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The following are frequently asked questions with answers. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Poppy Direct Care via e-mail, phone, or message through our website.

  • Is the membership fee an insurance policy?
    The short is answer is, “it’s complicated.” The membership fee will get you quick, direct access to our physician for your health needs that are chronic or new. Often, those in the young adult age range that we see (ages 18-45) have many, unpredictable illnesses (think mono, strep, respiratory illnesses, gastrointestinal bugs). Having a membership to a primary care doctor makes it easy to get those things addressed quickly and conveniently. We can also help with young adult needs that require more comprehensive and unhurried care, like mental health and unexplained chronic symptoms (eg. chronic fatigue or diarrhea). As these things come up, your membership fee covers your physician care for them and gives you access to wholesale prices on prescription medications and labs. It’s kind of like the maintenance plan you might buy on your home air conditioner or other appliances.
  • What can a Family Doctor do?
    Family doctors are primary care experts and have the training to manage 85% of all health conditions. Many patients don’t realize the full potential of a primary care doc because in the United States, our profit-driven healthcare system is heavily biased toward specialty services, so primary care is not easily accessible or prioritized by your health insurance company. Dr. Holt is trained to provide medical care across the age spectrum. She has focused her current practice on young adults (ages 18-45) and provides preventative, chronic and acute health care. Examples include well checks, STI screening, pap smears, breast exams, high blood pressure, diabetes, hypothyroidism, migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and PCOS (to name a few). Mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, ADHD and insomnia are well within her scope of practice. She can also manage minor traumas and urgent issues like sprained ankles, UTIs, respiratory infections and rashes!
  • What is an Osteopathic Doctor?
    Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are physicians just like MDs, but they must complete additional training in hands-on medicine called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Both DOs and MDs must complete a college degree, take specific “premed” classes, score well on the MCAT (a standardized test to get into medical school), go to a four year medical school, and complete a residency (3+ additional years of training) in a specialty of medicine or surgery, and pass standardized medical exams along the way in order to ultimately be “board certified physicians.” The American Osteopathic Association explains, “DOs receive special training in the musculoskeletal system, your body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones. By combining this knowledge with the latest advances in medical technology, they offer patients the most comprehensive care available today….DOs bring a unique, patient-centered approach to every specialty across the full spectrum of medicine. They are trained to listen and partner with their patients to help them get healthy and stay well. DOs practice in all medical specialties, including primary care, pediatrics, OBGYN, emergency medicine, psychiatry and surgery. Moreover, DOs hold some of the most prominent positions in medicine today, including overseeing care for the President of the United States, the NASA medical team, Olympic athletes and many who serve in the uniformed services. From their first days of medical school, DOs are trained to look beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact your well-being. They practice medicine according to the latest science and technology, but also consider options to complement pharmaceuticals and surgery.” Dr. Holt went to an osteopathic medical school so she benefited from learning this extra musculoskeletal training. Her residency program at Columbia University was more MD-focused, so she did not refine her skills in manipulative medicine (using her hands to manipulate the musculoskeletal system). She does, however, highly appreciate this approach, and can connect patients to practitioners who use it as a complement to other medical services.
  • Is there a long-term commitment for DPC?
    No, membership is month-to-month. You can cancel at any time with 30 days notice (to ensure a safe transfer of care).
  • Do you offer discounts for families and groups?
    Yes! We trust our members to define their families and significant relationships for themselves, so the only requirement for a group discount with the Sustainable Membership Tier is that there is a single payer. Discounts are automatically applied at the time of enrollment: 10% off for groups of 2-3 members, and 15% off for groups of four or more. This can be particularly helpful for roommates or housemates.
  • Can I use my health insurance, including Medicaid/Medicare, to cover visits?
