Robust ThemeDec 09, 2019 2020-04-08 7:40
Frequently Asked Questions
➕ What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care is a model of healthcare that focuses on the physician-patient relationship. We provide high-quality care that is convenient for busy families, and we use technology (text messaging, online scheduling, virtual visits, etc.) to augment the care and convenience of our members. DPC practices don’t bill through insurance and therefore eliminate the constraints, confusion around billing, and the price hikes that come with insurance. The DPC model has the benefit of comprehensive care with a full range of personalized services through a low membership fee.
➕ Why change to a membership model?
This model allows our team to provide our patients with personalized care and direct access to their physician and pediatric team. Our fixed price allows our members to budget their healthcare finances without worrying about unexpected or hidden medical costs. You never pay a copay or have to worry that an unexpected illness will ruin your family's monthly budget. Families with multiple children love our $300 monthly maximum (no matter how many children are enrolled!).
If you'd like to hear from Dr. B all about it, check out this video.
➕ What does membership cover?
▪️ Unlimited sick visits (acute and chronic care)
▪️ Remote visits/virtual care
▪️ Routine vaccinations provided through Vaxcare which bills your insurance (or VFC if patients are on Medicaid)
▪️ School/camp/sports physical forms
▪️ Management of minor lacerations (stitches, staples, glue)
▪️ Developmental and behavioral screenings
▪️ Counseling and guidance (nutrition, development, sleep, behavior, parenting, and more)
▪️ Evaluation and medical management (when necessary) of chronic pediatric conditions such as eczema, asthma, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and more
▪️ Expedited access to our team of therapists and support
➕ How do I pay for my membership?
Membership fees are automatically charged monthly to your checking account or credit card. You can use your health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) to pay—or any credit card or checking account. We offer a 5% discount for annual payment. Since your membership fee is automatically charged, you never have to worry about an unpaid bill or wonder if any insurance claim has been processed or how much you still owe.
➕ Can I afford this level of care?
The membership model is actually more affordable for most families! For one, families with multiple children pay a maximum of $300/month, no matter how many children are enrolled!
There is a one-time $100 family enrollment fee. After that, the monthly fee is based on your child's age. When broken down by day, the payment is less than your daily Scooter's drink. There are no hidden fees.
In a traditional practice, a visit for a simple rash can cost more than $150 out of pocket. Follow-up visits for an upper-respiratory infection with ear infection can easily reach more than $300. With Frontier Pediatric Care, ALL of these visits are included in your membership fee no matter how many visits, phone calls, or texts it takes to provide the care your child needs.
➕ Should we cancel our health insurance if we use this model?
We recommend all patients have health insurance to provide coverage for catastrophic events, hospitalization, vaccinations, and other expensive unexpected health needs.
Your car insurance covers collisions and major repairs but not car washes, oil changes, or new tires. Your health insurance covers expensive hospitalizations and procedures but most patients pay out of pocket for the vast majority of their healthcare. In our practice, you just get a lot more value for your money!
➕ Does this plan make sense for a family with two healthy kids—an infant and a toddler?
Even families with kids considered very healthy are surprised when they think back on the past year and realize just how many doctor appointments they’ve had (and how fast they add up!). Most parents who have kids with ear infections or pinkeye wouldn’t say their kids have health issues, yet those families are in the office quite a bit for ear exams so they can get a script or advice on care—those 5-minute visits cost you at a traditional practice. A lactation visit, sudden rash, sleeping concern … Parents with infants also tend to be more vigilant about bringing in their babies with mild coughs or runny noses because they know upper-respiratory viruses can be more dangerous in little babies as opposed to their big kids. But parents of big kids have their concerns, too; many will discuss behavior or developmental issues at well-checks and be referred to a behavior specialist or scheduled for a follow-up to check in a few months later. Those appointments add up when it comes to a traditional practice, but at Frontier, those are all part of membership. And the best part, our members say, is that they don’t have to think twice about bringing in their child for “just a runny nose” because they know it’s covered and they can get peace of mind without a price tag! Plus, families with multiple kids enjoy a $300 monthly maximum no matter how many kids they enroll.
➕ We just have one child, a newborn, and those many visits are all covered by insurance at our traditional practice. Does it make any sense to switch to Frontier?
Families with newborns benefit a ton from our DPC model—particularly the ability to access us directly via text! I can’t tell you how many photos of rashes I get, and usually I can give treatment advice just by looking at them! No need to wait for an appointment, try to schedule it around their feeding time, load up the baby in the car, and wait a fussy baby in a lobby … only to be told the rash is not a concern and you owe $150 for the sick visit. Now, if an in-person visit is more your style, we are more than happy to accommodate a visit ASAP, and that visit will be covered by membership. This goes for more than rashes—lactation help, the runny noses and tummy troubles that inevitably happen once in day care, growth and development questions, sleep help, advice on starting solids, allergy concerns … all of this is covered by membership at Frontier.
