What is direct pay and why did Dr. Kittridge choose a direct care model?
This is a non-traditional practice model that Dr. Kittridge is passionate about and feels will inspire strong doctor-patient relationships. At Kittridge Dermatology, Dr. Kittridge blocks out the bureaucracy that has clouded medical care by opting out of Medicare and discontinuing contracts with private insurance companies.
A direct care model is simple. It is no more complicated than eating at your favorite restaurant. You stop in, get service and you pay for it. Direct physician care practices operate much the same way. No hidden fees, no surprise bills, no co-pays or insurance cards. Just straightforward medical care when you need it. This is NOT a concierge model. There is NO membership fee.
Direct care models are free-market based. In a free market, no one forces people to buy a product nor does it tell consumers where to buy it or how they must use it. Why should it be different with healthcare? And yet it is in the traditional medical model. BUT, not in a direct care model…
Direct care models decrease costs by cutting out the overhead that comes with insurance companies and regulations. The cost of your complete office visit is no more than most people’s cell phone bill and you know exactly what these costs are before services are rendered.
Dr. Kittridge DOES believe that medical insurance is beneficial, but feels that we have lost sight of the proper place for insurance. Like car, life and disability insurance, the role of medical insurance should be reserved for large, expensive and catastrophic events- not typical day-to-day care. Could you imagine using your car insurance to pay for gas, oil changes or new tires? The result would be unaffordable car insurance costs, lack of price transparency, over-utilization of services and subsequent insurance control of the care of your vehicle. This is exactly what has transpired in medicine.
Here at Kittridge Dermatology, Dr. Kittridge aims to restore the traditional practice of medicine when medical decisions were made between doctor and patients- not dictated by third parties. This type of practice model will allow Dr. Kittridge to spend more quality time face-to-face with patients and less time waiting for your appointment. Your time is valuable and Dr. Kittridge appreciates that.
How does a direct care model work?
For patients with private insurance (non-Medicaid, non-Medicare) this means that you would pay Kittridge Dermatology directly for your care. Please see “Pricing” for more details on our transparent fees. Health spending and flex spending accounts are accepted forms of payment for medical services. For those with private insurance, upon request, we may provide you with an itemized and coded form to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Not all insurance companies allow reimbursement for services. It is the responsibility of the patient to check with their insurance providers regarding rules regulating reimbursement.
All patients will need to sign a “Private Contract” before being seen for any medical services at Kittridge Dermatology. For those patients with Medicaid or Medicare, you cannot be reimbursed by Medicaid, Medicare or any supplemental insurance for any services rendered by Dr. Kittridge. This however, does NOT change any of your Medicaid or Medicare benefits in any way and your insurance will remain in full effect for lab, x-ray, hospitalization, and all services provided by doctors who participate with your insurance. This only means that Medicaid or Medicare should not be charged in any way for the services rendered by Dr. Kittridge.
Because pathology is not preformed in-house at Kittridge Dermatology, patients may elect to use their insurance (with the exception of Medicare HMOs) to pay for any necessary labs or pathology ordered by Dr. Kittridge.