+ What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care is a system that allows a direct relationship between the doctor and the patient while minimizing interference from insurance companies. By removing layers of administrative red tape it allows for more time with your doctor and a more personalized experience. The number of patients in a direct care practice is much less than traditional medicine. By limiting our patients to 600 we are able to achieve our goal of being more available to our members.
+ Do I have to join to see Dr. P?
Yes, you need to be a member to see the doctor. There is a one-time visit contract for those who have a single concern that can be addressed easily. Any care received beyond that visit will need to be as a member.
+ What membership plans are available?
Membership plans are divided into tiers by age group. There are individual plans as well as joint plans for spouses/partners.
+ What does the membership cost?
Tier 1 (age 55+) is an annual fee of $1600 or $3000 for spouses/partners.
Tier 2 (age 41-54) is an annual fee of $960 or $1800 for spouses/partners.
Tier 3 (age 40 or younger) is an annual fee of $600 per person or $1050 for spouse/partners.
Office visits for all three tiers are $20 and due at the time of visit.
+ What does the membership cover?
Tier 1 covers an annual comprehensive physical with review of medical records and history, a developed plan of care and goals for health maintenance, comprehensive labs (cholesterol panel, blood count, thyroid testing, chemistry panel, urine testing (in house), Vitamin D testing, and – PSA or Pap testing (as needed), EKG, office-based chest x-ray (as needed), yearly flu shot, hospital visits by Dr. P and an initial post hospitalization office visit.
Tier 2 and 3 cover an annual comprehensive physical with review of medical records and history, a developed plan of care and goals for health maintenance, comprehensive labs (cholesterol panel, blood count, thyroid testing, chemistry panel, urine testing (in house), Vitamin D testing, and PSA or Pap testing (as needed).
+ What is not covered in the membership?
For Tier 2 and 3, EKGs, chest x-rays, yearly flu shots and hospital visits are not included with the cost of the membership but are available as add-ons in the office for a small fee.
+ What if I have pre-existing conditions?
Pre-existing conditions are not an issue. We will request your records as needed.
+ May I cancel my membership at any time? Penalty for canceling?
You may cancel at any time with a 30 day written notice. Fees paid will not be refunded after the annual physical has been completed or if hospital care was provided. The patient is responsible for the balance of the annual fee if not yet paid. If the annual physical has not been completed and hospital care was not provided, a pro-rated refund may be available.
+ May I rejoin after canceling?
Rejoining the practice is subject to approval and availability.
+ Do you take insurance? Medicare? Medicaid?
No, we do not take insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. This does not limit our ability to order tests, send referrals or prescribe treatments. We will have your insurance card on file to submit for those services not covered in your membership plan. Insurance will cover these expenses if performed at facilities or by doctors who do take your insurance.
+ Do I need to have insurance?
It is strongly recommended that you have insurance to cover the costs of outside services and specialists, hospitalizations, surgeries or medications as needed.
+ Do you take my HSA?
Yes, we accept HSA payments.
+ May I get reimbursed for any of the fees?
Some insurance companies do provide partial reimbursement for out of network services. Please contact your insurance to see if this is available to you. Medicare does not allow any reimbursement.
+ How often may I see Dr. P?
There is no specific limitations on visits. There is a $20 fee per visit (excluding physical). We often have same day availability.
+ Are there any other doctors in the practice? What if Dr. P is not available?
Dr. Ponnuru collaborates with Dr. John Dunlap, an experienced and friendly Internal Medicine physician, also located at Menorah Medical Center. He uses the same format of direct care and is available to patients of Total Primary Care.
+ How may I communicate with Dr. P?
Please feel free to contact us by phone or fax. Members also have a free patient portal that allows emails to be sent to Dr. P, labs to be reviewed and refills to be requested.
+ Does Dr. P make house calls?
No, house calls are not made at this time.
+ What additional services are offered at the practice?
Flu shots, Tetanus shots, EKG, chest x-rays and lab draws are available in the office.
+ What if I need to see a specialist?
Dr. Ponnuru will help you choose a specialist, if needed, and coordinate ongoing care.
+ What if I need to be hospitalized?
Dr. Ponnuru is on staff at Menorah Medical Center and sees his own patients there. If you are hospitalized elsewhere, he is still interested in coordinating your care with your outside physician.
+ Does Dr. P do women’s health?
Yes, Dr. P does routine women’s health care, including Pap smear, pelvic exams and breast exams.
+ Does Dr. P treat mental health issues?
Yes, Dr. P is comfortable and experienced in helping patients manage a variety of mental health issues. In many cases, specialist referral will not be needed, but he is happy to coordinate with a counselor or specialist if that is deemed appropriate.
+ Does Dr. P treat ADD/ADHD?
Yes, Dr. P has experience in the treatment and management of ADD/ADHD.
+ Does Dr. P have preventative health plans?
Yes, Dr. P is interested in working with individuals to develop personalized recommendations for diet, exercise and weight loss.