INTRODUCTION & BASICS
What does “Avicenna” mean?
Avicenna was a 10th-century physician and scholar, considered the father of early modern medicine. His books were used as primary texts in medicine for over four centuries. Avicenna recognized the importance of preventive care in the health and wellbeing of people and society. We recognize his commitment to learning and teaching with our practice name.
What does “primary care” include?
“Primary care” is the diagnosis and treatment of routine illnesses and injuries, including prevention of serious problems later. That includes monitoring of general health and managing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes. For most people, primary care is 80-90% of all their medical needs.
Who are the doctors?
Please see more information about Drs. Malik and Mannan, who are married and have lived in the Allentown area for several years.
What is “DPC”?
Direct primary care (DPC) is a partnership between patients and physicians, without insurance companies in the middle. Instead of paying for primary care each visit, you pay a monthly fee for unlimited, unhurried visits, including many procedures and tests, and unlimited electronic contact.
The staff and time that used to be allocated to insurance issues is returned patients in the form of care, testing and monitoring.
Here are some common differences between “typical” primary care offices, and our DPC clinic:
- Visits to Avicenna average 30-60 minutes. We don’t rush you in and out.
- Neither of us has nearly as many patients as a “fee for service” practice, because we don’t have to “make up” for low insurance payments. We can be in contact more often and provide more value to you.
- We begin with a detailed medical history. If problems arise, we have time to find the most up-to-date information that applies to your situation.
- If you need specialty care, we’ll hand-pick where we refer you (within your plan’s network if you prefer, or, if you use Sedera, wherever we think is best), monitor what’s going on, and coordinate specialty care with our own.
DPC reclaims the time for us to practice one patient at a time, and our commitment at Avicenna is that you receive care from one of us, directly.
Is this “concierge care?”
No. “Retailer” or “concierge” care is considerably more expensive, but those practices still file claims with insurance for some services, and we do not. DPC is different, because we keep our care separate from insurance, while still allowing for a reasonable monthly fee.
Why should I pay monthly for primary care when I don’t have any serious health issues?
- Often, chronic issues such as poor diet, high blood pressure or inadequate sleep are unseen or untreated for years before they have serious consequences. For example, hypertension (high blood pressure) is known as the “silent killer,” with no symptoms until a stroke or a heart attack occurs. But if high blood pressure is detected and addressed promptly, that catastrophic event can often be prevented entirely.
- Similarly, many conditions such as obesity, diabetes and sleep apnea can be managed and even reversed with accessible primary and preventive care.
- You can get more from your health care dollars when you choose how to spend them. Instead of debating coverage with your insurance company, as an Avicenna member you can pay a low cash price, save money overall, and gain more time working with a physician toward your optimal health.
DPC offers what you have a right to expect: doctors who treat you when you are sick and help keep you well. It sounds simple. It is simple.
SERVICES AND BENEFITS
What do I/we get for the monthly fee?
- Extended 30 to 60-minute visits, including any necessary prescribing, test orders, and referrals
- Unlimited visits with no co-pays
- Zero to minimal wait time
- Same or next-day appointments with online scheduling
- Access to your physician with in-person visits, video calls, text, and email
- Access to medical records 24/7
- In-house medication dispensing (for a fee, select medications only) at cost or discounted prices
- Discounted prices for common tests and procedures
- Pharmacist consultation and medication management
- Urgent care visits – laceration repair, I&D, breathing treatments
- Annual physicals, sports physicals, employment physicals
- Baseline spirometry and EKG
Are my pre-existing conditions covered?
Yes. Since DPC is not “insurance,” we cover patients, not conditions.
I have many conditions and always seem to be at the doctor’s. Is there a limit on how frequently I can schedule an appointment?
No, but note that quite often, followup visits address problems that were never well-managed to begin with. Since no one should spend too many hours in a doctor’s office, we’ll try to get those under control. With more thorough visits and the ability to keep in touch using technology, we can help address each issue more effectively.
Of course, we will point out how you can help— for example, how your diet, exercise and other habits can affect your health. We view primary care as a true partnership, not just a series of checkmarks. When we all bring our best thinking to that partnership, we can accomplish quite a lot.
With a monthly fee, the more care I receive, the less money you make. How can that work?
Seeing fewer patients and not having to work through insurance reclaims time to use the full range of our training and to leverage information technology to “practice smarter.” So we we can keep costs where they need to be, while still providing exceptional care. At last count, over half a million Americans are enrolled in a DPC practice, and that number is growing.
What if I need specialty care or labs outside Avicenna?
By addressing issues that other primary care physicians would not have time to do, we can minimize outside referrals, which reduces your costs and simplifies your care. We also have the time to consult with specialists in the community, when needed, to confirm a treatment approach.
For example, diabetes can typically be addressed within a primary care setting, yet many patients are referred to specialists for long-term monitoring due to lack of time. At Avicenna, we believe in treating diabetes alongside all the other medical issues to which it relates — the person, not one condition at a time.
Of course, if you have issues outside our scope, we will refer you to specialists in whom we have confidence, and order lab work if/as needed. We can stay within your insurance network, or, if you use Sedera, we can select the best option overall.
For example, we recommend the Heart Care Group for cardiac care and lab tests through LabCorp or Quest. For radiology and imaging, we recommend Allentown Diagnostic Imaging. We have negotiated member discounts for common labs and imaging tests, and can facilitate any other test or procedure needed.
What about emergencies?
Other than true emergencies, such as unstable chest pain, difficulty breathing, uncontrolled bleeding, and serious injuries, we encourage you to contact us before an emergency room visit. We can suggest the best setting for your care, often at considerably less cost to you than an ER would be. For after-hours situations that are not emergencies but require in-person care, we also offer a home visit for an additional $75 fee.