Frequently Asked Questions

Direct Primary Care is a model of delivering medical care that places the doctor-patient relationship back where it should be, at the center of your care. For a simpl- monthly membership fee, all of your care provided at the office will be included– in-person and virtual visits, texting/portal messages, and phone calls. Dr. Garofalo will not bill your insurance for any of this. By eliminating the insurance company from the medical relationship, Dr. Garofalo is freed up from the burdensome administrative tasks and restrictions. No more rushed visits. Visits are extended length, most often 30-60 minutes, though if we can take care of it in less time, we will. If we can take care of your issue using telemedicine, we can do that too, saving you time and money by not having to come in to the office. Dr. Garofalo will also be able to help coordinate with your specialists and advocate on your behalf. Routine procedures like skin tag or wart removal, ear wax lavage, EKGs, etc. can all be done in the office as part of your care. Dr. Garofalo is also skilled in chronic disease management, so we can take the time to work on your high blood pressure, weight issues, smoking cessation, diabetes, and other health concerns. DPC allows Dr. Garofalo to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to the whole family in the way it was meant to be done– personally, competently, and simply.

Hydrangea Family Medicine, as a direct primary care practice, does not accept insurance, including Medicare. Dr. Garofalo will NOT bill your insurance (or Medicare) for any of the services that occur in her office. By charging a simple, affordable flat monthly membership fee, and not billing insurance, Dr. Garofalo is not constrained by the time-consuming administrative tasks of the insurance company, and is freed to spend time with you as her patient.   No more rushed visits or limits on what can be discussed. In Massachusetts, patients are required to carry health insurance, which you can still use for specialist visits, testing, medications, or other health services outside of Dr. Garofalo’s office, including if you are hospitalized or need surgery.

Patients with HMO plans are generally required to have an in-network primary care physician (PCP) who can authorize specialist referrals. Dr. Garofalo will not be an in-network PCP, so if you have this type of health plan, please discuss with Dr. Garofalo how this would work for you. Hydrangea Family Medicine, as a direct primary care practice, does not accept insurance, including Medicare.

Dr. Garofalo has opted out of Medicare, meaning she will not bill Medicare for any services or visits performed in her office. If you have Medicare, you can still join the practice as a member, and you will get your care for the same affordable flat monthly fee as other patients in the practice. You can use your Medicare benefits for services outside the office such as specialist visits, radiology testing, medications, etc.  which Dr. Garofalo will still be able to order for you.

Yes.   Direct Primary Care is NOT health insurance, so you will still need health insurance coverage for catastrophic things such as accidents, hospitalization, or surgery,  or for other health services like specialist visits, labs and imaging, medications, etc.

Dr. Garofalo will provide plenty of notice if she will be away from the office, and you will be notified of how to reach her coverage for urgent matters that require attention.

Absolutely! Please call the office or send us an email to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Garofalo to discuss whether this model of care is right for you.