Ark Family Health – FAQ

If we have not fully answered all of your questions, please contact us via phone or email so we may further assist you.

Thank you, Ark Family Health

Direct Primary Care is an alternative to conventional insurance based primary care.  Rather than going through all the haggles and hassles of insurance claims and prior authorizations, we establish direct relationships with our patients through a monthly membership fee.  Come in as often as necessary, everything we do in office is included in membership and things that aren’t (i.e. labs, imaging and medication) are a straightforward and transparent 10% markup.  DPC, as it is known, coupled with a high deductible/catastrophic medical insurance plan is becoming a widespread solution to increasing deductibles, out of pocket expenses and overuse in Urgent and Emergent Care.

Ark Family Health is Phoenix’s first Direct Primary Care clinic, a pattern of family health care that is immediate, thorough, comprehensive, specific, easily affordable, and very, very personal.

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, the safety, and the 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.

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.

Increased Access

If it’s important for you to have your questions answered and for your doctor to be available when you need him, 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, sometime hundreds of dollars because we help people avoid urgent care and ER visits, have no visit copays 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.

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

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

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.

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. We’ll locate the nearest pharmacy and order the medications most appropriate for your circumstances.

By all means, yes! Because illness and injury do not respect regular office hours, you may call your physicians any day, at any hour. We invite you to arrange for home visits, schedules permitting. If you prefer, you may also use our secure patient portal to access your medical record and then e-mail your physician. It’s how we do custom health care.

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

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.

Monthly membership fees cover as many visits as deemed necessary, in house labs (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 at times your Emergency Room Physician if applicable.

We don’t charge a start-up fee for becoming a member.  Our rates are published on our website, ranging from $10/mo to $100/mo based on age.

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

No. Thankfully, No. In order for us 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 on our website.

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.

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.

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 and the insurance is there to protect you from the larger events that can’t be taken care of in a primary care office.

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 and sleep hygiene.

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 certainly continue to treat you during your hospital stay or work closely with any 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.

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 have been able to save nearly $1,000/month and many businesses up to 50% while providing a higher level of care.

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.

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. You need only 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.