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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Liberty Family Medicine?

Liberty Family Medicine is a Direct Primary Care (DPC) clinic that thrives by cutting out the middle man and welcoming you into the family. We are an insurance-free practice that utilizes a membership model where you pay a monthly fee (similar to a gym membership that is charged regardless of frequency of use). This allows you to use the service as much or as little as you need free from the hassles of copays. Because we do not accept insurance, we are allowed much more freedom to care for our patients the way they deserve. Membership at Liberty Family Medicine offers the accessibility, convenience, and affordability you need, as well as the added amenities you want, including same or next day extended appointment avaiability with your personal physician and convenient access via phone, email, text, or video chat.

What exactly is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?

DPC clinics are membership-based practices that do not accept insurance and thus are free from the expensive and burdensome administrative constraints of the government and private insurance companies. This type of clinic business model is focused on the doctor-patient relationship and putting the patient first. This style of practice has gained momentum recently as a less expensive alternative to the comprehensive insurance model and offers a more affordable option for primary care while also providing a higher level of care. Patients pay a monthly membership fee (similar to a gym membership) which allows them unprecedented access to their personal primary care physician. DPC clinics have been compared to boutique or concierge practices which also charge a monthly fee for services. Boutique and concierge practices charge very high fees that are only affordable to a certain population and still bill insurance in most cases, while DPC clinics charge modestly priced monthly fees and still offer a unique and personalized primary care experience. Because Liberty Family Medicine is membership based, it enrolls fewer patients per doctor, roughly 600-800 as compared to the 2,500-3,500 a traditional primary care physician maintains. This allows for more flexible and personalized care. When paired with a health savings account (HSA) or a high-deductible catastrophic insurance plan to pay for hospitalizations and emergencies, membership at Liberty Family Medicine will be similar in cost or cheaper than most medical coverage, with the added advantage of excellent, personalized, and easily accessible primary care. Liberty Family Medicine membership can also be added to supplement your existing health care coverage; this allows for personalized care, convenience, and flexibility for patients who want full control of their medical care. At Liberty Family Medicine, we offer the additional benefits of greatly reduced laboratory tests and on-site dispensation of some of the most common medications. This will further increase the value of your membership. If you decide to become a member, you will quickly see that we can actually save you a lot of money. For more information on this unique model visit www.iamdirectcare.com.

So, you don’t accept insurance?

No, we gladly DO NOT accept insurance, which makes us free from the expensive and burdensome administrative constraints of the government and private insurance companies. This leaves us much more time to take care of YOU. This is the way primary care was meant to be practiced! Comprehensive insurance coverage just complicates primary health care. For instance, would you call your insurance company to get approval for routine maintenance on your vehicle?  We all know that this would be more of a hassle than it’s worth, so why do we do this with our primary care for our own health thus making insurance much more expensive than needed?  Plus, when paired with a HSA or high-deductible catastrophic insurance plan to pay for hospitalizations and emergencies, membership at Liberty Family Medicine will be similar in cost or usually cheaper than most comprehensive medical coverage plans, with the added advantage of excellent, personalized, and easily accessible primary care. Liberty Family Medicine membership can also be added to supplement your existing health care coverage. This allows for personalized care, convenience, and flexibility for patients who want full control of their medical care. At Liberty Family Medicine, we offer the additional benefits of greatly reduced laboratory tests and on-site dispensation of the most common medications. This will further increase the value of your membership. If you decide to become a member, you will quickly see that we can actually save you a lot of money.

Do I still need insurance?

Yes, because membership at Liberty Family Medicine is NOT health insurance, although it can make accessing quality primary care more affordable and convenient. We still recommend having a HSA or catastrophic insurance at a minimum so that you have appropriate coverage if an unpredictable disaster strikes. Utilizing a HSA can allow access to funds should hospitalizations or referrals to specialists be necessary. We are happy to refer you to insurance representatives who can help customize an insurance plan to your specific needs.

Does membership at Liberty Family Medicine satisfy Affordable Care Act mandates?

