The Direct Care Model

“I got into medicine because I want to really help people…to make a difference. To heal, and connect with my patients…not to fill out paperwork and negotiate with insurance companies!” – Dr. Bhela

What is DPC and Why Did Dr. Bhela Choose a Direct Care Model?

DPC stands for “direct patient care.” Direct care is exactly what it sounds like – medical care directed straight at the patient. We do not participate with any insurance or government healthcare program, which means that we are 3rd party free or a direct pay practice. 

For medical and laser podiatry, patients pay a reasonable fee for their care at the time of service. We do not work for insurance companies or the government. We work for our patients, and our relationship is only with you.

A direct care doctor deals with patients one-on-one, from both treatment and billing perspectives. As a direct care podiatrist in a small practice, Dr. Bhela sees fewer patients and spends more time with each one – whenever the patient needs it.  

In other practices, insurance companies run the show, not doctors, and certainly not patients. Without the hoops that insurance companies force the traditional podiatrist physician to follow through, Dr. Bhela and his team can spend more time providing fantastic quality healthcare. So rather than bill insurance, Dr. Bhela bills his patients directly at the time of service. 

At Hicksville Podiatry, Dr. Bhela blocks out the system of government that has clouded medical care by opting out of Medicare and discontinuing contracts with private insurance companies.

A direct care model is simple. It is no more complicated than eating at your favorite restaurant. You stop in, get service and you pay for it. 

Direct patient care practices operate much the same way. No hidden fees, no surprise bills, no co-pays, or insurance cards. Just straightforward podiatry care when you need it. This is NOT a concierge model. There is NO membership fee.

Direct care models are free-market based. In a free market, no one forces people to buy a product nor does it tell consumers where to buy it or how they must use it. Why should it be different with healthcare? And yet it is in the traditional medical model. BUT, not in a direct care model…

Direct care models decrease costs by cutting out the overhead that comes with insurance companies and regulations. You will also know exactly what these costs are before services are rendered.

Dr. Bhela DOES believe that medical insurance is beneficial, but feels that we have lost view of the proper place for insurance. Like car, life and disability insurance, the role of medical insurance should be reserved for large, expensive and catastrophic events- not typical day-to-day care. Could you imagine using your car insurance to pay for gas, oil changes or new tires? The result would be unaffordable car insurance costs, lack of price transparency, over-utilization of services and subsequent insurance control of the care of your vehicle. This is exactly what has happened in medicine.

Here at Hicksville Podiatry, Dr. Bhela plans to restore the traditional practice of medicine when medical decisions were made between doctor and patients- not dictated by third parties. This type of practice model will allow Dr. Bhela to spend more quality time face-to-face with patients and less time waiting for your appointment. Your time is valuable and Dr. Bhela appreciates that.

How Does the Direct Care Model Work?

A Direct Pay practice does not participate in insurance or government plans like Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Care. For patients with private insurance (non-Medicaid, non-Medicare) this means that you would pay Hicksville Podiatry directly for your care. Please see “Pricing” for more details on our transparent fees. Health spending accounts (HSAs) and flex spending accounts (FSAs) are accepted forms of payment for medical services. 

All patients will need to sign a “Private Contract” before being seen for any medical services at Hicksville Podiatry. For those patients with Medicaid or Medicare, you cannot be reimbursed by Medicaid, Medicare or any supplemental insurance for any services rendered by Dr. Bhela. This however, does NOT change any of your Medicaid or Medicare benefits in any way and your insurance will remain in full effect for lab, x-ray, hospitalization, and all services provided by doctors who participate with your insurance. This only means that Medicaid or Medicare should not be charged in any way for the services rendered by Dr. Bhela.

Because pathology is not performed in-house at Hicksville Podiatry, patients may elect to use their insurance to pay for any necessary labs or pathology ordered by Dr. Bhela.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our office by calling (516) 806-2200 or by filling out our online contact form and one of our staff will reach out to you.