I sign up with Flex Family Health DPC?
A lot of DPC providers will use the "car insurance" analogy to describe what our philosophy is. Most car insurance plans only exist to cover the unexpected or unplanned- they do not cover routine maintenance (i.e. oil changes, tire rotations) to keep your car in as good of shape as possible. Health insurance, we believe, should follow the same principle.
Also, you are paying to have more time, more access, and a personalized relationship with the same provider. Lower numbers of patients in the practice allow Cole to be able to personalize care plans and coordinate your care to be able to better take care of you and your healthcare needs.
If you need more rationale, the average individual with a plan from the Marketplace pays over $400 per month for their health insurance (for ONE person). Most health insurance plans also come with an average deductible (part YOU are responsible for before your insurance pays for anything) of $4,500 per year, plus your out-of-pocket maximum responsibility each year. You can get most of your healthcare needs taken care of for the entire year at Flex for less than 2 months worth of insurance. We are not saying you shouldn't have insurance, you need it for the big or unexpected problems (i.e. Cole cannot take your appendix out), but if you are willing to do this then what is half of your cable or cell phone bill a month for high quality care? Maybe we are not right for you and that is just fine, but shouldn't you ask for more out of your healthcare than what is offered now?
That being said, there are even MORE benefits we offer. Instead of reading on and on and on,
contact us for a personalized discussion.
I have a HSA and/or a FSA, can I use these to pay for my membership and services?
At this point in time, no, you cannot, unfortunately. However, you can use these accounts for lab work fees done at FLEX as well as imaging or referrals you may need to pay for outside of your subscription. There is legislation currently in the federal goverment to allow DPC to be paid for with HSA funds. Flex Family Health will strive to lobby for this legislation (and future legislation) to help our industry and YOU, the patient.
What is the difference between a Nurse Practitioner (NP), a Physician Assistant (PA), and a Physician (MD/DO)?
To start, all of these professionals provide quality care to patients across the United States. However, there are some differences between them:
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are nurses who have completed training to assess individual's health conditions and treat them, many times with procedures and medications, by practicing NURSING or the nursing model. In many states, including Montana, Nurse Practitioners can do this without the supervision of a physician. Many times NPs pracitced as registered nurses (RNs) prior to going back for their graduate degree where they gain valuable health care experience. NPs are trained at a Masters or Doctoral level. Cole has his Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree, the highest clinical degree attainable by a nurse, and is a board certified Nurse Practitioner.
Physicians (MD, DO) are health care providers who have been trained to assess and treat patients through the practice of MEDICINE. They have the most extensive amount of supervised training through interning and residency.
Physicians Assistants (PAs) are health care providers who assess and treat patients through the practice of MEDICINE. They must do so under the supervision of a physician (MD, DO).
2 distinct differences above are that NPs practice nursing and PAs and MDs/DOs practice medicine. What does this mean? NPs focus on the holistic care of the individual/family and their response to disease where PAs and MDs/DOs traditionally focus on the disease process. At Flex Family Health we believe all of these healthcare professionals provide exceptional care and are committed to working interprofessionally with the idea that the patient is our #1 priority.
What can I be seen for at Flex Family Health?
Please see our "Services" page for a comprehensive list of what we provide at Flex Family Health.
Is there a limit to the number of office visits or services that I may use each month with my membership?
No!! That's the beauty of DPC. You can schedule one office visit or ten office visits per month, and you'll still pay the same membership fee.
What happens if I need a service that is not available at Flex Family Health DPC (ie. imaging, surgery, etc.)
If you haven't please check our 'Services' page to see what we offer to our members. If you need a service that we cannot provide, and you are an established patient at Flex Family Health, we will assist in scheduling and coordinating whatever that service may be. We also have relationships with various outside services, where our members may be able to get those services, such as imaging, at a minimized cost.
Do you take Medicare?
No we do not take any types of insurance- Medicare included. HOWEVER, Cole can take you as a patient if you have Medicare. That being said, you may not submit your membership fees for reimbursement to Medicare, as this is unlawful (even though you are saving yourself AND the goverment more money). If you are interested, please contact us for more details.
How do I sign up to be a patient at Flex Family Health DPC?
Go to our enrollment page to start!
I'm normally a healthy person, maybe have 1-2 unexpected illness visits a year, can I just pay the monthly membership fee when those instances arise?
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: A large emphasis on the DPC provider/patient relationship is committment. Committment to each other, committment to health. That is why we do charge an initial enrollment fee each time a membership is established, or re-established. We believe in establishing, and building upon the provider/patient relationship- just like in the good ol' days.
Is my membership at Flex Family Health DPC "Health Insurance"?
No. We are not health insurance. We still strongly suggest that our members carry some type of traditional health insurance plan (or medical cost sharing plan [ask us for more details]), especially to cover for unexpected, potentially catostrophic, health events.
So finally, how do I know if Flex Family Health DPC is right for me?
Do you like saving money (in particularly, on your healthcare)?
Do you like seeing the same provider for your healthcare needs every visit?
Do you like having a relationship with your provider and knowing that they are dedicated to YOU?
Do you like short waiting room times, and longer visit times with your provider?
Do you like the thought of having a healthcare provider to call or text on the weekend when the dreaded flu bug or ear infection hits?
If you answered "yes" to any (or all!) of these questions, then Flex Family Health just might be a great fit for you.
What if I think I'm having a medical emergency?
We encourage you to ALWAYS use your best judgement, if you believe you are having a true emergency, of course we advise you to seek emergent care at an Emergency Department or call 911 immediately. However, if you are unsure whether your situation consitutes an emergency or not, as a member of Flex Family Health, you can call/text/email Cole to get his opinion before you make that decision.