Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

How is Dunes Family Clinic different from traditional medical clinics?
Dunes Family Clinic is Northwest Indiana's first patient designed ideal medical clinic. Instead of building the clinic based on what insurance companies and hospitals think is important, we asked our community what they wanted. We collected dozens of pages of testimony. What our community wanted most was time: time to address all your concerns; time to help you consider options; time to be treated as a whole person, not just a disease. That... and video games for the kids!

 

To deliver the time our community wants and needs, Dunes Family Clinic uses an innovative membership model of care known as Direct Primary Care (DPC). In this model, healthcare practitioners are paid directly by their patients, rather than through insurance companies. Basically, we're cutting out the middle man, along with the hassles and high prices. This model of health care is rapidly growing.  

DPC harkens back to a time gone by when the doctor-patient relationship was cherished, when doctors didn’t have thousands of patients, had plenty of time to spend with you, and you didn’t have to wait weeks for your appointment and hours in a waiting room.  Cutting out the middlemen and red tape increases the doctor's and the patient's satisfaction, and dramatically cuts costs.


What can I expect as a patient?
You can expect shorter wait times, longer appointments, and convenient direct access to your doctor, who knows you and your family. No more rushed visits or waiting weeks for an appointment. You can contact your practitioner via phone, or our secure messaging app whenever you need to. Find out more about our benefits in the Services section of our website.


Can I cancel or re-start my membership?

Yes. You are never locked in for more than one month at a time. You can cancel your membership by informing us at least 48 hours before your next monthly payment is due.


However, please note that requests to restart memberships are subject to approval and availability. If accepted, a re-enrollment fee of $250 per person will apply. 


What insurance do you take?
None. However, patients with insurance are welcome to join. The majority of our members have insurance that they use for care that takes place outside our clinic. We will not bill any private insurance companies. In order to ensure that our nurse practitioners have the time to devote to your care, and to deliver the access and convenience our patients need, we are not able to accept the restrictions and time demands imposed by private insurance companies.


Do I still need insurance?
All patients are encouraged to have at least major medical coverage. DPC alone is not insurance. The ACA legislation does exempt patients from the underinsured/non­insured tax penalty if you join certain health cost sharing ministries. 


How can you help me save money on other healthcare costs?

One way to save money on your healthcare is by joining a medical cost sharing organization like Sedera Health, Medishare and Liberty HealthShare. 


Dunes Family Clinic and Sedera offer a Total Healthcare Solution that combines Direct Primary Care for routine care with Medical Cost Sharing for expensive and unexpected needs like surgery and hospitalization. 


DPC clinics also strive to minimize insurance claims, and out of pocket costs for medications, lab tests and imaging. Let's say you need some routine lab tests.  Why pay $200 toward a deductible you're unlikely to meet when you can get the same tests from a DPC clinic for $15 in cash?  (That in many cases can also be applied to your deductible!)


Can my fees be reimbursed by my insurance company?
Usually not. In rare cases, you can submit a receipt for your membership fees or lab/medication costs.  Some insurance companies will apply these payments toward a deductible. However, we will not submit claims to your insurance company.  

 
Can I use my Health Savings Account to pay for Direct Primary Care?
The law currently allows the use of HSA money to pay for medications, imaging tests, labs, etc.  However, it is legally unclear if HSA funds can be used to pay for DPC membership fees.  This is a question for your tax professional. Legislation has been proposed to clear up the question regarding if HSA money can be spent on a DPC clinic's retainer or membership fee.

How much does it cost?
Our monthy membership fees are based on the patient's age. In addition to low monthly membership fees, we have an on-­site wholesale medication dispensary which saves our patients significantly on prescription costs.  In some cases, prescription savings are greater than the membership fee.  Patients will be offered wholesale cash prices on lab tests as well, and we are currently negotiating contracts for bottom-dollar access to radiological services such as X­-Rays, CT scans, MRIs and mammograms. 

How can you guarantee same or next-day appointments?
Dunes Family Clinic's nurse practitioners will only be accepting 600 patients. Considering that managed care insurance has driven most doctors to patient panels of 3,000 to 4,000 or more people, it's no wonder you encounter long waits and rushed visits!  We keep our patient panel low so we can spend plenty of time with you and get you in quickly.  This is the kind of attention and accessibility we'd want our family to have, and it's what we offer our patients.


Who will take care of me if I need to be admitted to the hospital?
While you are in the hospital, you will be under the care of a Hospitalist. The hospitalist's fees and routine hospital facility fees (nursing care, food, medication, procedures, xrays, etc.) will be charged by the Hospital to you or your insurance company/Medicare, etc. Your Dunes Family Clinic practitioner will, however, stay in close communication with the hospitalists caring for you, and will be ready to coordinate your  post-hospital follow-up care.


Can I get all of my medications from Dunes Family Clinic's dispensary?
As a member, you have access to our dispensary, and you pay only our cost, which is always below pharmacy prices.  We only dispense medications we can save you money on.  Therefore, almost all of the medications in our extensive inventory are generic.  Name-brand prescriptions are generally expensive, and therefore you'll normally get a better price on name brand drugs using an insurance prescription drug benefit or a prescription drug discount card at your local pharmacy.  We also do not dispense any DEA-controlled medications such as narcotic pain medicine, sedatives, or stimulants.


What if I need to be referred to a specialist? Do you offer access to specialty services?
Dunes Family Clinic will refer you to a specialist when you need care beyond the scope of our services. We will work with you to select the specialist you feel is right for you.


How can I contact my doctor before or after hours?
Illness and injuries don't always happen during office hours. All members receive an invitation to download our secure messaging app which provides phone and secure text and video communication with your care team. If you need to get in touch with us to order a medication refill or schedule an appointment, you can directly contact Dr. Juana anytime, or leave us a voice mail or even a text message. If you have an urgent issue after-hours, Dr. Juana is only a phone call away!

Are there medications Dunes Family Clinic does not prescribe?
Dunes Family Clinic is not accepting patients for pharmaceutical treatment of Chronic Pain.  New Opioid Prescribing Guidelines have recently been released by the CDC to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic, and those patients who use narcotics for chronic pain are encouraged to seek a pain treatment center.


Outside of paying for membership, medicine, or labwork/x-rays, are there other fees I might have to pay?
Almost all of the routine procedures performed at Dunes Family Clinic have no additional charge to members.  There are a few exceptions, for more complicated procedures, usually related to the cost of any medication administered. Our pricing page has details.  As a membership benefit, Dr. Juana will see sick or injured out of town visiting family of our members for a reasonable one-time office visit fee based upon the severity and time requirements of the visit.


Will Dunes Family Clinic see patients on a fee-for-service basis if they are NOT members?
Yes. We offer cash prices on office visits and minor urgent procedures (such as sewing up cuts) to non-members. We also provide School Physicals, New Employment Physicals, and Urine Drug Screens very affordably to non-members. 


Seriously? Dr. Juana makes housecalls?
Yes!  There are times when a house call is the best answer, and Direct Primary Care affords our practitioners the time to get out of the office when necessary, just like in the good old days. Obviously if we are driving, we can't be caring for people, so we'll be limiting housecalls to those absolutely necessary.

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