    No, because we don’t accept insurance as it severely limits the quality of care we are able to provide to patients in the primary care setting. Similar to how car insurance doesn’t pay for oil changes, wipers or gas, your health insurance doesn’t work well when trying to use it for health maintenance or little health events like sickness. Our predictable monthly membership fee will cover your health maintenance needs like psychiatric medications or blood pressure treatment and will also cover problems that arise like getting sick. You get the satisfaction of having someone you trust at your fingertips when health stuff comes up. If you’re in college or grad school, those little life events will happen a lot more often because of the nature of being around so many new people (and viruses), and having new experiences. We highly recommend you also keep insurance coverage to cover the big stuff like hospitalizations and surgeries. Some members choose to use insurance for labs or prescription medications, but most find it is actually cheaper to pay for these directly through our discount program.
  • What makes this different from insurance-based practices?
    Bottom line: you get more time with your doctor, more doctor availability, more personalized healthcare delivery, and more convenience (text my doc? Yes please) because we don’t let insurance push us around in what we offer and what we do (we do still use your insurance if you have it for things like specialists and radiology, etc….the big expensive stuff). We see about ¼ the typical number of patients of an insurance-based primary care physician. Membership is limited to protect our availability for you. Our visits are 30-60 minutes long, but if you just have a quick question that can be answered via text or email, you can do that too with no extra charge. That’s total, unlimited access. Price transparency is a priority for us. We’re sometimes patients, too, and we’re sick of an insurance-based healthcare system where we have no idea how much something as simple as a strep test at an urgent care will cost us after insurance decides what they will pay (spoiler alert, for Dr. Holt’s personal very good insurance policy, a strep test for her kid cost $200!). At Poppy Direct Care, we’ve negotiated wholesale pricing for prescription medications, labs and point of care testing like strep tests and flu tests, and we’ve passed that savings on to you with full price transparency. You’ll see that paying cash for these things is often cheaper than using your insurance.
  • What about the specialists I need to see?
    Most insurance companies will allow us to refer you to your specialists in the same way your previous doctor might have. Some exceptions are HMOs (eg. Kaiser) and TSHIP, which require you to see one of their providers to get any referral approved by their insurance coverage. In these instances, we can make suggestions to your insurance-based doctor about what to do, but we cannot complete the referral ourselves.
  • Why don’t you take insurance?
    We appreciate insurance for big life-events. And we encourage all members to have some sort of catastrophic coverage. But our healthcare system just isn’t working for patients in a way that is convenient, accessible, or affordable. The current trends in healthcare aren’t how we want to deliver care, and people are affected by all health conditions, not just the ones covered by insurance. We want time to get to know our patients by their first names, and better understand their personal health goals. Since we aren’t dependent on reimbursement for services by health insurance, we don’t have to rush to see many more patients a day required by accepting insurance. We also don’t have to make medical decisions based on what the insurance company wants to pay for. The monthly membership model provides both consistent care and dependable access for you. Because we work for you, not the insurance company, we get to use the latest evidence to decide together what is best.
  • Do I have to have insurance to be seen?
    No. We do recommend that you have insurance, though. Your membership with us will not cover you in the hospital, operating room, or for specialist visits or a new diagnosis like cancer. We encourage all members to have, at minimum, a catastrophic coverage option.
  • What’s the difference between DPC and concierge medicine?
    Concierge practices typically charge a (higher) monthly or annual membership fee and they bill your insurance. We do not charge your insurance for our services, but instead get paid by you directly. This means we are working for you instead of the insurance company. This allows us to keep our hearts and resources where we think they should be: invested in you and our local community.
  • Is Dr. Holt available 24/7?
    Sort of… Poppy DPC has normal business hours, is closed on weekends and holidays, and Dr. Holt and staff do take vacations (with plenty of notice to patients)...caring for ourselves in this way helps us avoid “burn out” that has become so pervasive in primary care, and keeps us rested and energized to care for others. Often, patients have a random question that they don’t want to forget, or are studying at 2am and have a question…when that happens, feel free to text! We won’t see it until the morning or after the weekend, when we will promptly respond. Don’t worry, Dr. Holt doesn’t wake up to text dings. If you want to make an appointment for the morning, you can do it straight from our website, and if there isn’t a time that works, text and we’ll find a better time. If you have a concern that can’t wait until the morning or after the weekend, or if you’re not sure if you need to go to the ER, just call, and Dr. Holt will try to answer and talk through whether it's something that can wait or not.
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