Dear Valued Patient,
I have absolutely appreciated the opportunity to be your family physician and to care for the families of Carson City proper for the last 15 years. In recent years, I have become increasingly concerned about the way insurance paperwork and other bureaucratic hassles have taken time and energy I could have devoted to caring for patients. I’m sure it has been frustrating for you to feel rushed during an office visit or to wait for a response when you have called my office for a medication refill or because of another concern. I know these things have frustrated me.
On August 20th, I will be launching my new practice which will operate so that the staff and I can spend more time serving you and less time dealing with insurance companies and paperwork. We will also be more available to you by phone, by email, and online. This new way of practicing is called direct primary care, and it has been successful for other family physicians and their patients.
As part of the upcoming change, my practice will begin charging a monthly fee that will provide almost all of the care you are used to getting from me. The enclosed brochure outlines the many services that will be included in the monthly fee, as well as a small number of services that will cost an additional fee. Because the practice won’t be dealing with insurance companies anymore, we won’t charge you visit copayments and we won’t bill you separately (except for the cost of services that aren’t included in the monthly fee).
You’ll be glad to know that the monthly fee will include an annual physical that will last 60 minutes so that we can spend time together determining how to maintain your healthy choices and how to work on areas that need improvement. In addition, your office visits will be longer and less rushed, giving us plenty of time to address issues concerning your health and well-being.
Since the monthly fee only includes care we can deliver at my office, it’s important for you to maintain health insurance coverage for care you get elsewhere. Some insurance companies are starting to offer a new kind of insurance policy that specifically covers care from subspecialists and hospitals; it’s called a “wraparound” policy. If your insurance company offers this type of policy, you might be able to change policies and save money on premiums. Although only a few insurance companies currently offer a wraparound policy, there is already evidence that this type of policy should become more common in the future.
You may want to check with your employer to find out whether part of your employer’s contribution to your health insurance premiums can go toward my practice’s monthly fee. Some employers have worked with this new direct primary care model and understand how it can improve overall health and well-being. If you have any questions or would like to talk about this change, please feel free to call or email me. The office will also be open M-F starting August 20, 2018 for meet and greets. Thank you for entrusting me with your care in the past. I know that it may be difficult to understand how my change to a new kind of practice will affect you. I hope that you will contact me or attend one of the upcoming meetings so I can answer your questions. I look forward to providing you the care you expect and deserve.
Dr. Christopher Highley
Please check out my new practice’s facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/PreferredFamilyMedicine/
You may sign up now at PreferredFamilyMedicine.com. If you sign up now, I will include unlimited virtual care for the month of August for free, with first payment being September 1, 2018