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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is this a concierge medical practice?
    We provide excellent access and comprehensive care similar to a concierge practice. We are different from “traditional” concierge practices in a couple of ways: (1) We do not charge you or your insurance for office visits. Most concierge practices charge you an annual fee “retainer” and they also bill you (or insurance) a fee for office visits. We don’t. By bundling all of our physician services into your membership fee, you get a stable and transparent cost, and we save you co-pays and/or deductible costs. (2) We are new. Dr. O’Keefe is a leader in general medicine, with experience in primary care knowledge and education at top institutions. This means that our model of care is carefully designed, informed by current science, and personalized for you. This is distinct from many concierge practices that use a boilerplate approach, often by way of a consulting company reducing an existing practice to a concierge clinic and/or a national chain hiring doctors with a corporate template for concierge care.
  • I’ve never considered paying for primary care or concierge care – why should I?
    To get great care! The traditional doctor-patient relationship is hard to find as business takes over healthcare. Because of this, doctors and patients are moving to concierge or direct primary care clinics as a better alternative to the fragmented and rushed environment of insurance-based healthcare. The cost of direct care is less than traditional medical bills (closer to a gym membership fee than to huge fees of spending a night in a hospital) and may save you money by providing you the best possible care to prevent health issues. Because we do not share your records with insurance companies, the government, or other third parties and we can arrange for medications to be dispensed by our practice, there is a higher degree of privacy afforded than in traditional practices. The yearly fee allows us to cap our enrollment and maintain a small practice size, providing better and more accessible care than available through traditional practices.
  • What kind of after-hours care is available?
    Dr. O’Keefe is available to Excel Health members by cell phone as well as by secure text messaging for urgent questions.
  • What geographic area do you serve?
    At UCLA and Emory, Dr. O’Keefe served patients who live all around the world. We can customize your care based on any distance from the practice. Based on patient needs, Dr. O’Keefe currently holds licenses in Georgia and in Florida (telemedicine).
  • Do you take care of me in the hospital?
    We continue to follow with you, but we do not provide your in-hospital care. Hospital care has improved in quality and safety with the new type of specialist called “hospitalist” who oversees the daily care plan for patients in the hospital. We work hard to keep you out of the hospital, but if you need to be admitted we will work with your hospitalist to coordinate your care.
  • Can I still continue my care with a health system?
    Yes. We work with large health systems in Georgia to be able to view your records and place orders and specialist referrals to keep your care seamless. We don't work for a health system, so we are not restricted to "internal referrals," allowing us to choose the best resources for each patient depending on their needs.
  • What age range do you treat?
    Dr. O’Keefe has experience in treating patients from age 18 to over 100, with expertise in both high-level prevention care as well as the care of medically complex or frail patients. In contrast to family medicine who learn practice obstetrics and pediatrics, internal medicine doctors’ training is focused on adult care, with extra experience in the internal medicine subspecialties (cardiology, pulmonary, endocrinology, gastroenterology, oncology, geriatrics, etc).
  • What kinds of medical conditions do you treat?
    Dr. O’Keefe treats a broad range of health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, prostate enlargement, acid reflux, menopausal symptoms, and low testosterone. If you have an acute symptom that does not require 911 or emergency care, Dr. O’Keefe can evaluate and plan care for common conditions such as infections or injuries needing an X-ray. Dr. O’Keefe does not perform procedures (biopsies, laceration suture) and can help you figure out the best location for this specific care.
  • Can you take care of all my health conditions and prescriptions?
    Dr. O’Keefe can take care of most health needs for the majority of patients within the scope of Internal Medicine. Exceptions include those who require close sub-specialist care and medication management. Dr. O'Keefe does not prescribe opiate medications except as part of a comprehensive care plan for specific acute conditions.
  • Do you take my insurance?
    We are proud to work directly with you and we do not take insurance. When insurance companies pay for primary care, the doctor works for them by contract and the company defines the terms of your relationship with your doctor. We want to provide you with the best possible care at Excel Health and therefore we work only for you, and we charge you a transparent fee to cover our costs.
  • Should I keep my insurance?
    Yes. Although you don’t need insurance to join Excel Health, we still want you to have the right insurance to cover your medical costs if you have an emergency. We can help you decide when to use your insurance for other medical practices, pharmacies, and hospital visits and when it may save you money not to use insurance. High deductible plans with health savings accounts tend to be a good option for members.
  • If I have Medicare, can I still join Excel Health?
    Yes. You will need to sign a waiver indicating that we are not billing Medicare for our services, and you will not seek reimbursement from Medicare for our fees.
  • How do I pay my membership fee?
    This is charged annually to your payment method of choice (bank account, credit card, or debit card). There is no fee to join the waitlist or for the introductory 15 minute call to see if the practice is a good fit for you.
  • Can I use my HSA of FSA or deduct the fee this on my taxes?
    Many patients pay for direct primary care with their HSA or FSA. Currently, we recommend you discuss this with a tax professional. Direct primary care is a growing model and the tax law related to health costs changes frequently.
  • Can I cancel service at any time?
    Yes, please provide us with 30 days’ notice. We can end your membership and assist in transferring your records upon your request. We will refund the prorated membership fee.
  • Are there any services that I need to pay extra for?
    We include all our doctor’s fees (any visits to us throughout the year) in your membership as well as the annual comprehensive visit elements. Services provided outside of our office (e.g. mammogram, colonoscopy, pap smear pathology interpretation, certain vaccines) will have additional cost. We work to negotiate low prices for these services and provide this information for you so there are no surprise bills. Any care provided outside of our practice (e.g. specialist visits or tests, emergency or hospital care) are not part of our membership.
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