➕ Does Frontier make sense for me if I have a child who never gets sick but has some chronic conditions (eczema and ADHD)?
Yes, of course. It’s hardly fair to charge more for the chronic conditions your child was just born with! Eczema, asthma, ADHD, anxiety … visits for chronic care are covered with your Frontier membership, and many check-ins can be done via text, email, or telehealth so you don’t have to take off work or pull kids from school. And if a higher level of care is required, we coordinate with specialists to ensure no one drops the ball or has an unnecessary wait to get needed care.
➕ Would Frontier be a good fit for our family with a medically complex child?
100% yes. The value we can provide for kids with complex health is unmatched. Membership covers extended appointment times so we can cover everything needed AND we can coordinate care with specialists so you don’t have to. All visits to our office are covered with membership, making it feasible to do frequent check-ins to ensure optimal health. Plus, we’re at your fingertips whenever questions arise—just text, email, or call. Some of the children we serve who are medically complex prefer to have appointments virtually or even at home, and Frontier can accommodate that.
➕ As self-employed parents, we switch health insurance plans a lot. Right now we're using a Health Sharing Ministry. How would Frontier coordinate with that?
Membership at Frontier is a great complement to Health Sharing Ministry insurance plans because membership covers vaccinations and checkups (and ANY visit to our office or text/email/call to the care team), which often aren’t covered in Health Sharing Ministry insurance plans. And because we don't go through insurance, there are no networks to worry about; you can keep coming to us regardless of changes in insurance plans!
➕ How does pricing work?
We recognize that different ages require different amounts of pediatric care, and we price accordingly.
Most children come into the office less frequently as they get older. As your child ages, your rate decreases no matter how much care you need on any given week, month, or year!
Membership for ages 0 to 12 months old is $150/month. For 12 to 36 months old, it's $125/month. For ages 3 to 6 years old, it's $100/month. And for 7+, it's $75/month. There is a one-time family enrollment fee of $100. Families with multiple children pay a maximum of $300/month, no matter how many children.
➕ Does Frontier offer a discount for multiple children and larger families?
Yes! We love caring for families of all sizes, so we set a maximum rate of $300/month/family no matter how many children.
➕ We are former patients of Dr. Boucher. How do we transition to this new practice?
Simply click the "I'M READY TO JOIN!" button, sign up, and we will take care of the rest!
➕ We don't get sick often. Is this the right model for us?
Our practice is designed to benefit you when normal life and the unexpected happens. Childhood is full of unpredictable illnesses and injuries—bumps, scratches, rashes, and more. When your child needs stitches, has a fever, gets sick while out of town, or needs a last-minute sports physical, we are available to provide peace of mind and compassionate care for your child.
At a traditional large practice, you might not be able to get in quickly and instead be referred to an urgent care or ER for care that could be provided by a pediatrician. A single visit to an ER or urgent care can carry a cost equal to months (or years!) of personalized care at Frontier.
And even if you do only visit the doctor a few times each year for annual physicals or checkups, it will be a whole new experience. Same-day or next-day appointments, no waiting, and a relaxed, casual atmosphere. You will receive a higher level of personalized care that you won’t find in today’s large, busy pediatric practices.
➕ Do you offer prenatal visits for expectant parents?
Absolutely! We encourage patients to sign up for a prenatal visit (in person or virtual) to ensure we are a good fit and learn more about your family's needs. Click here to book a prenatal visit!
➕ Will you see our new baby in the hospital?
Absolutely! Dr. B rounds Monday through Friday to see new babies in the hospital. These visits do not cost extra and are part of your membership plan.
On the weekends, a local pediatrician will see your baby, handle any care needed in the hospital, and arrange for follow-up in our office once you are discharged.
➕ What if my child needs to be hospitalized?
Although it is rare these days, occasionally a patient needs to be hospitalized for pediatric care. Locally, we use the pediatric hospitalist team to admit and manage our patients in the hospital. This team has the experience, expertise, and patient volume to manage your child while hospitalized. We will coordinate admission, getting any necessary information to the team, and any ongoing care needed after discharge. For higher levels of care, we will coordinate with Children's Hospital in Omaha and can arrange for admission (and transportation, if necessary).
➕ Are there any services available to nonmembers?
The vast majority of our availability is reserved for members, but we have medical-grade ear piercing available to everyone. Members receive a discount on ear piercing.
We also have a limited number of one-time visits including second opinions, sleep and parenting consultations, and urgent care visits for nonmembers depending on availability.
➕ What services are not covered by the membership fee?
