What is Direct Care Medicine?
Direct Care Medicine provides patients (also known as members) direct access to their physician, while allowing the physician and team to maintain a smaller, more personal practice.
Members pay a monthly or annual fee which covers their in-office care, including unlimited access to their doctor via longer appointment times, same day appointments, after-hours phone calls, email and online telemedicine/video conferencing sessions; routine screenings, including allergy testing and spirometry; and immunotherapy, including allergy shots or drops.
Patients have immediate access to a doctor 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Patients are provided their physician’s cell phone number in case of a medical issue.
What are the benefits?
For patients, the benefits to concierge medicine are clear:
Unparalleled access to your doctor
Decreased wait times
More personalized care
One set cost, regardless of use
For physicians, the benefit is profound: Being able to practice medicine in the manner in which you are called: Providing care that is patient and personal for everyone.
How does it work?
Because direct care practices do not participate in any insurance plans, they are able to avoid the increasingly time-consuming and costly documentation that is required by insurers. These mandates require unreasonable staff, time and money. By avoiding these obligations, The Allergy Station will be free to invest that time directly into our patients, spending the time necessary to listen, understand and manage issues appropriately.
Our goal is to offer the most sophisticated, yet personalized approach to care that opens the door to better communication and, ultimately, better health.
By seeing fewer patients and offering 24/7 availability for our patient’s needs, The Allergy Station intends to provide care that you will not find in traditional practice – the care that you deserve.
What specialty care services are covered under my membership plan?
Your membership covers all typical specialty care services for allergy immunology. This includes office provider visits and video conferencing. You will have direct communication with your provider by phone, texting, and secure email. Since we do not bill insurance, we do not collect copays for appointments and allergy injections. Your membership plan also includes in-office testing and procedures at no extra cost. See our list of specialty care services you will receive.
How does your office environment differ from any other doctor’s office?
From the moment you step into our office, you will notice the difference at The Allergy Station. The reception area is warm, quiet and inviting, and our office staff is friendly and professional. You should experience very short wait times to see your provider, and we encourage you to enjoy a refreshing drink or read our health-focused magazines or tablets while you wait. Specialized examination rooms and tables are available, but you may very well see Dr. Miller in the comfort of his office, in our allergy lab, or in our cozy conference room. We are deeply committed to providing ample time to cover your medical concerns and answer all of your questions. You will be encouraged to bring up new issues or concerns. In short, our goal is to provide you and your family with an experience that certainly meets and might exceed your expectations for a doctor’s office.
Is there a limit to the number of patients who can join The Allergy Station?
Yes. One of the most important aspects of private specialty medicine is limiting the practice size to be able to devote more time and energy to each patient. Dr. Miller is accepting new consults, transfers of care and specialty requests, but the number of patients is being monitored and will be limited to the size of our staff and office.
Do I still need to have health insurance as a member of your practice?
Yes. It is very important that you and your family maintain a medical insurance policy. We are not an insurance provider. You will need insurance to cover those medical fees not included in our membership plan such as prescription drugs, certain send-out labs, diagnostic imaging (X-rays, CT’s, MRI’s), and services provided by medical specialists. Most importantly, medical insurance is necessary to protect you from unforeseen high cost medical needs such as surgery, emergency care, or hospitalization. For help in selecting the best insurance plan for you and your family, please contact your health insurance broker.
I have an HMO insurance plan. Can I join The Allergy Station?
HMO plans require you to see a specific primary care physician and therefore manage what specialist you can be referred to. We will not be directly contracted with any HMO plans. You can, however, chose to become a member of The Allergy Station outside your HMO plan. Dr. Miller sees communication as paramount to your health care needs and will communicate directly with your PCP after the consultation, if that’s what you choose.
I have Medicare. Can I join The Allergy Station?
Yes. We will not bill Medicare, nor do we perform services which Medicare requires a statement for. You should check with your plan advisor, but we will treat Medicare as a back-up plan for emergency medical issues, just like a PPO or HMO.
How do I pay my membership fees?
You can pay by credit card or electronic funds transfer (withdrawal from checking account). We prefer EFT, as the fees are lower for all involved.
Can joining The Allergy Station actually save me money?
The answer is yes for most of our patients. As specialists, we can more efficiently help you manage many chronic health issues and concerns. We have a major focus on preventive medicine and wellness. As you probably already know, having a comprehensive health insurance plan for you and your family can be very expensive. As your direct specialty care provider, we have the time to closely coordinate your care. We have designed our office to be able to provide our patients with comprehensive allergy/ respiratory services, at little to no out-of-pocket cost. With the proper time and dedication from our team, we are more likely to prevent unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Studies have shown that an alarming and increasing number of procedures, imaging studies (such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s), labs, and surgeries are performed unnecessarily. These visits can have very significant out-of-pocket costs to you. These are two of the highest medical costs facing American families today. With proper co-management, we will make sure you get the tests that are appropriate and medically necessary. This is not only a cost savings for you, but likely leads to better health and wellness. Finally, we are asking you to make an investment in the most important aspect of your life – your physical, mental and emotional health. Specialized allergy, respiratory, and immunology care require a comprehensive approach that few practices can offer. We believe with our guidance and your active participation, we can actively work together to prevent or aggressively treat these conditions. In addition, we recognize the impact that stress and illness have on general health, and that’s why we’ve put our focus of wellness and prevention in all health realms.
What if I need to see a medical specialist?
Dr. Miller has been working in the local area for nearly 12 years. When help is needed from another provider, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist. This referral process will include providing your specialist with all the necessary medical records and studies pertinent to your case, direct physician-to-physician consultation prior to your appointment with the specialist, and direct coordination of your visit. Our medical assistants will confirm that the specialist is covered on your insurance plan, will make sure all the necessary paper work is completed before your appointment, and will remind you of your appointment date, time, and location. After your appointment, if you have any questions or concerns about your visit with your specialist, Dr. Miller will address these issues at an office appointment or by telemedicine (phone, email, or video-conference).
One of our main goals in providing you with comprehensive specialty care is to avoid unnecessary delays or prolonged health problems and diseases that warrant more intensive therapies.
I don't see the doctor very often. Is this membership plan worth it for me?
Absolutely. The focus of The Allergy Station is to not only see you when you are having issues, but to concentrate our efforts on long-term health and wellness. We plan, research, and focus with you to come up with a personalized health plan to achieve your optimal health and quality of life. We will remain in communication with you to maintain your health goals. We offer advanced respiratory and allergy testing that can help us focus our treatments and decision making. This can save you time and money, prevent discomfort and suffering, and avoid much higher costs in the long run. Our direct specialty care platform affords us the time to spend on this type of comprehensive and detailed approach.