Unless you have been living in a bubble, you are aware of the current pandemic and the “new normal” in our lives today. Covid-19 has turned our lives upside down with mass numbers of infected patients, social distancing, face masks, and closed schools and companies.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed medical care as well. Hospitals, family doctors, specialists, and dentists have enacted new protocols to protect the health and safety of patients and medical personnel.
At Blue Skies Family Medicine, our direct primary care practice in Mooresville has developed a plan to protect our patients and our staff. Your health is our priority.
What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a relatively new model for healthcare practices. DPC models have developed and rapidly grown due to expensive, confusing health insurance plans. Instead of paying a pricey monthly insurance premium and out-of-pocket expenses, patients simply pay a membership fee for access to a physician and personalized patient care.
How Does It Work?
DPC models cut out the middle man, or the insurance company, in healthcare. Rather than waiting for referrals and approvals and paying extra costs for healthcare, the patient enters into a financial agreement directly with the doctor.
The patient pays the provider a monthly fee for care instead of paying copays and high insurance premiums. This fee gives the patient access to comprehensive primary care and other medical services.
Advantages of DPC
When compared to traditional practices with family doctors, seeing a direct primary care physician has a number of benefits including:
- Better physician access – As a membership-based program, DPC practices accept fewer patients giving the primary doctor more time to spend one-on-one with the patient. Appointment scheduling is also usually easier.
- Better patient-doctor relationships – Direct primary care is very patient-centered. With more time to spend with individual patients, the family doctor has time to focus on an individual patient’s needs and concerns.
- Improved healthcare – Having fewer patients and increased time for appointments gives DPC doctors a better understanding of their patients’ health and needs. If additional care is needed with a specialist, the doctors communicate effectively for better continuity of care.
- Transparent pricing – Costs of medical care are communicated upfront rather than negotiating after the fact with insurance companies. Many services are covered by the membership plan. Prices are given ahead of time for uncovered services.
As a smaller direct primary care practice, Blue Skies Family Medicine gives patients 24/7 access to a primary care physician, unrushed appointments, and a personal approach to medical care. Our practice offers membership plans to suit individuals or families. The plans cover a range of services and discounted fees on additional services.
Direct Primary Care Amid Covid-19
If you have visited a store, office, or medical practice in the last few months, you are aware of the changes Covid-19 has brought upon us. From the number of patients allowed in an office at one time to the way you enter and exit a building, changes are all around us.
Covid-19 Changes to Medical Care
To ease the transition to the “new normal,” the CDC has established guidelines to help medical practices navigate the Covid-19 waters safely. These guidelines include information to help practitioners safely treat patients who may have been exposed to Covid-19. The guidelines also detail how to open and operate a medical practice amid the pandemic, how to keep other patients and staff safe and healthy, and how to utilize telemedicine services.
Not only have Zoom calls replaced business meetings and conferences, but also telemedicine or telehealth has become a normal way to schedule doctors’ appointments from the comfort and safety of your own home. At Blue Skies Family Medicine in Mooresville, you can reach our practice by phone, text, or email for health concerns during office hours. After hours, Dr. Weeks is available by phone for urgent matters and by email for all other concerns.
Blue Skies Family Medicine’s Covid-19 Practices
At Blue Skies Family Medicine, we have developed a Covid-19 plan to keep our patients and our staff healthy amid the pandemic. A few of our new practices include the following:
- A mask or face covering is required for all patients ages 5 and over, unless cleared by Dr. Weeks beforehand.
- Do not arrive for appointments more than 10 minutes ahead of time. One of the benefits to direct primary care practices is a limited number of patients in the office at one time anyway. However, by arriving closer to your scheduled appointment time, we can further limit the number of patients in the office at one time.
- The appointment is for the patient only. For a child’s appointment, only one parent may accompany the patient.
- If you have symptoms of Covid-19 or may have been exposed, we ask that you get tested before coming to the office.
If you have questions about our Covid-19 plan, do not hesitate to call us. We are happy to address any concerns you may have.