Frequently Asked Questions

What is Direct Primary Care?  What does the membership fee cover?  Is there a contract?  These, and others, are some frequently asked questions that are answered below.  If you have questions that are not answered adequately below or if you would like to meet with Dr. Cardona before deciding on joining the Direct Primary Care movement, you are invited to schedule a Meet and Greet in person. 

Frequently asked questions

How does the doctor have time to answer unlimited questions?

​In the traditional medical business model, doctors get reimbursed for how many patients they see, how complex they document the visit, and how many procedures they do; therefore, doctors are incentivized to see as many patients, document the highest level of complexity, and do as many procedures as possible. In order for big hospital systems to make a profit, most primary care doctors will need to care for a patient panel of 2500-4000 patients, see patients every 15 minutes and all billing must go through an insurance company which usually requires layers of administrative staff to sort through bureaucracy and paperwork. In Direct Primary Care there is no insurance billing-- No obstacles between the patient and the physician. This results in savings on the care we offer. Under this model, we will establish panels of only 500-700 patients, all of who enjoy price transparency, unhurried appointments, and most importantly direct access to their physicians.

Is this the same as Concierge Medicine?

No. "Concierge Medicine" is a term used to describe a medical practice where typically patients pay a premium costing upwards of $1000 - $5000 per member per year simply for the privilege of seeing their doctor, in addition to their usual annual health insurance premium. Concierge medicine does little to make the healthcare system more efficient. With concierge medicine, insurance is still billed and inflated retail prices are still paid for goods and services provided. Think of concierge medicine as "VIP" access to your doctor who still bills your insurance. Direct Primary Care does not bill your insurance.

Is this a substitute for health insurance?

A DPC membership is NOT health insurance. Think of it like a gym membership. You pay a low monthly fee to use as many primary care services as you need and although our services will likely provide the majority of your healthcare needs, we highly encourage you to have some form of health insurance or health sharing account to cover your other unpredictable medical expenses that might occur such as ER visits, specialty appointments, expensive medications or specialized radiology studies, hospital stays or surgeries.

What if I cannot afford insurance, can I still join?

Of course! Insurance is not required to join but without health insurance we will have to get a little more creative in finding solutions should expensive health care needs arise.

If I have Medicare, can I still become a member?

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, or medications prescribed by our office.​

Do you accept children?

The ages accepted are 11 and above.

Can I use my HSA for my monthly membership fees?  How about my HRA or FSA?

We recommend that you clarify this with your tax accountant or plan administrator but the short answer is: HSA? probably. HRA and FSA? most likely. In 2018 Florida became the 24th state to pass DPC "not insurance" legislation when Governor Scott signed SB 80 and HB 37 on March 23, 2018 which allows DPC membership fees to qualify as eligible membership expenses for HSA funds. Again, we recommend that you clarify with your tax advisor or plan administator.

I know what services are included in the membership, what are not included?

Services NOT included costs related to emergency room or urgent care clinic visits; hospitalizations, surgeries, specialty care, radiology studies and imaging*, medications, most laboratories* including pathology studies, vaccinations, specialty physicals including DOT or CDL physicals *We have negotiated cash pay rates for many imaging and laboratory studies that will be more cost effective to most patients.

Is there a longterm contract?

No. After your registration fee, you pay month to month. If you cancel however, there are conditions that apply if you decide to rejoin.

Can I just pay for a single visit instead of a membership?

No. Cardona Direct Primary Care is not an urgent care clinic. Our primary goal is to best serve our patients as their primary care provider, which includes continuity of care. Real primary care requires more than just one visit; it requires a relationship between a physician and a patient. Single, one-time, urgent care visits do not allow for a patient and physician to establish a therapeutic relationship that is the backbone of family medicine. Some exceptions can be made for family members of current patients visiting the Jacksonville area.

I am a business owner.  How can this benefit my business and my employees?

We believe that under this model, you can invest in your most valuable production asset - your people. A DPC membership is an affordable investment in your employees that shows you really care about keeping them well, and getting them the best care when they get sick. We offer special pricing for businesses.

How do I know if direct primary care is right for me?

It might not be. Direct Primary Care may not be the right option for every patient. You must consider several factors before deciding if this is the right fit for you. You may contact our office to schedule a free meet and greet to tour the space, meet Dr. Cardona and discuss Direct Primary Care. Dr. Cardona will then help you decide if this is the right choice for your healthcare needs. Call the office at (904) 551-4625 or click here to schedule.

Do you bill insurance at all?  Do you help me file claims for insurance?

No. No. Remember, the entire point of Direct Primary Care is to eliminate the obstacles between the physician and the patient as much as possible. That means eliminating the third parties, eliminating as much paperwork as we can. and simplifying the transaction of medical care. Additionally, reimbursements for Direct Primary Care membership services are historically difficult to get reimbursed by insurance plans. You may try on your own but we do not file claims on your behalf. We will provide you with your office notes and your billing invoices. Remember, you are charged for monthly services. You are not charged per visit, nor per diagnosis code or complexity of visit-- which is traditionally how claims are paid in the fee-for-service world.