Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions about direct primary care, and we have answers. On this page, we answer the questions that we are asked the most. If we haven’t fully answered your question or you have one not answered here, please contact us so we can further assist you.

How It Works

Direct Primary Care, Arizona practice Ark Family Health is Phoenix's first Direct Primary Care clinic. Direct Primary Care is a pattern of family health care that is immediate, thorough, tranparent, specific, affordable, and very, very personal.

Direct Primary Care is a newer model of healthcare where patients have direct access to their primary care physician, allowing for a more personal relationship. Direct Primary Care has no barriers to patient care, like insurance/Medicare, or even accessing the doctor. The doctor only takes a limited number of patients and therefore will have more time to spend with patients compared with a traditional practice. Patients will pay a monthly membership fee; your insurance or Medicare plan will not be billed, so there will be no co-pays. The membership fee includes 30 to 60 min appointments, same day and next day appointments, telemedicine appointments, texting and emailing and 24/7 access to a doctor. You can choose to see the doctor as often as you want in a month.

Patients can still use their insurance or Medicare plan to help pay for labs, imaging tests, and to see specialty doctors, but it won’t be needed to see their Direct Primary Care doctor.

Direct Primary Care, Arizona practice Ark Family Health has negotiated rates with labs and imaging companies so members can get a full panel of blood tests for around $30 or a CT scan for $200. We also have common medications at a fraction of the cost that you spend at the pharmacy. This can add up to significant savings when patients can see the physician as many times as they want without a co-pay. It is still recommended to have a high deductible health plan in case they need to go to the hospital.

Monthly membership fees cover as many visits as deemed necessary and in-house labs (e.g., urine testing, strep/flu testing, injections, manipulation, EKG, sutures). We are available 24/7 in urgent situations and we hope to function as your Urgent Care Physician, as well as your Emergency Room Physician, if applicable.

Our prescriptions and labs are wholesale to our patients plus a small 10% charge to cover the pill bottle, label and pill counter.

In providing superb care with unprecedented sorts of access, we seek to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. In instances where those types of care are required, we will be available to coordinate your care with the hospital or specialist. In some cases, depending on the level of care and the sorts of expertise required, we may rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.

Lots of people ask why our providers don't see patients who are not Ark members. The purpose of our practice is to be there for our patients when they are sick, but also to help them be well for the long term.

The membership gives us the opportunity to take calls and emails and spend time with our patients. It gives the patient the incentive to reach out early when they have a problem and it gives the doctor the incentive, not just to get the patient into the clinic, but to help them be healthy. In most healthcare practices, the healthcare provider only gets paid when people are sick, which made us ask, shouldn't someone have an incentive to keep people well?

The Direct Primary Care Arizona practice Ark Family Health model may seem similar to a concierge practice and it is in some ways (e.g., direct access to the doctor), but the differences are that with a concierge practice, the membership fees are much higher and they charge your insurance or Medicare plan each time you see the doctor. Direct primary care memberships fees are less than most gym memberships.

  1. You will have direct access to your physician through email, text, phone. 
  2. Same and next day appointments available for urgent needs.
  3. You will receive better care because we will be able to spend more time with you.
  4. By having direct access to us, you can expect quick responses on your questions and health concerns that otherwise could take days to receive a response from a traditional primary care clinic.
  5. You will be called back in a timely manner. 

We really think you will like this model as it will allow for a more personal physician-patient relationship focused on you obtaining your best health.

Insurance

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.

Yes. We advise everyone to have Major Medical/Catastrophic Insurance for emergencies, surgeries, etc. We feel confident we can help manage nearly 80% of your healthcare needs, but the insurance is there to protect you from the larger events that can’t be taken care of in a primary care office.

Absolutely. We’re fortunate to work with the industry leaders in health insurance who build custom plans that remove much of the waste and inefficiency from a typical bloated policy. Some of our patients have been able to save nearly $1,000/month and many businesses up to 50% while providing a higher level of care.

Thankfully, no. In order for Direct Primary Care Arizona practice Ark Family Health to maximize our time with you, the patient, we have elected to bypass the insurance regulations and paperwork in order to devote more time to your care.

Perhaps the most critical distinction in our model of care centers on a direct, personal relationship between you and your doctor. That directness carries over to our business model as well. While the tender mercies of an insurance company might apply to the fixing of a damaged fender on your automobile, we see no reason for any insurer to have a voice about either the quality or the cost of your family’s health care.

We forgo insurance payments in order to save our patients from the arbitrary, intrusive decisions that inevitably follow with third-party payors. Furthermore, this direct fee-for-services arrangement frees us from the typical contractual agreements that prevent physicians from offering wholesale prices on laboratory tests, imaging, and medications.

