Direct Primary Care Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Brian Lenzkes and Dr. Kristin Baier have created Low Carb MD San Diego Metabolic Health & Direct Primary Care (DPC) to restore quality patient-centered care in an otherwise broken healthcare system. Direct Primary Care allows ample time to harvest the patient-physician relationship without constraints placed by insurance companies and business administrators. Additionally, the metabolic health program emphasizes nutrition and lifestyle which are often neglected components of modern medicine.

What is “direct primary care”?

Direct Primary Care is an alternative to fee-for-service insurance billing. Payment is through a monthly membership fee which allows patients unlimited, direct access to their physician through phone calls, text messages, emails and video conferencing.  

What does the membership fee cover?

Membership provides you with a personal physician who is dedicated to your health. It also gives you 24/7 access to your physician, or a representative, via multiple avenues with unlimited office or virtual visits.

How much does it cost?

The monthly membership fee for Direct Primary Care will be $100-150, determined by age. There is a one-time initiation fee of $200, which will be reduced for Dr. Lenzkes’ existing patients. There are no hidden fees or co-pays.

What is the advantage of DPC?

Physicians are not paid per appointment, and each doctor has a patient panel far smaller than those in most traditional practices. This allows them to spend more time with the patient. Typical office visits last 45-60 minutes, as compared with the hurried 15-minute visits in other practices. More time results in better care and thus improvements in health. Additionally, virtual (online) visits from the comfort of your home will be offered after an initial consultation.

What if I need to see a Specialist?

The doctors will refer patients to a specialist when necessary, and often at a discounted rate. If you have a specialist you’re currently seeing, they are happy to coordinate care and work with your physician or surgeon. 

What if I need imaging or lab work?

Low Carb MD San Diego offers several in-house labs that can be done during the visit for no additional cost. Through relationships established with local facilities, patients will be provided discounted rates for blood work, X-rays, Ultra-sounds, CT scans and MRIs.

Do I still need insurance?

Yes, it is advised patients keep insurance for emergencies and unforeseen surgical procedures.  In general, direct primary care practices can pair well with high deductible health plans or medical cost sharing plans.  Check with your company to see if your HSA is eligible.  We recommend you consult an insurance broker to decide what plan makes the most sense for you.

Is this Concierge Medicine?

No.  However, there is overlap between direct primary care and concierge medicine.  The most important difference is in the cost and billing structure.  In general, concierge practices charge an annual retainer along with billing insurance, typically over $1800 per year.  Direct primary care practices generally charge monthly fees and do not bill insurance for other services.  Both concierge medicine and direct primary care strive to improve the experience you have at the doctor’s office by making care more personal and taking more time to listen. We think of DPC as Concierge Medicine for the rest of us.

I don’t see the doctor often. Why should I join?

Having a trusting relationship with your primary doctor is important, even if you’re healthy.  Primary care encompasses preventive services to help minimize risk of future disease.  Should you ever get sick, your physician will be there to guide and facilitate your care with specialists. 

I have Medicare. Can I sign up?

Direct Primary Care services are highly valuable to medicare-eligible patients. However, Dr. Lenzkes and Dr. Baier have opted-out of Medicare and by law, this prohibits anyone (physician or patient) from billing Medicare or seeking reimbursement for services provided through Low Carb MD San Diego.

Do you offer telehealth services?

Yes, a secure HIPPA compliant tele-health platform will allow us to securely text, video chat and more.  This can be in place of office visits when appropriate.

I own a small business. Can you help me?

Low Carb MD San Diego is happy to partner with you to bring quality services to your employees and reduce time away from work.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more.

What if I decide to cancel?

The cancellation process is easy. Contact us within 30 days of desired cancellation and your membership will be terminated. You will not be locked in long-term contracts or commitments. There is a re-enrollment fee if you cancel then decide to rejoin. 

How do I sign up for your Direct Primary Care?

Complete an application form on the Join Us page. In order to provide excellent service to patients, Dr. Lenzkes and Dr. Baier will be capping their patient panels at about one fourth the size of physicians in a traditional practice.