These are some of the most common question people ask. If you have other questions, please contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.
Direct Primary Care, or DPC, is a model of healthcare that puts patients first by getting rid of the red tape by which most other traditional practices are restricted. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is alternative payment model that puts patients first by getting rid of the red tape and improves access to high functioning healthcare with a simple, flat, affordable membership fee rather than a fee-for-service under the traditional practice model. There is no third-party billing. The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider. Patients have extraordinary access to their physician and the physician is accountable first and foremost his/her patients not insurance companies.With the DPC model, patients pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee (See are plans page under the "Join" tab for details). This fee covers the majority of primary care services including clinical and some laboratory services, consultative services, care coordination, and comprehensive care management. Most labs that are not covered are available through an arrangement with our lab provider at a heavily discounted rate that is disclosed to the patient in advance.
What is Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego?
Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego is the first Direct Care practice in the city of Nashville although there are others in surrounding communities. It is a single physician practice. As a patient of the practice, you will have access to directly to Dr. Dorrego by phone, email, text, video conference, or in office appointments that can typically be scheduled same or next day. Because this model is designed around the patient physician relationship, DPC doctors have fewer patients and know their individual patients and can address their needs better than a traditional practice can.
Are there any hidden fees?
No. We provide most care to members without any fees at all! If we do charge for non-covered services, we are always transparent with our pricing. If we recommend outside services, we try very hard to find you an upfront, reasonable price if paying cash.
What about lab work and other testing?
All members have access to many basic lab such as those during your annual physical for no charge at all. For labs not included in the membership, we offer significantly discounted, wholesale prices - 50-90% less than insurance based prices. We always let you know any additional costs up front so you are never surprised by an unexpected bill.
Is concierge medicine the same as Direct Primary Care?
The terms are sometimes erroneously used interchangeably and are rooted in the same principle of more personalized attention from your doctor. With concierge medicine, the fee, sometimes upward of $2000, only provides "premium" access to the doctor. It does not cover any medical services, and your insurance, or you are still billed a fee for services. Direct Primary Care clinics don’t accept insurance. They take care of most of your primary medical needs for the normal subscription fee. They also work directly with the patient to provide wholesale labs, deeply discounted prescription prices, and other costs savings along the way. Direct Primary Care is a healthcare model focused on putting the patient first. That means treating them when they need it, never rushing patients through appointments, and being proactive with healthcare treatment plans. The doctor-patient relationship is just as the name suggests – direct.
What sets Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego apart from other practices?
We have cut out the red tape of bureaucracy. The restrictions that typically leave physicians in a traditional healthcare setting buried in nonsense paperwork to comply with the insurance requirements in the billing process. These are not an issue through Direct Primary Care since there is no third party involment in your care. This allows Dr, Dorrego to spend his time where it really counts: with patients.
Will I benefit from Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego if I don’t require frequent medical attention?
We think so. We feel argue that everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them. Our practice is devoted to the maintenance of your good health, to the enhancements of your daily experience that only physical well-being can bring. Fee for service healthcare by its very nature is incentivised to have you make frequent trips to the doctor so they can bill for additional services. Our goal is to help you as you strive to live a healthy life so serious issues arise less frequently because you took advantage of having a healthcare program customized to your needs and were not de-incentivised to visit or call the doctor because you have not met a high deductible or have a high co-pay. So, when you do need care, we are available 24/7 to help get you back on track. Most unexpected trips to ER or urgent care are not really emergency room situations, but may need immediate attention and most doctors are not available "after hours." In these cases, we can help you avoid unnecessary emergency room and urgent care visits that would have emptied your pocketbook can easily be covered in a same day visit at our office.
Does Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego accept health insurance?
No. Does Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego accept health insurance? No. The individualized healthcare and patient doctor relationship would not be possible if we did. Perhaps the most critical distinction of the DPC model is a personal relationship between you and your doctor without the involvement of third parties dictating your healthcare based on what they will pay for. We forgo insurance payments to save our patients from the arbitrary, intrusive decisions that inevitably follow with third-party payors. Furthermore, this direct fee-for-services arrangement frees us from the typical contractual agreements that prevent physicians from offering wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging, and medications.
