1. What is a concierge practice?
Skypark Preferred Family Care is a concierge practice. This innovative practice design allows doctors to limit the size of their practices to a few hundred rather than several thousand patients, enabling them to offer faster service, more time for each patient visit and 24/7 direct availability to the family practice doctor. To finance this higher level of service, each member patient is asked to pay an annual direct fee to participate in the practice. The fee pays only for insurance and Medicare uncovered services. We do periodic, detailed, preventive medical "wellness" exams in addition. There are many terms that describe this kind of practice, but we call it a concierge practice.
2. What is the mission?
Skypark Preferred Family Care seeks to provide coordinated, detailed, personalized, quality family medicine care to its members in an environment of quick and easy service. Patients can feel confident that their internal medicine doctor is readily available and as concerned with their welfare as they would be with a close relative or friend. Service to their own personal doctor, with rare exception, should be prompt, direct and whenever needed.
3. What services are provided?
The Skypark Preferred Family Care office strives to be a "one-stop shop" for all primary care needs. To this end, a long list of services are offered and extensive equipment exists on-site.
4. Do you offer disease management?
Yes. Modern medical care requires that many disease states such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, atherosclerosis and others be carefully managed in a variety of ways. Skypark Preferred Family Care strives to comply with the "best practice guidelines" that have been established to optimize the care of various medical problems.
5. Do I need insurance if I enroll with you?
Yes. Skypark Preferred Family Care is a medical practice not a health insurance program. Patients are advised to continue their HSA, PPO, Medicare or other insurance programs unchanged.
6. Do you bill Medicare for the annual concierge practice fee?
No. The annual concierge practice fee is a fee for "Medicare non-covered services" and as such cannot be paid for by Medicare. We do bill Medicare for services performed at Skypark Preferred Family Care that ARE covered by Medicare as required by law.
7. Will my private insurance reimburse my annual concierge practice fee?
Almost certainly not. However, in some cases concierge practice fees can be paid for through Flexible Spending Accounts through employers. Health Savings Accounts can at times be used to pay for concierge practice fees. Members are advised to consult their human resources representatives at work, their FSA and HSA plan managers and their tax consultants or attorneys to clarify these issues in their particular circumstances.
8. What about lab, X-ray, specialists' fees and hospitalization?
Your concierge practice fee pays only for membership in the practice and for many services that are not covered by insurance. All other services are the patient's financial responsibility but are often covered by his/her health insurance policy, HSA or by Medicare.
9. What if I have an emergency?
If you have a life-threatening emergency, do call 911 immediately. After you call 911, please do call Skypark Preferred Family Care. We will try to help you until the paramedics arrive and will attempt to coordinate your emergency care thereafter. For minor urgent problems that do not require paramedics, call us directly and we will take care of the problem. Patients are asked to contact us BEFORE going to any urgent care facility and at any time of the day or night if real need exists. We will attempt to do whatever is necessary to deal with your urgent after-hours problem directly.
10. What if I need to see a specialist or a surgeon?
Of course, our patients are free to see any specialist they wish any time they wish. We suggest our patients allow us to decide with them what specialists to see and to coordinate such consultations. In this way, the most appropriate resource is used, the earliest arrangements are made and your applicable medical information is sent in advance of your specialist visit. Often, direct doctor-to-doctor discussion of the reason for consultation is done, in the presence of the patient, before such consults occur. Coordination of follow-up after the consultation is also a high priority.
11. Can I still see my gynecologist?
Of course. Skypark Preferred Family Care does not wish to disrupt any medical relationship you already have with any specialist, if you wish to continue with it. However, we do offer fairly complete office gynecologic services if you wish to make use of them.
12. What about the cost of prescription medicines?
We work with patients to keep their costs down whenever possible. However, ultimately the cost of prescription medicines is the patient's responsibility or covered by their insurance plan. For Medicare patients, we advise you enroll in Medicare Part D for coverage.
13. Will I be required to pay my annual concierge practice fee even if I do not use your services?
Yes. We strongly encourage wellness consultations regardless of your self-perceived state of health. Whether you are sick or feeling well, paying your direct practice fee allows you to have certain privileges.
14. What if I get married or have/adopt a child? Can I extend membership in Skypark Preferred Family Care to this person?
Every effort will be made to accommodate your new family member. If you have joined as a family with children, any number of children are included automatically as long as they are dependent and under age 25. However, there may be times when new family members will be placed on a waiting list for availability.
15. What happens if I move out of the area after I enroll?
A copy of your records will be sent to your new physician upon receipt of a signed release to that doctor. Under the Skypark Preferred Family Care direct practice contract, membership fees are not refundable. However, on a case-by-case basis, exceptions and pro rata refunds will be considered.
16. Can I wait and enroll in Skypark Preferred Family Care later?
By design, Skypark Preferred Family care is a membership practice with a limited enrollment. Once that enrollment limit is reached, a waiting list is established. Every effort will be made to accommodate interested patients, but the enrollment limit must be honored in order to provide excellent service to the existing enrollees.
17. What do I do if I become ill while out of town?
Call 911 if you have a life-threatening emergency and then call us. Call us first if the problem is more minor. It is often possible to deal with your urgent medical problem on the phone. Most states accept prescriptions called in from out-of-state doctors. If not, it may be possible for us to find you a resource where you are for care. If you do seek care at an emergency room or urgent care center out of our area, have the doctor seeing you call us for coordination. Be sure to carry a copy of your last "wellness" exam with you when you travel. This detailed medical record can be invaluable to a doctor who has never seen you before.
For more questions about the programs and services at our family medicine clinic, call us at 310.378.6208. Contact us if you reside in Manhattan Beach, Torrance, Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach or surrounding locations in the South Bay, CA.