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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Direct Primary Care?
    The Direct Primary Care model bypasses insurance completely. Instead, it works via a flat, affordable membership fee, so you never have to worry about surprise medical bills. You pay once each month and have virtually unlimited access to our services.
  • Why Vida Family Medicine?
    Vida Family Medicine focuses on developing a close relationship between you and your doctor so that you receive superior care. We are always available and provide a whole suite of services to better care for the whole you. We’re cost-efficient, convenient, and knowledgeable.
  • What sets Vida Family Medicine apart from other practices?
    We are different from other practices because we work with you, not your insurance company. We operate on a membership system so that our patients can manage their costs and have access to care when they need it with transparent pricing and personalized care. Additionally, what makes Dr. Berens unique is her dedication to providing postpartum care. Learn more about her Fourth -Trimester Membership here.
  • What is included in the membership fee?
    1) Our membership includes all office visits and virtual visits without any additional charges. This includes an annual wellness visit, follow-up visits for any concerns, sick visits, and minor procedures (stitches, skin tag/mole removal, etc). 2) Members can also text Dr. Berens directly with any questions or concerns they may have between visits using our secure text portal. 3) The same services are included for children, but depending on their age they may have more frequent wellness visits. 4) Dr. Berens is not a pain management specialist and does not prescribe chronic pain medications, but she can help coordinate any specialty care you may need for pain management or any other concerns outside of her scope.
  • Does Vida Family Medicine accept insurance?
    Vida Family Medicine does not accept insurance because our goal is to save you time and money by skipping the middleman. We provide a high- level of service that is not covered by insurance. We provide transparent pricing instead of submitting claims to insurance companies and spend our time getting to know you better.
  • Does Vida Family Medicine accept Medicare?
    We do not bill Medicare in this practice and unfortunately, due to federal regulations patients who are eligible for Medicare are not able to join as members. We expect that this will change within the next year. If you have Medicare and would like to become a patient, please send us an email to be added to our waiting list.
  • How much does a membership at Vida Family Medicine cost?
    Please see our membership fees here.
  • Will I have to pay anything to Vida Family Medicine outside of my membership fee?
    Our membership pricing is transparent and, with the exceptions below, there are no other hidden charges besides your monthly membership fee for your care with us. Fees you should expect to have to pay outside your membership fees include: 1) Lab tests: not included in the membership but our members have access to exclusive discounts through LabCorp, most labs are about $3-$5 each. 2) Imaging studies: such as X-rays, ultrasounds, etc. Though not included in your membership fee we work with several local partners to offer affordable pricing to our patients whether or not they have insurance. 3) Vaccinations: are not included but are highly recommended and can be arranged through vaccine clinics or pharmacies. We do hope to offer the flu vaccine to our members each year but this is dependent on vaccine supply.
  • Is there a long-term contract?
    We do not require a long-term contract- if you are not happy as a patient here, we do not want to force you to stay! You can cancel your membership at any time with 30 days notice. However, as your primary care physician, Dr. Berens is able to help you best by getting to know you and building a relationship with you over time. Ongoing membership allows us to take a proactive approach to your preventive health needs, while also ensuring we are available to you if you are sick or hurt. Our members usually choose to remain long-term members of the practice unless they move out of the state. Our practice has limited membership spaces available so that we are sure to have availability for our members. If you choose to cancel your membership and wish to rejoin later, you may do so if there is space available. There is a $225 rejoining fee.
  • What happens if I need a specialist?
    If you need to see a specialist, we will support you and help refer you to the right medical professional. We will also help coordinate your care to make sure nothing is lost in translation. You will still be able to use your insurance to pay for specialist visits.
  • What happens if I go to the hospital?
    Ideally, our preventative care model and close patient relationships help to prevent hospital visits whenever possible. While Dr. Berens does not admit patients to the hospital, in the event of an acute illness or injury, she will communicate with your hospital care team to ensure they are familiar with your health history and that you receive top-notch care while admitted. We recommend that all patients maintain a health insurance plan that will cover them in the event of hospitalization or surgery.
  • Who benefits most from a Direct Primary Care model?
    Patients who cannot afford health insurance or who have a high-deductible health insurance plan that limits their access to primary care due to fears about cost. Patients with “good” health insurance who are tired of feeling rushed or unheard at the doctor or seeing a different doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant at each visit with no opportunity to develop a relationship with their physician. Small business owners who want to provide a health benefit to their employees but, cannot afford a traditional insurance plan or want to lower the cost of providing insurance for their employees by pairing insurance with a DPC membership.
  • Does Dr. Berens treat chronic pain?
    Dr. Berens does not prescribe opioid pain medications or scheduled sleep medications on a long-term basis. Patients with chronic pain are managed in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team including a pain management specialist.
  • What is Dr. Berens' stance on pediatric vaccinations?
    We do not administer these in the office, but we do recommend the official CDC schedule. We refer our patients to local health department or vaccine clinics to receive these vaccinations. Some patients who have insurance choose to see an insurance-based pediatrician just for their vaccine visits while maintaining their membership with us for the majority of their care. We understand that many families have questions and concerns about vaccines, and we are happy to discuss these concerns to help you come to an informed decision for your family.

Want to learn more? Schedule a free Meet & Greet to get all your questions answered and start to build a relationship with a doctor who really cares.

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