List of Frequently Asked Questions
- What is My Doctor Medical Group?
- How does a Direct Medical Practice work?
- Why might I want to choose a Direct Medical Practice?
- Is this concierge medicine?
- What is a house call?
- Can laboratory tests and x-rays be done during a house call?
- Do you have an office I can come to?
- Can you make referrals to specialists?
- What if hospitalization is necessary?
- What does it mean that you are “out-of-network” for insurance?
- What if I don’t have insurance?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Do you accept Medicare?
- What are your Privacy Practices?
What is My Doctor Medical Group?
My Doctor Medical Group is a primary care, urgent care, integrative medicine, addiction medicine and travel medicine practice dedicated to serving the community by providing easy access to the best medical care in a pleasant, personalized, confidential and professional setting.
Our founder and Medical Director, Dr. Paul Abramson, is a graduate of UCSF School of Medicine where he currently serves on the Clinical Faculty. He is on staff with full admitting privileges at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco’s best private hospital system. You may read more about him here.
We are a direct medical practice, meaning that we are not contracted with any commercial insurance companies (we are “out of network” and work directly for our patients). We can submit claims on our patients’ behalf after the visit, and claims may be paid by the insurance company to the patient according to the details of the patient’s insurance policy. This arrangement allows us to provide the best possible service to our patients without conflicts of interest.
We can not only deal with acute medical issues, but also help you to proactively keep yourself healthy using natural and preventive medicine. We utilize a network of specialists in San Francisco and throughout the world, and our doctors are on staff with admitting privileges at California Pacific Medical Center. We are ready and available to help those who live here in San Francisco, as well as those traveling here from abroad. We take the time to listen to you and understand your health needs and goals. We can also handle complex situations and help you navigate the health care system.
How does a Direct Medical Practice work?
A direct medical practice is similar to how medical care was provided before the advent of the health insurance industry – a direct relationship between you and your doctor. By establishing this direct relationship we can provide you the very best medical care and focus our attention on your needs and well-being. We have no conflicts of interest.
Why might I want to choose a Direct Medical Practice?
We work directly for you, not for insurance companies or any other third parties, which allows us to provide the best possible medical care, with attention to customer service and privacy. This arrangement allows the doctor to really listen to your concerns and customize the treatment plan to your individual needs and preferences.
No more long waits or rushed visits. Our average waiting time in the office is under 2 minutes. The doctor takes the time to listen to your concerns and you will not feel rushed during your visit.
We are available when and where you need us. Same-day appointments are often available. We make house calls when needed. Dr. Abramson can direct admit patients to the hospital when needed, without the need for an ER visit. We can also be flexible about providing services (when medically appropriate) via telephone, secure e-mail, and Skype, at times preventing unnecessary ER visits and hospitalizations. This can save you time and money while improving the quality of your care.
We are cost effective. By taking the time to get to know you, and by being available to you when you need us, we can get you healthy faster and target tests and treatments to your actual needs.
Is this concierge medicine?
While we do not consider ourselves to be solely a “concierge” medical practice, our doctors and staff provide extraordinary service and attention to detail to each and every one of our patients. Because we operate privately and independently, we are able to solve difficult problems and help you manage complex health situations if needed. There are no membership or annual fees. Our fees are based on the time we spend, and the complexity of services provided, and we always welcome requests for individualized services. For more information, we have a page about Concierge Medicine.
What is a house call?
A house call is when a physician conveniently brings medical services to you. House calls are available, but not limited, to homes, hotels, and the workplace. The doctor can dispense many medications to you directly, eliminating the need to wait in line at a pharmacy, or transmit a prescription directly to your pharmacy of choice. Our service area for house calls is usually limited to San Francisco, but we can sometimes accomodate extraordinary requests for out-of-area services.
Can laboratory tests and x-rays be done during a house call?
Yes. We can virtually transport our office in a doctor’s bag, including laboratory equipment for testing. Certain simple tests can be completed on site. For others, the doctor can draw your blood or collect specimens and send them to the lab, or we can give you a lab slip to go to a lab’s patient service center. We can also often arrange for mobile x-ray and ultrasound services to be brought to you as well if needed.
Do you have an office I can come to?
Absolutely. Office visits can be more cost-effective than house calls. We are located close to Union Square in downtown San Francisco. Convenient parking is available.
Can you make referrals to specialists?
Yes, after you are seen and evaluated by one of our medical providers, we can arrange expedited consultations with top specialists in any area of medicine, locally or even internationally.
What if hospitalization is necessary?
What most people aren’t aware of is that almost all doctors in San Francisco no longer take care of their own patients in the hospital. Rather, they outsource this service to a type of doctor called a “Hospitalist” – who neither knows you nor has any responsibility for making sure your transition in and out of the hospital is smooth. Hospitalists also work for the hospital, meaning that they often have a conflict of interest that keeps them from being your best advocate.
We are the exception to the rule.
Our doctors are on staff at California Pacific Medical Center where they can often admit you directly without needing to go through the Emergency Department. We are independent and work only for you. We can also coordinate your care at other hospitals throughout the region as needed to make sure you get the best and most expeditious treatment.
And when it’s time to return home from the hospital, we will see you at home or in our office, ensuring a seamless transition.
What does it mean that you are “out-of-network” for insurance?
We are considered an out-of-network provider for all commercial insurance. Our patients pay us for services at the time we render them. Our biller can then submit a claim electronically to your insurance company “out of network” on your behalf, or give you an itemized receipt to submit yourself. How much you will recover depends on your insurance policy terms and deductibles, but can be as much as 70-100% for PPO insurance or 100% for international travelers insurance and out-of-area HMOs. We suggest you check your insurance policy to see what your out of network benefits are.
One solution that works for many of our patients is to obtain a high-deductible health plan (“HDHP”) with an accompanying Health Savings Account that will provide catastrophic coverage. Then you can use some of the money you save on this less-expensive insurance to obtain the kind of high-quality personalized care you deserve, on a pre-tax basis.
What if I don’t have insurance?
If you don’t have insurance, we are often an extremely cost-effective and transparently-priced option compared to the bills generated by going to a regular medical office or hospital. Please call us for full details.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Payment is due in full at the time services are rendered. We accept Cash, Travelers Checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flex-Spending Account (FSA) cards, and debit cards. Personal checks are not accepted.
Do you accept Medicare?
Patients with Medicare are encouraged to call our office for further details.
What are your Privacy Practices?
We are extremely conscientious about the privacy of our patients, and frequently cater to high-profile individuals with unusual needs for privacy and discretion. Please contact us if you have specific needs or concerns.
Notice of Privacy Practices – My Doctor Medical Group – a federally-mandated document that describes how we comply with HIPAA privacy regulations.
For our web site’s Online Privacy Practices document, click here.