Frequently asked questions
Direct Primary Care, or DPC, 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. DPC clinics don't accept insurance, rather, they choose to work directly with the patient, providing wholesale labs and prescriptions, and other cost savings along the way.
“What is Homestead Family Medicine?”
Homestead Family Medicine is the Direct Primary Care practice of Dr. Laura Pennavaria, welcoming patients of all ages and stages of life.
“Is concierge medicine the same as Direct Primary Care?”
The terms are often used interchangeably and refer to similar principles. Concierge doctors typically both bill insurance and charge a membership fee. The fee is usually much steeper than a DPC membership, thus the model is directed to and tailored for more affluent patients. Direct Primary Care clinics don’t accept insurance, rather they choose to work directly with the patient, providing wholesale labs, deeply discounted prescription prices, and other costs savings along the way.
"What sets Homestead Family Medicine apart from other practices?"
We have cut the red tape of bureaucracy. The restrictions that typically leave physicians in a traditional healthcare setting buried in nonsense paperwork are lifted through Direct Care, allowing us to spend our time where it really counts: with patients. In refusing to recognize any interference with the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship, we have returned family practice medicine to its root values of clinical excellence for and compassionate knowledge of every patient. In every aspect of family healthcare, and custom healthcare, we promise accessibility, convenience, and affordability.
“Will I benefit from Homestead Family Medicine if I don’t require frequent medical attention?”
Of course. We might argue that everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them. That’s why we offer truly custom healthcare. 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. We’re here for your reactive needs. But proactive healthcare is important, and we’re here for that, too.
At Homestead Family Medicine, we have the gift of time. Even better? We get to give the gift of time. Large amounts of precious, irretrievable time given to you as you need. Every visit, for whatever reason, will be easygoing in its absolute thoroughness, relaxed in answering your questions and addressing the need of the moment. Then, as the months and years go by, we’ll build a comprehensive, intimate knowledge of your health, invaluable understanding available in no other regimen of care.
“Does Homestead Family Medicine accept health insurance?”
No. Happily, no. Perhaps the most critical distinction in our model of care centers on a direct, personal relationship between you and your doctor. That directness carries over to our business model as well. While the tender mercies of an insurance company might apply to the fixing of a damaged fender on your automobile, we see no reason for any insurer to have a voice about either the quality or the cost of your family’s care. We forego insurance payments in order 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.
“As a patient of Homestead Family Medicine, will I still need health insurance?”
Yes. 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. Another alternative that works well for people is a HealthShare plan.
“If I have Medicare, can I still join Homestead Family Medicine?”
Yes. You need only sign a one-time waiver declaring that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for our services. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications, or hospitalizations prescribed by our offices.
“Is my membership to Homestead Family Medicine tax deductible?”
Unfortunately, no. Your retainer is not yet defined as a “medical expense” in most states and as such is not deductible. Please confer with your tax consultant to clarify tax consequences in your particular circumstances.
“What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?”
In 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 children become members of Homestead Family Medicine?”
Absolutely! Dr. Pennavaria loves taking care of entire families. At this time, we are not able to provide routine vaccinations for young children but we will happily work with you to arrange these. We anticipate being able to offer vaccination in the near future.
Do you accept HMOs, Tricare Prime or Medicaid?
We are not Medicaid, HMO or Tricare providers. If you have this type of insurance, only your assigned primary-care provider may make referrals and order tests for you. Because we are not compatible with Medicaid, HMO or Tricare plans, we may not be able to provide the administrative support you may require. We can work out cash prices for most laboratory imaging and specialists consults. We can also try to work with your assigned primary care provider and make recommendations on appropriate studies and referrals, but we cannot guarantee they will follow our recommendations.
“Can I contact you after hours? And how?”
By all means, yes! Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may call us any day, at any hour. We invite you to arrange for home visits, schedules permitting. If you prefer, you mail also text or email me. It's how we do custom healthcare.
“What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?”
Naturally we provide such care – yet another freedom we enjoy together as a result of Homestead Family Medicine's independence from the restrictions of third-party payment. Because we know you well, we can streamline your care when you’re sick away from home. Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation by phone, email, text or webcam. We’ll locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most appropriate for your circumstances.
“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.
“How will I know if Homestead Family Medicine is right for me?”
Come get to know us! Schedule a free, unconditional visit to discuss your healthcare needs. It’s the only reasonable way to begin what we trust will be a long, productive, healthy relationship.