The fee covers personalized primary care through easily accessed office visits without copays, annual wellness exams, well-child exams, sports physicals, school physicals, basic office procedures, treatment of acute illness or minor injuries and easy communication with your doctor.
Our patients will also have access to discounted labs and special procedures not included in the membership fees.
No, we do not require a sign-up fee for a household, family or individual.
Equality Healthcare currently provides care for patients of all ages.
We expect to have an open, honest, respectful relationship with you. If you have voiced a complaint that we cannot satisfy together, we will gladly allow you to terminate your membership. If your membership is cancelled, you will receive a refund based on the services rendered. If you choose to rejoin, fees will be applied.
Under the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model, the patient (you) receives comprehensive primary health care directly from their DPC physician (Dr. Troy, Dr. Smith, or Dr. Chambers). The patient pays for this care through a monthly fee, paid directly to Equality Healthcare.
Because DPC practices do not participate in any insurance or plans, the providers are able to avoid the ever-increasing and costly documentation demands and administrative intrusions that come with accepting insurance. DPC practices also avoid the onerous patient data collection responsibilities which many plans impose. These require staff, time, and money, often amounting to substantial intrusions on patient privacy.
Because DPC physicians avoid these obligations to insurance companies, they are free to spend that time listening to and treating patients. And because DPC physicians eliminate the significant overhead costs of participating in insurance, they can pass the savings on to you — the patient — and give compassionate, attentive, and timely care at an affordable cost.
We are conveniently and centrally located in downtown Springfield on the first floor of the College Station Parking Garage at Campbell and McDaniel. You’ll easily see our clinic on the right as you are driving into the free parking garage. The parking garage will take you to the second floor. There are multiple handicap accessible, oversized parking spaces by the elevators. Take the stairs or elevator to the first floor and our clinic is just out the doors and to the right. YOU CAN’T MISS IT! We’ll even come get you at your car if needed… Seriously.
When the clinic opens in December 2015, our hours will be 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. We are also available other times by arrangement.
We take care of the full range of acute and chronic care conditions treated by primary care physicians. Acute conditions commonly addressed in primary care include upper respiratory tract infections (coughs/ colds/ sinus infections), strains/sprains, acute low back pain, headaches, urinary tract infections, rashes, nausea/ vomiting/ diarrhea, minor wounds and lacerations, flare-ups of chronic conditions such as asthma/COPD/gout. Chronic conditions commonly addressed include diabetes (type 1 and 2), COPD, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic/stable heart disease, congestive heart failure, hypothyroidism, depression, and anxiety as just a few examples.
Equality Healthcare is not affiliated with a particular healthcare system in the Springfield area. Hospital care will be provided by hospitalists at a local hospital typically as directed by the insurance policy you have in place to cover larger healthcare expenses. Although the Equality Healthcare providers will not be writing orders or directing the plan of care in the hospital, they will work with your hospitalist to facilitate the best possible care. We are committed to staying updated on your case while you are in the hospital and will then plan to see you quickly after discharge to eliminate any interruptions in care.
Home visits will be arranged on a case by case basis depending on patient need and provider/staff availability.
In the age of telemedicine, many conditions can be diagnosed and treated via a simple conversation by phone or webcam. If appropriate, we will locate the nearest pharmacy and order medication most suited for your circumstance. If you need to go to the hospital or seek other medical attention while away from home, we can advise you on that as well.
No. Patient privacy is a natural benefit of this medical model. We will never provide any third party with a copy of your records, unless you specifically ask them to do so or if Equality Healthcare is subject to subpoena or search warrant.
If you have an urgent, after-hours concern that is not an emergency, we can be accessed to discuss the best course of action. However, due to the ease and accessibility that the Direct Primary Care model affords, our patients will readily see that most concerns can be easily addressed during normal business hours. This includes both quick access to office visits and telemedicine options.
That’s an easy answer– everyone! Our current healthcare climate is increasingly requiring higher out-of -pocket costs for all healthcare services through increasing costs for deductibles (averaging $2000-$6000), copays, and premiums. These out- of-pocket costs are now getting to the point that even people with insurance are avoiding routine primary care due to the high costs involved. Patients are now appropriately seeking out much more value for their healthcare dollar. Our yearly cost for a wide range of primary care services is a fraction of what the average deductible now runs. We believe that the monthly fee spent for quick and easy access to your doctor, high quality primary care, extended patient visits that foster a true patient/ doctor relationship, and access to wholesale prices on medications/ labs/ imaging is money well spent. So, this is value from which everyone can benefit, not just one “target population”.
Charges will be added and applied to your preferred method of payment.
Medicare & Insurance Questions
We recommend that you do have insurance to comply with Federal Law. Equality Healthcare does not replace insurance, and ideally we encourage our patients to carry a high deductible or major medical plan or a plan with a health savings account, thereby ensuring financial help should hospitalization or referral to a specialist be necessary. You should consult with your insurance provider to help you find a plan that works best with our medical model and that will meet your specific needs. We are working with a local insurance company in Springfield, PJC Insurance, that offers individual and family plans that may complement the DPC model. For more details call 417-833-3800.
Not for our services, but Equality Healthcare will be able to order your labs, x-rays and medications at the facilities preferred by your insurance if you would like.
Yes. However, your monthly membership fee cannot be submitted to Medicare for reimbursement. You must sign a waiver every two years that declares that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for your membership fee.
Medicare and medicare supplemental insurance will still cover medical costs that you incur outside of Equality Healthcare. For example, prescriptions that you fill at an outside pharmacy, or labs run at an outside lab, or hospital charges, physical therapy, x-rays and scans are covered, just to name a few. You do not lose your Medicare coverage for other medical needs just because you are a patient of Equality Healthcare.
Many times patients purchase expensive plans that require little or no co-pay and that cover all lab costs and prescription costs. However, with Equality Healthcare your monthly fee covers all office visits, basic labs and there are no copays. Our patients may find it worthwhile to change from a premium health insurance plan to a basic health insurance plan to save money.
The use of an HSA or an FSA to pay membership charges in a DPC practice is a complex question. This is an evolving issue that involves recently introduced federal legislation. The Primary Care Enhancement Act of 2015 (S 1989) was introduced on August 5, 2015. This bill seeks to definitively settle this “gray” area in Direct Primary Care. The Primary Care Enhancement Act of 2015 clarifies that DPC medical homes are medical services and not health plans or “gap coverage” under the current tax code relating to Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s). It removes any real or perceived prohibition on individuals with HSA’s having a relationship with a DPC practice. This bill also defines DPC services as a qualified health expense, allowing individuals with HSA’s paired with high deductible health plans to pay for DPC services with their HSA’s. Pending definitive legislative action on this bill, further advice should be obtained through a tax advisor on this question.
Yes. When paired with a ‘wrap-around’ catastrophic medical policy, DPC services do meet the minimum requirement for coverage as set forth in the ACA. Specifically, Section 1301 (and amendment Section 10104) allows for Direct Primary Care to compete with traditional health insurance options in the health insurance exchange when combined with a low-cost, high-deductible plan.