DPC Frequently Asked Questions
Take a moment to explore the benefits of Dr. Lucatorto's Direct Primary Care practice so you can decide whether or not it is the right choice for you. You can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. If you would like more information, please call our practice administrator, Denyce at 973-663-8899.
Q: How does DPC differ from traditional primary care?
A: DPC is an alternative practice model. This is a new primary care health care option that does not bill your insurance. This means you no longer have to deal with copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. There is a flat monthly fee, which provides improved access to your physician.
You will see and feel the difference immediately when you visit us at Morris Sussex Direct Family Practice. We have designed a relaxing and comfortable space. Office visits will never feel rushed so we can take the time to address your health concerns and questions. We limit our practice to a few hundred patients per doctor, far below the national average of 2,300 in most primary care practices today. With a smaller practice, we really get to know our patients, so we can take a more proactive role in your health and wellness, and be there when you need us. Our goal is to provide you and your family with an experience that will not just meet, but exceed, your expectations for a doctor’s office.
Q: Is there a limit to how many patients can join Morris Sussex Direct Family Practice?
A: Yes. One of the most important aspects of direct primary care is limiting the practice size to be able to devote more time and energy to each patient. Therefore, once we have reached our ideal practice size, we will establish a waiting list.
Q: Will the DPC practice accept my insurance?
A: The new practice does not bill insurance. The only cost will be the membership fee. You will have no copays, deductibles, nor coinsurance.
Q: Is DPC the exact same thing as concierge medicine?
A: No. Although both models charge a membership fee, DPC is ordinarily less expensive, while also covering the cost of office visits with your doctor. Concierge medical offices typically charge a high monthly fee, in addition to charges associated with insurance billing, including copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.
Q: What are the benefits of DPC?
A: Enhanced access to your physician, extended visits, guaranteed same- and next-day appointments, and on-demand video visits for improved convenience and access.
Q: Who does this membership plan work best for?
A: It works especially well for those who want to participate in improving their health and staying well, including:
* Patients desiring easy and direct communication with their doctor
* Patients who want a doctor to address the root cause of illness, not just treat the symptoms
* Those with high-deductible health plans, Health Sharing accounts, Health Savings accounts, PPOs or no insurance
* Self-insured businesses seeking to provide their employees with affordable health care and improved well-being, while simultaneously reducing everyone’s healthcare spending. Everyone benefits from the value-added services we offer at Morris Sussex Direct Family Practice.
Q: Can a DPC practice treat patients with insurance coverage?
A: Yes. We can see patients who have insurance. Additional services outside of our scope, including diagnostic imaging and laboratory studies, will be covered by your traditional insurance plan.
Q: How do I pay?
A: The membership fee will be collected monthly via credit card or debit your checking.
Q: Can Health Savings Account funds be used to pay the DPC membership fee?
A: No. However, there currently is pending legislation in congress to recognize HSA and FSA funds within the DPC model.
Q: Can joining Morris Sussex Direct Family Practice actually save me money?
A: While every patient’s situation is unique, it is likely that many patients will save money at our practice because we can handle the vast majority of your health issues and concerns.
Across the country, research and published findings show the direct primary care model can lead to:
* Less need for expensive testing * Less unnecessary medications * Savings on labs and imaging
* Fewer specialty referrals * Fewer emergency and hospital visits
By switching to a higher deductible, lower premium plan, we can actually help many of our patients save money.
We also have negotiated discounts with local labs and radiology providers for our patients who choose to pay cash for these services. AND you will know what the price will be BEFORE any such service is performed.
Q: Will I still benefit from membership even if I don't expect to need frequent medical attention?
A: Absolutely. Our focus at Morris Sussex Direct Family Practice is on preventive care, lifestyle modifications, screenings and risk assessments. We want to identify and prevent disease before it starts, concentrating our efforts on long-term health and wellness. We listen carefully to you to understand how your life, work and family may be affecting your health. Together we create a personalized plan to achieve and maintain your optimal health and goals. Advanced diagnostic tests can help us identify risk factors and health issues before they cause disease, saving you money, time, suffering and higher costs in the long run. Unlike the traditional practice environment, we have the time to deliver this type of comprehensive and detailed care.
Q: Do I still need to have health insurance?
A: Yes, you do. Our medical practice is NOT a health insurance program. It is very important to maintain insurance (and/or Medicare) to cover expensive, unusual and unpredictable events such as surgery, emergency care and hospitalization – BUT NOT for routine primary care! The current insurance-based healthcare system actually makes primary care MORE expensive, difficult and less effective, too. Our practice does the opposite. By charging a set fee, we can spend more time with you and focus on your individual health needs to maintain and improve your health. We want you to see us as often as you need to, because our goal is healthy and happy members!
Q: What if I need urgent care?
A: If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately. A family member or caregiver can call us later so we can be in contact with the emergency room.
For urgent problems that are not emergencies, you can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In many cases, we can diagnose and treat your need without a visit to the ER. In fact, direct primary care has been shown to result in fewer ER visits for members because we can discuss urgent medical needs any time of the day or night, and you know you can see us the next day!
Q: What happens if I'm admitted to the emergency room or hospital?
A: Emergency room visits and hospital admissions for serious medical problems are stressful and often confusing for patients and their families. Direct communication with someone who knows you and your medical history can be critical at these times. At Morris Sussex Direct Family Practice, we’ve got your back! We will contact your emergency room physician and/or anyone providing care during your hospitalization to make sure they have the most accurate and up-to-date information they need to treat you. As your health care advocate, we will communicate with you and your loved ones. We will also be in the best position possible to provide your post-hospital care.
Q: How do I get in touch with you? May I contact you anytime?
A: For routine matters the office is open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday. Whether you call during or after business hours, you can expect us to either answer the phone or return your call shortly.