Can Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego bill my health insurance?
Direct Primary Care does not contract with any private commercial insurance plan. For specific procedures, lab fees, etc.. Dr. Dorrego can provide you an itemized billing statement. You can submit these to your insurance if they permit you to submit claims for reimbursement from out of network providers.
Can I use my insurance elsewhere if I join Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego?
Your insurance plans will continue to ope rate “as usual” at other doctor's office, hospitals and pharmacies. In the case of PPO-style plans and others that do not require a designated “gatekeeper” doctor for referrals, medications, tests, etc. Dr. Dorrego can order or refer just as another doctor would do. HMO-style plans do require an in-network designated primary doctor for access to other services.
Is a membership with Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego a form of health insurance?
No. Tennessee code § 63-1-504 (2016) specifically states that "a direct primary care agreement is not insurance" and that "entering into a direct primary care agreement is not the business of insurance."
Is a membership with Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego a substitute for health insurance?
No. Our membership is a great way to receive high quality primary health care and will take care of most if not all of your primary medical care needs. We can often provide many urgent care and minor emergency services during regular hours and often after hours depending on the situation and availability, that can help people avoid a trip to the ER, we do recommend having health insurance in the case of an unexpected, expensive event such as surgery, ER visit, or hospitalization. Our membership only includes services provided directly by Dr. Dorrego.
How much will my first visit cost?
We do not charge "per visit" under the membership model. New members must pay a minimum of one month of membership fees when they enroll. We prefer your first medical visit to be your intake visit / annual physical. This will help Dr. Dorrego establish a baseline for your on-going care. The basic labs required with the physical are included. If any non-covered labs or services are required, they will be disclosed up front and billed at the time of the visit.
Rates for non-member visits can be found on the "Join" page.
How much does an annual physical/wellness visit cost?
All wellness visits are provided at no cost to all members and a full physical is part of our standard new patient intake process. For non-members an annual physical is $180 plus lab fees. Standard labs generally performed as part of the annual physical are included for members. If there are health concerns found during the physical that require labs beyond those, that will be disclosed along with the cost before performing the lab. These labs will be available to members at the discounted rate.
As a patient of Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego , will I still need health insurance?
We recommend our patients continue a major medical plan with a high deductible and health savings account to ensure financial help should hospitalization or referral to a specialist be necessary.
If I have Medicare, can I still join Direct Primary Care by Dr. Dorrego?
Yes. You need only sign a waiver annually declaring that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for our services. Medicare will still cover imaging, medications, or hospitalizations to the degree they normally would, but will not pay for and cannot be billed for any of our services provided under the membership agreement that are covered by the monthly subscription fee.
What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?
By providing superb care with unprecedented sorts of access, we seek to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. In instances where those types of care are required, we will certainly continue to work with your hospitalist during your hospital stay as well as work closely with any specialist. In some cases, depending on the level of care and the sorts of expertise required, we may rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.
Can I contact my physician after hours? And how?
Yes! Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may call, text or email Dr. Dorrego any day, at any hour. Patients will be provided with a member only phone number they can use to text or call Dr. Dorrego at any time.
Can you manage chronic pain? Prescribe narcotics?
There are many modalities available to help minimize pain of chronic conditions and we aggressively work with patients to achieve adequate comfort. Acupuncture is one of those alternatives. Dr. Dorrego generally has a cautious and conservative approach to using narcotic/opiate medications such as hydrocodone, morphine, Lortab, Percocet, etc. We rarely use these controlled and potentially dangerous medications for long-term or chronic pain and we do not stock these as part of the prescription medication we offer at discounted prices to our patients.
Are my medical records ever shared with insurance carriers or pharmaceutical companies?
We maintain scrupulous standards of privacy. We are never obligated to provide any third party with a copy of your records unless you specifically ask that we do so. Your medical care is between you and your doctor.