Frequently Asked Questions
What is a direct primary care?
Balanced Physician Care is family primary care that is very personal, simple, convenient, comprehensive and affordable. It is a membership model of care. For a very affordable monthly fee, you receive:
- Comprehensive, Personalized care.
- More time with your physician
- Expanded communication through email, video and phone
- More convenient care
- Discounted fees for exams, labs and other health care services
What sets Balance Physician Care apart from other practices?
Our model is designed to be very, very personal and comprehensive. We not only have the ability to provide you with all of the basic primary care services you would see at a traditional family care, internal medicine or pediatric practice. We also provide you with expertise in sports medicine and integrative medicine. We can provide an expanded menu of wellness services unparalleled by any practice in the Jacksonville area.
Does Balanced Physician Care take insurance?
No. We do not take commercial insurance, but do not let that scare you. Often our patients end up saving money. We have chosen to forego insurance payments in order to save our patients from the arbitrary decisions insurance companies make that often hinder their care. By not taking insurance, we also can save our patients from the expensive overhead keeping us from passing on wholesale pricing on to you.
If I have insurance, why would I need direct primary care?
For these reasons: convenience, reduced hassle, more personalized care and attention, personalized help navigating the health care system, the comfort of knowing you have a health care advocate on your behalf, and reduced cost for out of pocket expenses.
I have very minimal health insurance or a high-deductible plan, is this right for me?
This membership is perfect for you. Let your high-deductible plan do what it does best, take care of catastrophes. If you have a high-deductible plan, you may be paying out of pocket for your yearly basic primary care needs anyway. Rather than avoid the doctor’s office and go to urgent care only when you are in dire need, create a relationship with a primary care doctor and avoid time consuming office visits. Join our membership practice.
What does the Adult membership fee cover?
- Relaxed, Unhurried, Office Visits
- One annual physical ($25 visit fee for Basic Membership)
- Premier Members get certain routine laboratory tests included once per year
- Primary care visits included with Premier Membership and $25 visit fee with Basic Membership
- All procedures included (medication fee extra)
- Unlimited email/phone/ video communications with your provider
- Discount on labs, medications and radiology
- Reduced Urgent Care or ER visits because 24/7 direct contact with your doctor for advice can often prevent a trip
- Integrative Medicine visits included with Premier Membership
What is the difference between direct primary care and concierge medicine?
These terms are often used interchangeably, but direct primary care usually refers to a membership based practice with a very affordable monthly membership fee while concierge medicine often refers to a high annual monthly retainer fee that is often several thousands of dollars and your insurance is typically billed as well by the practice in addition to the yearly fee.
Direct primary care is focused on direct access to your doctor. The term direct implies that the middleman or “insurance” has been removed and the relationship has return to its roots – a direct relationship between patient and physician. It is about putting the patient first and giving the patient direct access to the doctor. It is about getting a phone call from your doctor about your results and having access to your doctor by email to just ask a question you may have. With insurance eliminated discounts in pricing and overhead can be passed directly on to you.
As a patient of Balanced Physician Care, do I still need insurance?
Yes. Insurance works best for covering catastrophes and big ticket medical expenses. You want insurance to cover major medical issues in case you are hospitalized, in an accident or if you develop a major medical illness that requires a lot of advanced testing or specialist care. For these reasons, we recommend you still have some basic insurance coverage. We are happy to refer you to insurance representatives to help you find a plan that fits your needs and your membership.
As a small business owner, could I purchase a membership such as this for my employees?
Yes, absolutely. At Balanced Physician Care, we provide primary care for your employees. Your personal insurance broker can help you find an insurance plan to fit well with this model. Most employers who value the importance of providing their employees with a health care benefit also value this model of care. Our membership plan provides employees not just with health insurance, but a place to meet their family care needs both from an acute care standpoint, but also from a long-term chronic care and preventative stand-point, as well. Here at Balanced Physician Care, we believe in the saying “an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Current health care plans available to small businesses in the current market place, just are not able to offer such comprehensive primary care services.
Does Balanced Physician Care Accept Medicare?
Yes. When Medicare is your primary insurance you may become a member of our practice. Medicare patients may become members of our clinic and pay a monthly membership fee for non-covered Medicare Services outlined in the membership agreement. We will bill Medicare only when Medicare provides primary coverage. We do not accept Medicare with secondary coverage or any Medicare Advantage plans at this time.
Is my membership fee tax deductible?
Unfortunately, no not at this time. Your retainer is not yet been deemed a “medical expense” in most states. Other procedures, labs and vaccinations done at this office however are usually considered medical expenses. As always, please consult your tax professional to be sure.
What happens if I need to see a specialist?
At Balanced Physician Care, we strive to provide the greatest breadth of services that we can, so that the need to see a specialist is limited. However, when a patient’s case is complex or if you feel you just want to seek a specialists advice we encourage you to go where you feel you should go to get the best care. If you would like us to coordinate your care, please let the specialist know that Balanced Physician Care is the home of your primary care physician, so that we can be sure to receive the appropriate consultation information and keep accurate information on any changes in your care that may occur after your visit.
What happens if I need to go to the hospital?
Our goal at Balanced Physician Care is to keep you out of the hospital as much as possible. Hospital care has become so complex nowadays that there are physicians who work solely in the hospital to take care of you while you are there. Please notify them that you are a member of our practice and we will work with them to ensure that they have the most updated information on your health while you are there.
Can children and infants be come members of Balanced Physician Care?
Absolutely. We enjoy taking care of families and provide membership discounts to children of our enrolled clients. We offer a Family Plan with our Premier Membership.
Can I contact my physician after hours?
Yes, that is a benefit of the membership.
What if I need medical care away from home?
As long as you are within the United States, we are happy to provide care for you over phone, email or text. Just contact us as you would normally do and we will see what we can do to help you while you are away.
What if I want to cancel my membership?
You may cancel at any time with 90 days notice.
Do you have a refund policy?
If your membership is terminated and you have paid annually, we will retain the monthly payment at our non-discounted fee for the months of participation and refund the remainder for you.
How do I know if Balanced Physician Care is right for me?
Please stop by and meet us in person. To schedule a no obligation, 10-15 minute Meet and Greet visit to learn more about our membership, just call our office or email us.
When can I join the practice?
Now. Just follow the link below, call us or stop by the office.