No. Clinic members will still have to obtain insurance coverage that satisfies the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, or they will be subject a tax penalty. However, as mentioned above, clinic membership makes comprehensive insurance coverage that includes primary care redundant and can significantly reduce overall health costs. Patients with membership at Liberty Family Medicine would be ideal candidates for HSAs, inexpensive, high-deductible (catastrophic) insurance plans or a plan with a health care sharing ministry. These plans are affordable and those enrolled in them are Affordable Care Act exempt.

What medical conditions are you able to treat at Liberty Family Medicine?

Liberty Family Medicine is a primary care clinic and Dr. Gruender is a board certified Family Medicine Physician. She received a broad scope of training in her residency program and is able to care for all ages and address most acute and chronic patient concerns in her office. She chose family medicine as her specialty because she appreciates the unique relationships she is able to form not only with one individual but with an entire patient’s family; she enjoys caring for all ages, treating many types of common illnesses, as well as performing minor procedures. Some examples include preventative care, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, colds, infections, laceration repair, skin lesion removal, and biopsies. Having fewer patients and offering extended visits allows Dr. Gruender more time to focus on the health of the entire patient, which is much more complex than merely the diagnoses assigned to the patient; this allows more convenience and flexibility for both the patient and the physician, resulting in the highest quality primary care. For conditions that are not appropriate to treat at the clinic, Dr. Gruender will refer you to an appropriate specialist. And of course, emergencies will not be treated at the clinic or over the phone, but rather sent to the emergency room for further evaluation and treatment.

Can children become members of Liberty Family Medicine?

Most definitely! We are thrilled to accept the children (birth to 18 years of age) of our enrolled clients. However, at this time, we do not provide routine vaccinations for young children, but we will happily work with you to arrange these at the local health department.

Will I benefit from membership at Liberty Family Medicine if I do not require frequent medical attention?

Of course! Membership at Liberty Family Medicine is tailored to fit your needs directly so each patient’s usage of the services will be slightly different. Through membership, each patient will have access to the highest quality and personalized primary care for their needs at affordable prices, which is well worth the monthly fee!

What if I need to see a specialist or go to the hospital?

It is our goal to reduce or even prevent most specialist referrals and hospitalizations by providing extraordinary primary care with unparalleled access. When referrals or hospitalizations are truly necessary, we will continue to work closely with any specialists to ensure the highest level of care and attention you are accustomed to as a member of Liberty Family Medicine is maintained.

Is my membership to Liberty Family Medicine tax deductible?

Unfortunately, not at this time, however you should always consult with your tax consultant to clarify tax consequences in your particular circumstances.

Can I become a member if I have Medicare?

Unfortunately, at this time we cannot see Medicare patients as we are still working in the urgent care to supplement income while we are getting Liberty Family Medicine up to goal membership numbers. However, as soon as the practice is full enough and we do not need to work outside of the clinic, we will opt out of Medicare and can see you at that time. We will keep you updated on this topic.

Do you provide vaccines?

Currently, we do not provide routine childhood vaccines but we are able to provide routine vaccines for adults and the yearly flu shot.

What if I need medical attention while I am out of town or on vacation?

Due to our unprecedented access via multiple forms of technology, we are always available to you even when you are away from home. Most issues can easily be addressed via technology, however, if an in-person visit is required, we will contact local direct primary care providers wherever you are if possible so that you can hopefully avoid an urgent care or ER visit

What if my out-of-town relatives need care while they are visiting me?

We can also see your out-of-town family members who are visiting (for an additional fee) instead of them having to go to the urgent care for simple matters.

Can I contact my physician after hours? How do I do this?

Keeping with offering convenient, flexible, and affordable full primary care, Dr. Gruender will be available via phone, text, email, or video chat even at nights and on the weekends because acute illnesses and injuries do not respect regular office hours. If you prefer, you may also use the secure patient portal to access your medical record and then email Dr. Gruender. Of course, emergencies will not be treated at the clinic or over the phone, but rather sent to the emergency room for further evaluation and treatment.

Are my medical records ever shared with insurance carriers or pharmaceutical companies?

At Liberty Family Medicine, we maintain the highest standards of privacy. Because our practice is unique, we are not obligated to share any of your information with insurance companies or third parties, unless you specifically ask that we do so.

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2614 Forum Blvd., Suite 100
Columbia, Missouri 65203
info@libertyfamilymed.com

 573-445-5366

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