Why do we do things this way?
Keeping our billing simple and straightforward allows us to spend more time with you, rather than your insurance company. Instead of rushing through visits in 5 or 10 minutes, we can spend the time we need to get to the bottom of your medical problems.
Working with insurance adds a lot of complexity to the business side of medicine. In order to be reimbursed, most doctors have to hire billing and coding specialists to help them communicate with the insurance companies. All of this extra work is expensive – in order to pay for all the extra staff, most doctors try to squeeze as many patients as they can into each day. (This is why so many people wait for an hour or more, only to see the doctor for a rushed 5-10 minute visit.) By contracting directly with you, and not with your insurance company, Braeswood Endo can offer concierge-level service at a price that is within your means.
Wait, so I can email my doctor?
Yes! Insurance companies generally reimburse doctors only for time spent face-to-face with patients, and don’t pay doctors for their time spent communicating with patients by phone or email. This is the reason that most doctors require a face-to-face visit (and a copay) any time you have a question, even if the question could have been answered with a quick phone call or email. We understand that your time is valuable, and if we can take care of you appropriately without an office visit, we will.
Is this concierge medicine?
Concierge medicine refers to a practice that charges their patients a hefty "retainer" fee and then bills their insurance for each visit. What this means for the patient is that you are charged twice - once by the practice, and again with every co-pay charged by your insurance company. Concierge medicine is generally considered to be a high-end luxury product. Braeswood Endocrinology provides concierge-level service at a reasonable price, without the hassles of insurance.
Can I still use my insurance to pay for labs, imaging, or medications ordered by Dr. Zwiener?
Of course - although our lab prices may still be cheaper than using your insurance. We will always help you find the lowest prices on any labs, imaging tests, or medications that you need, regardless of your insurance status.
Can I use my HSA or FSA?
You can definitely use your HSA or FSA to pay for imaging studies, blood tests, and pay-as-you-go visit costs. It’s a little less clear whether you are permitted to use your HSA/FSA to pay for membership fees. The IRS has complicated rules, several of which conflict with each other. We recommend that you consult your attorney or accountant to discuss this issue. For an in-depth discussion of the specific statutes involved, click here.
What happens if I'm in the hospital?
Give us a call! Dr. Zwiener isn't able to see patients in the hospital, but she is more than happy to speak with your care team, and she will help you safely make the transition from hospital to home.