FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. If you would like more information, please contact Lillian, our membership coordinator, at 270.212.6343 or info@WatsonFM.com and she will assist you.
Membership Medicine and You
How does our practice differ from the typical traditional practice?
You will experience the difference immediately when you visit us at Watson Family Medicine. Our entire office has been designed to create a relaxing and comfortable experience for you, from the reception area to the exam rooms. There is little, if any, waiting time. I will take the time to address your health concerns and questions, and your office visits will never feel rushed.
Because my practice is limited to just a few hundred, not thousands, of patients, I really get to know my patients so I can take a more proactive role in your health and wellness and be there when you need me.
My goal is to provide you with an experience that will not just meet, but exceed, your expectations for a doctor’s office.
What is Membership Medicine?
Membership medicine, or “Concierge” medicine, is a model that emphasizes wellness and disease prevention. I can take the time with you that we need. I am not confined to 10-minute appointments typical of practices which, because of their dependency on limited insurance reimbursements, must see many more patients per day to make ends meet. Instead, by charging an affordable monthly fee, I am able to see many fewer patients, and provide you with extremely convenient, personalized and preventive care when you need it. Our membership model enables a strong and satisfying doctor-patient relationship — the key to helping you stay healthy.
It’s the way I’ve always wanted and expected to practice medicine!
What does membership include?
Your membership includes an annual Lifestyle/Functional Medicine-based Exam: I will gather detailed information on your health and lifestyle and do an in-depth review of your wellness goals — all beyond what a typical insurance-covered annual evaluation includes. I will create with you with a customized plan of care to help you achieve your goals — with an emphasis on the root cause of illness, prevention, and lifestyle factors.
Throughout the year I will provide you with close monitoring and necessary adjustments, and quarterly follow-up visits to promote and reinforce healthy lifestyle habits. Your support includes health coaching for nutrition and fitness education/coaching.
Complimentary Yoga classes will be offered twice monthly, and an online nutritionist will be available for groups and private consultations.
I can provide a great amount of care by phone, email and text, including virtual visits when appropriate. I am available to discuss urgent concerns evenings and weekends when needed. I have created a practice where you can reach me when you need to, without having to jump through many hoops!
You will enjoy greater convenience and peace of mind. You may also find a reduced need for visits to specialists and the emergency department/urgent care.
Will I still benefit from membership even if I don’t expect to need frequent medical attention?
Absolutely. I believe patients would see their doctor more if it were easier to communicate, more private, and less hassle.
At Watson Family Medicine, we make it easy for my patients to communicate with me and visit me in the office. I listen carefully to you to understand how your life, work and family situations may be affecting your health — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Besides acute care and managing illness, our focus is on adopting healthy lifestyle habits. We want to identify and prevent disease and other risk factors, concentrating our efforts on your lifetime health and wellness. Together, we will create a personalized plan to achieve and maintain your optimal health.
Advanced diagnostic tests can help us identify risk factors and health issues before they cause disease, saving you money, time, suffering and higher costs in the long run. Unlike the traditional practice environment, we have the time to deliver this type of comprehensive and detailed care.
Who does this membership plan work best for?
People of all ages benefit from the value-added services we offer at Watson Family Medicine. (We specialize in providing primary medical care for ages 5 and up).
It works especially well for:
- Patients desiring easy and direct communication with their doctor.
- Patients who want a doctor to address the underlying cause of illness, not to just treat the symptoms.
- Those who want to take part in improving their health and staying well.
- Patients who want a physician with traditional training but an open mind to non-traditional approaches (such as health coaching, meditation, acupuncture, etc.).
- Those with high insurance premiums, high-deductible health plans or no insurance.
- Patients who are too busy to spend time waiting in a doctor’s office to be seen.
- Those who wish to have their medical care remain private.
Appointments, Referrals and Care
What happens if I’m admitted to the emergency room or hospital?
This can be a stressful and often confusing experience for patients and their families.
You will be cared for by a hospitalist team. I will communicate with them, review your plan of care, answer questions, and make recommendations as needed. As your health care advocate, I will communicate directly with you and your loved ones, and help you navigate the health care system.
Do you make home visits?
