Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a system to deliver primary care services for a membership fee rather than per visit. It is similar to concierge medicine but with a much lower monthly fee. It is designed for people with no insurance or under-insurance (high deductible plans). For example, one year of membership is around 1/5 the cost of a deductible.
END RESULT: HIGHER QUALITY CARE FOR WAY LESS MONEY
DPC cuts out the middle-men of the healthcare industry, which saves patients significant amounts of money. Dr. Garg joined hundreds of other DPC doctors servicing thousands of patients across the country to set up the only DPC clinic in the Greater New Haven area. Please read about how Dr. Garg has set up her DPC practice below.
Hospital level care
The biggest question people have when thinking of adopting this approach is, what about unfortunate diagnoses (e.g. cancer, heart attacks, etc.) or severe trauma incidents? For this, Dr. Garg uses something called health care shares. Health care shares were started by religious organizations who wanted to support their uninsured parishioners. They have gained in popularity servicing over 400,000 Americans, and now there are many options, including secular ones. For around $100-$150/month, they offer coverage for significant hospital costs. They do not pay for outpatient care. They expect you to pair their service with a DPC for out-of-hospital care. Call Dr. Garg for more information!
LFM has a special contract with lab services that allows Dr. Garg to access highly discounted pricing. For example, her comprehensive "New Patient" panel is over $1000 when charged to insurance, but it is only $50 for her DPC patients. Why the cost difference? DPC allows people the opportunity to cut out the middle-man and pay the people who are providing your services directly.
Dr. Garg has sourced private imaging companies that give a self-pay rate for imaging tests that is roughly 1/4 of what they charge insurance companies. There is a further 50% discount if the patient pays on the same day of service. For example, a chest x-ray, including facility fee and radiologist read, is around $55, instead of $300+ for the self-pay rate at a hospital system. Breast imaging is also available at this location.
Having worked for four different hospital groups in the Greater New Haven area, Dr. Garg has developed a network of privately-owned specialists that have reasonable direct-pay rates for their services, including
- Pediatrician: $150/physical and ~$100 sick visit (vaccines covered by the state)
- Dermatology: $150 first visit/skin check and $100 annually after that
- OB/GYN, Urologist, Cardiologist, Gastroenterologist, and more
As a board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Garg offers all urgent care services, including after hours, so you don't have to go to the Emergency Department or Urgent Care for anything other than true emergencies (e.g. heart attacks, broken bones, etc.).
LFM is signed up with about five pharmacy suppliers across the country. Dr. Garg checks pricing at all of them and sources the best cost medications for her patients. Rates are comparable (or many times cheaper) than your co-pay with health insurance.