What is Direct Primary Care?

How does Direct Primary Care (DPC) work?

A patient enrolled in a Direct Primary Care practice pays an annual fee, either in one lump sum each year or quarterly to spread the payments out over the year. The fee is paid whether the patient sees the doctor or not. The only payment to St. Luke’s Family Medical Group (SLFMG) from the patient is the Benefactor fee. Sometimes you may hear it called “personal” or “concierge” medicine. Direct primary care medicine does not contract with insurance and the payment relationship is between the patient and the medical provider.

How many times I can be seen under this agreement and how long can I spend with the doctor at each visit?

You may be seen as often as you like or need. There are no limitations to the number of visits over a quarter or year.  In order to deal with all of your concerns, we attempt to give you as much time as you need. Typically time spent with your doctor at SLFMG is 20 minutes to one hour. You can let us know when you need extra time.

What are the limitations of Direct Primary Care?

The annual Benefactor fee does not replace the patient's health insurance. It does not cover lab or X-ray charges, or visits to other doctors or hospitals. Certain insurances (e.g., HMOs, Medi-Cal) will not work with direct primary care practices because orders must be placed by a contracting physician.

How many patients will be accepted in this practice?

St. Luke’s Family Medical Group is limited by our agreement with the IRS to 300 patients per provider. This is set in order to maintain the availability and care to our Benefactors as well as our primary mission of providing care to the uninsured. Once the Benefactor limit has been reached, people wishing to become patients will be placed on a waiting list.

How long has St. Luke's Family Medical Group been in operation?

SLFMG was established in the spring of 2004 and in addition to care for our Benefactors provided over 30,000 free visits to the uninsured in our community.

Why would I want to be a Benefactor?

Benefactors enjoy unparalleled access since the vastly smaller practice allows same day service. There is no additional charge for any services Benefactors received from the office. Most importantly, Benefactors make possible the outpatient primary care clinic and provide health care to the uninsured in our community. 

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact our Executive Director, Karin Hennings at (209) 846-7916 or khennings@stlukesfp.org