Yes, I do. I appreciate that it can be logistically difficult to get to the doctor’s office. I will see patients who are home-bound on a case-by-case basis.
What if I need specialty care?
As your primary care physician, my comprehensive training allows me to handle most of your healthcare needs. If you need to see a specialist, we will help you find the right doctor. When making referrals, we can consult with your specialist prior to your appointment, as needed.
After your specialist visit, we will follow up to discuss any of your questions or concerns, and arrange additional testing and management if needed.
What if I need urgent care?
If you have a life-threatening emergency, you should call 911 or go to the ER immediately. Otherwise, you can contact me when needed.
Often, I can diagnose and treat your need without a visit to the ER. In fact, membership medicine has been shown to result in many fewer ER and urgent care visits because we can discuss your medical needs when you need to. If appropriate, rest assured I can see you the same or next day!
What if I need medical attention while I’m away from home?
You can speak with me wherever you are, and I will help with any medical conditions that can be handled by a “virtual visit.” If you have a condition that requires in-person evaluation and treatment, I will direct you to appropriate nearby care, and coordinate follow-up when you return home.
Our college program allows students to easily contact me by cell, text, email, or video. Your student will have me as their own trusted doctor who knows them well and can coordinate their care while away from home. Most problems can be solved this way, and I can handle most medical needs to help your student avoid a visit to the clinic altogether or communicate directly with local healthcare providers if needed.
What if my doctor is on vacation?
As a member of Watson Family Medicine, you are never alone. Even when out of town, I will still be available by phone for your urgent needs. You will be notified by email before any vacations. If I am not available, I will always have another trusted physician available to assist you for any urgent matters or to be seen in the office.
How Insurance Works in the Practice
Do you bill insurance plans?
Yes, we accept most major insurance plans.
Can you see me if I have Medicare?
Absolutely. Dr. Watson is a participating provider with Medicare and will bill Medicare on your behalf.
Our practice is well suited to handle the more complex medical issues often associated with seniors. We can spend the time necessary to manage chronic disease and the use of medications, and work together to optimize your health and wellness.
Do I still need health insurance?
Yes, you do. My medical practice is not a health insurance program. It is very important to maintain insurance (and/or Medicare) to cover outside testing and specialists, as well as expensive, unusual, and unpredictable events such as surgery, emergency care and hospitalization. BUT NOT for everyday preventive primary care!
The current insurance-based system makes primary care MORE expensive and difficult, and less effective too. Our practice does the opposite.
By charging a set fee, I can spend more time with you and focus on your individual health needs to maintain and improve your health. I want you to see me as often as you need to, because my goal is healthy and happy members!
How to Join
How much is the membership fee?
Membership fees can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. We have discounts for family members and are currently offering a discounted founding member rate.
Please visit our Fees page for details.
Do you offer gift memberships?
Yes! Family members or friends may want to provide a loved one the gift of membership. It’s a great way to provide support and peace of mind and ensure personalized attention for their well-being.
Can joining Watson Family Medicine save me money?
Yes, it actually can.
We expect many patients will have fewer out-of-pocket medical costs. We can better manage the risks of the majority of your health issues and concerns because of our smaller practice and more connected care model.
In addition, the membership fee is designed to be eligible for HSA, FSA or HRA funds—please check with your tax advisor.
Studies show that membership medicine can lead to:
- Less dependency on medications
- Fewer specialty referrals
- Fewer emergency and hospital visits
- Savings on labs and imaging
- Less need to order expensive tests
Is there a limit to how many patients can join Watson Family Medicine?
Yes. One of the most important aspects of personalized medicine is limiting the practice size to be able to devote more time and energy to each patient. Therefore, once we have reached our ideal practice size, we will establish a waiting list.
What if I decide to leave the practice?
You may cancel your membership any time after the first three months, with thirty days’ notice. If you prepaid your membership fee for the year you will be reimbursed for the remaining months.
Can we meet before joining?
Yes, if you are not an established patient of mine, I ask that we meet each other in-person (or virtually) to be sure our practice is a good fit for you. You may use our Contact form to set up a time to meet.
How do I become a member?
Please remember that space is limited, and members are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all available slots are filled, we will add your name to our waiting list, so I encourage you to let us know soon if you would like to join.