If you have become unhappy with the modern model of health care and started looking at alternatives, you have probably heard about concierge health care. At a concierge practice, you pay an annual retainer fee to get more access to a doctor who has a much smaller patient load than that average doctor practicing under the banner of a health care corporation.
Concierge medicine and direct primary care are similar in that you pay a fee and in turn, receive unlimited amounts of health care in the office and additional services at discounted rates. However, the two types of practices differ in how they manage your insurance coverage.
Direct primary care practices are an evolution of what began as concierge medicine several years ago. They are similar in that you pay a fee, and in turn, receive unlimited amounts of health care in the office as well as additional services at discounted rates. However, the two types of practices differ in how they manage your insurance coverage. Because direct primary care does not charge you or your insurance for visits, your care is less expensive.
A concierge practice is usually part of an insurance company network and will bill various extra charges to your insurance company for you. Your membership fee will not count toward your deductibles, but any other charges will. In both direct primary care and concierge practices, you will be able to pay membership fees from health care savings accounts. Providers who belong to traditional coverage networks may default to referring to in-network specialists. Dr. O’Connell is not affiliated with an insurance network and is, therefore, free to help you find the best specialist for any additional treatment you may need.
At most concierge practices, you sign a contract for a year’s coverage, although you may be able to pay the annual fee in quarterly payments. At Sentinel Primary Care, you pay for your direct primary care membership monthly, with a six-month commitment.
In a recent survey, patients rated finding a doctor they like and trust as the most important criterion for selecting a direct primary care practice. We’ve all had the experience of finding a great doctor and then discovering that person is no longer a member of your insurance plan’s network. When you join Sentinel Primary Care, you can be sure you will continue to see Dr. O’Connell, regardless of what happens with any other insurance you may carry.
In that same survey, cost was the second most important factor, and convenience the third. Membership fees for Sentinel Primary Care are lower than fees for most local concierge practices and MUCH lower than fees for concierge care in big cities. No one likes to drive clear across town to sit in a doctor’s waiting room; most of Sentinel Primary Care’s members live within 15 miles of the office. However, with generous and careful scheduling and same- or next-day appointments, you won’t have to wait. We’ll be happy to see you in Brier Creek.
Doing Primary Care Better
Our members also enjoy many other benefits as part of their primary care in Raleigh. Explore our services to learn more about our relationship-based direct primary care model.