If you’re considering forms, congratulations! I assume that means you’re taking the leap and now just trying to get your ducks in a row to start on-boarding new patients. The “convincing yourself and everyone around you that you’re doing the right thing phase” is over. Now you know you ARE doing the right thing to unburden YOURSELF from the system and to care better for YOUR patients.
You want to be set up with the right forms to make the on-boarding process as simple as possible for you AND patients. Many DPC practices share their forms online. Here are a few examples to look through to get your own together. I suggest reading through a few and copying and pasting the parts that make sense to you. When you have that model, go through and make sure it says what YOU want to agree with your patient about. If you feel comfortable, ask a lawyer with familiarity in the direct care world to help you review your final product.
This is between you and your patient so it needs to be tailored to what you’d like to offer in terms of services, time commitments, etc. Be careful going through it to make sure it is what you want it to be. Here are some examples: Kansas City DPC, Direct Doctors, AtlasMD. The amazingly helpful guys (aka doctors) at AtlasMD offer free services to those setting up or participating in direct care practices - one of these is legal counsel, so check them out if you have questions!
You possibly/probably need a HIPAA statement (depending on which view you accept on whether Direct Care practices qualify for HIPAA).
Medical Record Release
A couple of examples exist online of DPC records releases - i.e. AtlasMD, Direct Doctors. Copy one of these styles but remember the key in staying burden free is how do you want records to arrive? We only want faxes - why? - it keeps us burden free and paper free. We review, we send to the EMR, we are done. Paper requires scanning and shredding, both time consuming and not without costs.
Medicare Opt Out Form
If you opt out of Medicare and you see Medicare patients (remember some are disabled and younger, so ask everyone who joins!), you will need them to sign an Opt Out Agreement. The gist is, this lets them know that neither you nor they will bill medicare for your services. They can still use Medicare for everything else. Here’s a sample from AAPS.
Other forms will come up with patients as you proceed (i.e. controlled substance agreement, one-time visit agreement, and letterhead) but you will likely have time to make those as you go along. DPC Frontier has lots of form information. If you’re starting from scratch, i.e. out of residency or in a new geographic location, you will have lots of time during start up to work out these kinks. If you’re transitioning an existing practice, you may need this stuff up and running asap.
While time is money, money is also money. Loving and living in your Direct Care practice does not have to mean spending more than you earn to keep the lights on. It does not require a massive startup budget. It requires some careful planning, and maybe a good spreadsheet or two! The best advice I can give is pick and choose what you NEED and start there. You can always add wants and maybes down the line.
Here is what you don’t need to keep your practice running smoothly:
What you do need to start is simple:
What you might need:
Your practice has to be right for YOU but taking baby steps when it comes to footing the bill is the smartest way to build a simple, sustainable practice without adding new burdens to your life.
Read more about what forms you need to start your Direct Care practice...
I am a Family Physician, wife to a doc, and mother of three with a mission to convince you as a doctor that you are worth more than the system is giving you and that you are already well-equipped to make a big change without adding more burdens! My passion is helping existing or start up Direct Care practices learn to troubleshoot, streamline, and simplify.