The vast majority of day-to-day medical expenses that would be out-of-pocket at a traditional practice are completely covered by your monthly membership fee. In fairness to our patients, if it is something that most patients wouldn't utilize, then we charge for use rather than charge all patients.
▪️ Lab tests (we work with local lab companies to negotiate for the lowest cost for our members. If you have insurance, the lab will bill your insurance for these just like getting lab done at a traditional office)
▪️ X-rays (we will arrange for these to be done nearby, as needed, and the facility will bill your insurance)
▪️ Procedures like tongue-tie clipping (frenotomy), circumcision, nasal cautery for recurrent bloody noses, etc.
▪️ Visits with therapists (we work to get you a much lower rate than insurance-based practices, when possible)
▪️ Lactation visits
▪️ Ear piercings
➕ How do you handle vaccines?
Just like normal! We follow the vaccination schedule approved by the AAP and CDC. For families who are unsure or hesitant about vaccines, we take the time to explain the benefits, answer questions, and help you feel comfortable with the care and safety of your child.
We use a service called Vaxcare for vaccine administration and billing. Vaxcare will bill your regular insurance provider for the vaccines administered. If you have Medicaid or do not have insurance, we will arrange vaccine coverage through the state's vaccines for children (VFC) program in our office.
➕ Is it easy to schedule appointments for sick visits and checkups?
Yes! You can book an appointment at any time online (even if it's 11:30 p.m. and you need those ears checked in the morning!). Instead of waiting until the office opens and praying we have a spot, you can book your appointment online anytime. You can rest easier knowing your appointment time as soon as you book it online. Our small practice panel makes it easy to accommodate same-day, next-day, and urgent visits.
➕ What do you mean when you say you keep your patients out of urgent care?
Patients tell us they visit urgent care when they don't have access to their care team, so we at Frontier do our best to break down those barriers to your access to pediatric care! We are available through text and email, which has saved many visits—we can often diagnose or provide peace of mind with a simple photo or video sent to us! We also open on Saturday mornings for sick and newborn visits. Plus, the first hour of each business day is dedicated to sick visits so we can take care of your injured or ill kiddo stat! You'll love being able to book appointments online, too, because you don't have to wait until open hours to schedule. We can accommodate same-day or next-day visits, and you won't have to wait forever in the lobby. This is all because of our membership model and small patient panel.
➕ What if our child gets sick while we are on vacation?
Call or text us, just like usual—another benefit of being a member of Frontier! Once we determine the best course of care, we can call in a prescription, locate the nearest urgent care or ER, and discuss your child’s medical history with a local provider, if necessary.
➕ What if my doctor is sick or on vacation?
We will provide advance notice of any planned absences and immediate notice for any absence due to illness or family emergencies. Our team will still be available via phone, text, and email during these times. If Dr. Boucher is completely unavailable, we will arrange for a board-certified pediatrician to take care of any needs that arise while Dr. B is away.
➕ Do you have weekend or after-school appointment slots?
Absolutely! We know many families can't take time off work and school for routine care, so we offer evening hours to our families. On PLC days (monthly early dismissal days in the local school system) we stay open late to accommodate teachers' families and those who need evening appointments for routine care, ADHD, and mental health-related visits. Plus, we open the clinic each Saturday morning for newborn visits and sick visits.
➕ Do you offer scholarships or financial aid?
Absolutely. Frontier is premier care that is affordable for all. We reserve at least 20% of our care to serving our community's needs, including those who require financial assistance for their monthly membership fees. For details and to see if your family qualifies, click here.
➕ Can grandparents or other loved ones pay for our child's pediatric care?
Absolutely! One of the benefits of this model is flexibility in payment. We accept HSA, FSA, credit card, or ACH (checking) transfers. Grandparents and other loved ones can certainly input their own credit card or ACH information during registration, or they can call our office after initial sign-up to arrange payment.
➕ How does it work with overnight or weekend issues?
We understand not all pediatric issues take place during normal weekday hours! We have nurse triage support 24/7/365 so you can always speak with a live pediatric team member when you have a question that cannot wait until morning. You can book an appointment online at any time so you never have to worry about getting seen the next day. Additionally, you can always send a text or email for non-urgent concerns, and we will address your question as quickly as possible. We also reserve the first hour of each day for sick visits, so you can get your sick kiddo taken care of fast. We are even open Saturday mornings for sick or newborn visits!
➕ I'm ready to join! What do I do?
If you’re ready to sign up, click here.
If you’re not sure and would like to chat with our team, simply provide your info in this form, and we will contact you about setting up a free consultation to decide if direct care is a good fit for your family.
To ensure I can provide the time and care my patients deserve, I limit my practice size. At times, we have a waitlist so we are able to provide all the care our members need before bringing on new families.