Do you accept insurance? Are you considered “in network”?
No, we do not accept insurance. But by combining a high deductible health plan with a monthly DPC membership, you may actually save money while also obtaining the benefits of having a personal doctor. (This especially applies to those with private individual insurance or through the state marketplace/Medicare. Schedule a phone call and I can explain in more detail - no strings attached.
Why? The insurance-based healthcare system traditionally leads to high patient volumes and low quality patient care. Taking insurance companies and other unnecessary middle-man out of the equation allows for increased patient-doctor autonomy and relieves us from arbitrary government and health insurance regulatory requirements. We make our decisions based on what is best for the patient, not what brings in the highest reimbursement from health insurance. Additionally, the administrative time and resources typically invested in dealing with health insurance companies is instead invested in giving you the most comprehensive, dedicated healthcare possible.
do i still need insurance? what if i have an emergency?
Though certainly not required, Bridge DPC does not replace your insurance. It is recommended that you carry a high deductible health insurance plan or are a member of a health sharing plan. These are significantly more affordable than the traditional low deductible, high premium health insurance plans. Pairing a high deductible health insurance (HDHI) plan with a direct primary care doctor is much more cost-effective (and often times cheaper) than a traditional plan. Saving money with the HDHI + direct primary care combination is great, but the superior care and service you will receive is the ultimate goal and benefit. A HDHI plan will protect you against emergency, surgeries, or hospitalization.
what is the difference between dpc and concierge medicine?
Direct primary care is predicated upon building a pure, direct relationship between patient and doctor. Though we provide concierge level care and have small patient panels similar to a concierge practice, concierge practices bill health insurance in addition to charging a monthly fee - a model that is not in line with the mission to cut out middle-men and simplify your care. In addition, concierge practices do not accept patients who are between health insurance or uninsured, while DPC clinics are an option for all.
who is direct primary care good for?
Direct primary care benefits any individual that would like to take the reigns on their personal health and wellbeing. We focus on preventative medicine so that if you are healthy, you will stay that way. If you have persistent health concerns, we look at addressing the root cause of those issues to get you on the right track. We know that many have been burned by the current healthcare system, and we will do everything in our power to make sure that doesn't happen to you. If you suffer from medical anxiety, you will benefit from unrushed and relaxed doctor visits.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DIRECT PRIMARY CARE VS. TRADITIONAL PRIMARY CARE?
With the way traditional primary care is trending, doctor visits are rushed, medical error is high, and both patients and doctors are left feeling burnt out and frustrated. Direct primary care puts the power back with the individual. You will never again feel dismissed, ignored, or overlooked in the medical setting. Instead of receiving impersonal care from someone who doesn't know your history, you will have someone who understands you as a whole and is able to advocate for you in all settings. The direct primary care model allows for long appointment times where the patient and doctor team can deep-dive into concerns, analyze the individual as a whole, and come up with a holistic healthcare plan that works to prevent leading causes of disease.
WHAT DO APPOINTMENTS LOOK LIKE? DO YOU MAKE HOUSE CALLS?
Appointments look like whatever you want them to look like. If the situation permits and you are more comfortable being seen from home, Dr. Skawinski is happy to make house calls. If you would prefer a quick text exchange to discuss a random issue, that works as well. For physicals and other in-person visits, you will be seen in the comfort of a historic house on Madison street that has been converted into a cozy clinic space.
Do you offer one-time visits?
Short answer: No. In order to allow for the maximum flexibility to see Bridge DPC members for urgent concerns, we do not fill the schedule with one-off visits. However, the cost of monthly membership is comparable to the cost of urgent care visits (you can call the urgent care center you go to and ask them their pricing as they are required to disclose this info). The ultimate mission of the practice is to build a long-lasting, trusting relationship dedicated to supporting you and providing truly individualized care - something that is not possible in one time visits.
What about specialists?
We will work together to find a specialist that is the best fit for you, or you can direct me to who you prefer, and I will do the work on the back-end to facilitate. If my schedule allows, I will try to accompany you to your appointment or we can do virtual visits with specialists together, at the clinic or in your home. I will prioritize thorough communication with each specialist you see whether I accompany you a specialist visit or not.
How do labs and imaging work?
Labs can be drawn in the clinic or at any Quest Labs location nation-wide (the closest to the clinic is in Poulsbo). We can either bill your insurance or the practice's cash pay prices, whichever option is cheaper. The majority of the time cash pay is much cheaper - another small value add to DPC. Imaging can be done at any imaging center you prefer. The Rayus facility in Poulsbo or VM radiology suite on Wintergreen Lane are convenient options. The DPC movement is grounded in price transparency and honesty; I can provide you a list of the cash pay prices we have negotiated.
Dr. Payton Skawinski, MD. 231 Madison Ave S, Bainbridge Island. Phone: (425)-739-5302.