We feel one of the major reasons we have health insurance is to protect against risk. Most current health insurance plans are over-insuring against low risk probability events. Restructuring your insurance coverage can provide lots of avenues for cost savings, especially with labs, medications and imaging at nearly wholesale costs.

Also, see the insurance alternatives article for more information.

Yes. Patients with insurance or Medicare still benefit and enjoy having a membership at Ark Family Health. You would continue to use your insurance or Medicare* as you do now. You would use it for your lab work, any imaging (i.e., mammograms, x-rays, CT scans), seeing specialty doctors, or if you needed to go to the Emergency Department or hospital.

At Ark Family Health, all of your primary care needs would be covered by the monthly membership fee. We don’t bill your insurance for office visits. If you were to have any questions about this or anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at angela@arkfamilyhealth.com.

*However, you would need to sign a one-time waiver declaring that neither you nor your doctor will directly bill Medicare for our services. Medicare will still cover any laboratory testing, imaging, medications, or hospitalizations prescribed by our offices.

Go ahead and keep your current insurance — to be used when it needs to be used (in a major medical event, etc.) — but we won’t file a claim or process a charge from it.

High deductible insurance, Major Medical Coverage Plans, Health Sharing Plans, and Catastrophic Coverage Plans all complement DPC models quite readily. We take care of the Primary Care needs and let the higher deductible plans take care of the rest.

Membership

Kids 0-19
$20* monthly
*WITH PARENT MEMBERSHIP

20-44
$75 monthly
NO CONTRACT – $100/family sign up fee

45-99
$95 monthly
NO CONTRACT – $100/family sign up fee

Unfortunately, no. Your retainer is not yet defined as a “medical expense” in most states and as such is not deductible. The American Academy of Private Physicians, however, is lobbying hard to win rightful deductibility for these expenses. In the meantime, consult with your tax consultant to clarify tax consequences in your particular circumstances.

Yes. We are happy to accept the children (birth to 20 years of age) of our enrolled clients. At this time, we are not able to provide routine vaccinations for young children, but we will happily work with you to arrange these.

We don’t have long term contracts with our members, but have found that people who understand this system and this model choose not to leave because of the comfort, safety, and quality health care we provide. There is no cost associated with canceling a membership. However, should you choose to re-enroll after a cancelled membership, there is a $100 re-enrollment fee.

Patient Care

We encourage you to come in for a no-obligation visit and find out. We are Family Doctors that emphasize the Family. We understand everyone needs unique medical attention and we hope to provide that to you and your family.

We have left the bureaucracy behind. We have shredded red tape. In refusing to recognize any interference with the sanctity of the patient/physician relationship, we have returned family practice medicine to its root values of clinical excellence for and compassionate knowledge of every patient. In every aspect of family health care and custom health care, we promise accessibility, convenience, and affordability.

Ark Family Health is a better option for many reasons. Here are a few:

Increased Access

If it’s important for you to have your questions answered and for your provider to be available when you need him or her, direct primary care may be right for your family. We are able to spend more than double the average time other doctors spend with their patients. We have same day or next day appointments available for most urgent matters and we will even do after hours visits and home visits if necessary.

Decreased Out of Pocket Expenses

Most of our patients not only get more access to their doctor, but they also save money — sometimes hundreds of dollars — because we help people avoid urgent care and ER visits, have no visit co-pays and offer wholesale labs, imaging and medications.

Better Continuity

The doctors in the urgent care and emergency room don’t know you or your history. Seeing your own doctors can be very important in finding the best solutions for your health.

Absolutely. We see newborns and not-so-newborns and everyone in between.

Little to no wait time is the goal. We realize that your time is valuable and want to respect that as much as possible.

By all means, yes! Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may call your physicians any day, at any hour. In some cases, we even do home visits depending on the need. It’s how we do custom health care.

We are Family Medicine Doctors that have cared for a wide variety of medical conditions from varying dermatological, musculoskeletal, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and neurological conditions. In addition, we have spent some extra time with diet, exercise and sleep, trying to better prevent disease, rather than react to it.

Absolutely. One of the best aspects of a DPC clinic is the opportunity for prevention. Our goal is to prevent disease rather than react to disease. Screenings and prevention are key components to long and healthy lives. We can keep you on track to prevention through lifestyle changes, specifically targeting diet, exercise, hygiene and sleep.

Naturally, we provide such care — yet another freedom we enjoy together as a result of Ark’s independence from the restrictions of third-party payment. 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 visit. We’ll locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most appropriate for your circumstances.