Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

DPC is is model of health care that allows you to build a relationship with your doctor, have reliable and easy access, have longer visits, get more personalized care, and focus on your whole health. In DPC, the patient pays their doctor directly, as opposed to the fee-for-service system, where patients and doctors rely on reimbursement from insurance companies. DPC can generally provide 80-90+% of a patient’s overall healthcare needs. When you pay a direct primary care practice directly, we are drawn to do one thing: work directly for you to provide truly excellent care without the distractions and limitations of the fee-for-service model.

In Washington, DPC practices must register with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC). Direct Primary Care is listed on the OIC website as an affordable alternative to health care coverage through WA State Health Exchange. More information about DPC in Washington is available on the OIC website. We also recommend “What is Direct Primary Care? A Patient’s Guide to DPC” by GoodRx.

By emphasizing the direct patient-physician relationship, we are returning Family Medicine to its roots – with clinical excellence and compassionate knowledge of every patient. In every aspect of Family Medicine care we provide, we strive for affordability, accessibility, comprehensiveness, and personalization.

In most cases, no. Perhaps the most critical distinction of our Family Medicine practice is that it focuses on a direct, personal relationship between you and your doctor. That directness carries over to our business model as well. This direct membership arrangement frees us from third party interference into the important doctor-patient relationship and allows us to offer wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging, and medications. 

While we are required by law to bill Medicare for medical services rendered to patients with or eligible for Medicare, we offer the same personalized and quality care, time with and access to a physician, and overall value for our Medicare patients that we provide all our Direct Primary Care patients, including working to minimize hurdles and reduce costs wherever possible.   

We would argue, yes, but we encourage you to know your health insurance plan costs and what it covers. We also encourage you to think about what you value in your healthcare experience long term. Similar to your car or home insurance policy, we believe that health insurance is best suited for major medical expenses and backup coverage care, rather than your day-to-day primary care needs. Relying on insurance companies to cover these costs is like having a car insurance policy that covers oil and filter changes, or even filling up your gas tank; or a home insurance policy that covers lightbulbs and cleaning supplies – for most people, it makes more financial sense to pay those costs out-of-pocket. Otherwise, the extraordinarily high monthly premiums can far exceed the cost of primary care year after year. Our services are more affordable than most low-deductible health insurance plans.

We feel everyone benefits from a service tailored directly to them, from sufficient time with a physician who will hear what they have to say and work with them to achieve their goals. Our practice is devoted to the maintenance of your good health, to the enhancements of your daily experience that only physical well-being can bring. We believe investing in one’s health now can provide invaluable returns in longevity and health span. 

In wellness and therapeutic care alike, Liberty Bell Family Medicine’s greatest ally is time. Every visit will be easy-going in its thoroughness and relaxed in answering your questions and addressing your needs. Then, as the months and years go by, we’ll build a comprehensive and intimate knowledge of your health and working healthcare relationship, an invaluable understanding rarely seen in today’s mainstream model.

The fee-for-service system refers to insurance (third-party payer) based healthcare that is standard in the United States. This system charges a monthly premium to patients or their employers to cover a range of health care needs, and usually also charges additional copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums, on top of the monthly premiums. It can be VERY difficult to determine exact healthcare costs for patients in this system, and this lack of price transparency means that patients often don’t know how much they will be charged for services until they get a bill. Even with the new federal Health Care Price Transparency Rule enacted to address this exact issue, unwanted surprises are still commonplace and pre-determining exact costs are often impossible.

Primary Care Providers working within this system are encouraged to see more patients in less time, spend more time creating documentation in order to bill for every aspect of patient care possible, and typically care for 1500-3000 patients each, seeing 20-40 patients a day in order to pay the bills. The goal of this system is to achieve maximum reimbursement from the insurance companies. For patients, the fee-for-service system too often results in less and less time with a physician and more fragmented and piecemeal healthcare.

No. We think everyone should have back-up health insurance, to cover medical emergencies and catastrophic events.  Everyone needs to see their doctor periodically. We think seeing a doctor who can take enough time to really think through your problems is best left outside the insurance system.  However, it is sensible to have a safety net for major accidents or illnesses. A Health Savings Account or cash savings can also be a cost-effective safety net.

Yes! We are happy to accept the children (birth to 26 years of age) of our enrolled patients. (Note: at this time, we are not able to provide routine vaccinations for children but we will happily work with you to arrange these with your local pharmacy or public health department.)

In providing comprehensive care with unprecedented access, we strive to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. In those instances where those types of care are required, we are available to communicate with your hospitalist during your hospital stay or to work closely with any specialist. In some cases, depending on the level of care and the sorts of expertise required, we may need to rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.

You will go to the hospital of your choice. We are able to stay in consultation the hospital staff during your hospitalization so long as you provide them with our contact information and permission.

Your monthly fee does not count toward your medical insurance deductible. Some patients have Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts which may allow for your monthly fees to be paid with pre-tax dollars. You should check with your specific plan to find out if this applies in your case.

Naturally we provide such care. Dr. McCloy is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it easy to provide care for you while traveling within the United States. Because we know you well, we can streamline your care when you’re sick away from home. Many illnesses can be diagnosed and treated with a simple conversation by phone, email, text or webcam. We’ll locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most appropriate for your circumstances.

Because illness and injury do not respect regular clinic hours, members have Dr. McCloy’s cell phone number and email address to contact for any urgent care needs that cannot wait for regular office hours. Always call 911 for medical emergencies!

Yes.  We offer addiction treatment with buprenorphine. We believe in providing a welcoming, nonjudgemental and accessible environment dedicated to harm reduction and saving lives. We strive to help patients on their journey towards giving up the substances preventing them from leading their most fulfilling lives.

Please schedule a visit with Dr. McCloy to discuss your needs for your own healthcare – this introductory visit will be free and unconditional. It’s the only reasonable way to begin what, we trust, will be a long, productive, altogether healthy relationship.

We maintain scrupulous standards of privacy. We are never obligated to provide any third party with a copy of your records, unless you specifically ask that we do so.