Premier Access
 
For Appointments

202.741.2300

Frequently Asked Questions

What is retainer medicine?
Retainer medicine has also been called concierge medicine, subscription medicine or direct access.  Most primary care physicians have about 3,000 patients in their practice and, due to low reimbursements from insurance companies, see over 24 patients a day.  This leads to long waits to get routine appointments, emergency appointments with someone other than your doctor, long waits in the waiting room and short visits when you actually get to see your doctor.  By limiting their practice to only a few hundred patients, retainer medicine physicians are able to see their patients when they need to be seen (same day/next day), spend much more time with patients, communicate electronically (when preferred), and allow patients to have 24/7 access by phone.  Retainer physicians are able to limit their panel of patients to this more reasonable size by charging and annual subscription or membership fee.

What is included Premier Access?
Premier Access is limited to only a few hundred patients.  This allows us to provide our patients with unprecedented access and attention rarely seen in today’s health care environment.  Premier Access members receive:
Same day or next day appointments
24/7 phone access to your primary care physician
Extended appointment times
Comprehensive lifestyle and wellness planning
Extensive physical exam, focusing on prevention
Counseling on nutrition, exercise and stress reduction
Electronic medical record that can be shared with specialists and consultants
Enhanced coordination of testing and specialty appointments
Certain testing (cardiac, lung function, hearing and vision) and even blood draws done in on our office
Rapid notification of test results
Prescription facilitation
Dedicated support staff
Email/online and fax access
Private entrance and waiting room

What if I need care after hours?
Your Premier Access physician is available to you 24/7. When you call our main number after hours, on the weekends and even on holidays;  you can choose to be forwarded directly to your physician’s cell phone.  This allows our patients to have the peace of mind that comes with having access to high quality health care any day and any time.

What if I need to see a specialist?
Since Premier Access is part of The GW Medical Faculty Associates-the largest, independent, physician group in metropolitan Washington- Premier Access patients have access to an elite team of more than 700 physicians who deliver care through 53 medical and surgical specialties linked by your secure electronic health record system.  At Premier Access we will help coordinate and (when possible) expedite specialty referrals and  work collaboratively with your specialists in order to provide you with comprehensive care.

How much does it cost to join Premier Access?
The annual membership fee for Premier Access is $1,500. You can pay all at once, but most patients choose to have their credit card billed monthly.  The annual membership fee includes all the benefits of belonging to Premier Access.  However, it does not cover the cost of any medical care delivered.  We will bill your insurance company for all in person visit.  We are contractually obligated to charge you your insurance company’s co-pay if you have one.  There is also a discount for family members, significant others and businesses.  When two or more members join together, each will be charged only $1250 for the annual membership fee.

Do you accept my insurance? Do you accept Medicare?
Yes. Though more and more physicians are being selective about the insurances they accept, or have stopped taking insurance altogether,  we are part of The GW Medical Faculty Associates and therefore accept most medical insurances.  We also gladly accept Medicare. Premier Access patients pay an annual membership fee to be part of the practice. All face to face encounters are billed to our insurance.  We are contractually obligated to charge you your insurance company’s co-pay if you have one.

Is the annual membership fee covered by my insurance?
No, this fee is not covered by your health insurer. However, for the price of a cup of coffee a day, Premier Access membership fee is easily justified as an expense to ensure you access to top-rated physicians.

Is the annual membership fee covered under my flexible spending account?
Not likely. You will need to check with your benefits manager or human resource office, but in general, most flexible spending accounts (FSA) specifically exclude retainer or membership fees.

Is the annual membership fee tax deductible?
Very likely.  Since tax laws changed on a regular basis, we recommend that you check with your accountant or tax specialists, but in general retainer or membership fees to a medical practice can be deducted as a medical expense.

Is there a special rate if I want any of my family members to join Premier Access?
Yes.  We offer a discount when more than one patient joins Premier Access together. This includes family members, significant others and businesses.  When two or more members join together, each patient will be charged only $1250 for the annual membership fee.

Can my children join Premier Access?
No.  Premier Access is part of GW’s Division of General Internal Medicine.  We specialize in taking care of adults only.

Is there a special rate for businesses to join Premier Access?
Yes.  We offer a discount when more than one patient joins Premier Access together. This includes family members, significant others and businesses.  When two or more members join together, each patient will be charged only $1250 for the annual membership fee.

Is Premier Access a supplemental insurance policy?
No. Premier Access is not a health insurance program and does not include payment for clinical services or reimbursement for clinical services. For all clinical services, we will bill your primary insurance.  We are contractually obligated to charge you your insurance company’s co-pay if you have one.

Do I still need to maintain my health insurance?
Yes, you will still need to maintain your normal health insurance, in addition to the Premier Access annual membership fee.  The annual membership fee includes all the benefits of belonging to Premier Access.  However, it does not cover the cost of any medical care delivered.  We will bill your insurance company for all in person visit.  We are contractually obligated to charge you your insurance company’s co-pay if you have one.  

Which of GW’s physicians are part of Premier Access?
Currently, Dr. Matthew Mintz is the only physician seeing patients in Premier Access.  However, as membership continues to grow, we will likely be hiring additional physicians.  We are only able to provide Premier Access services such as same day/next day appointments, extended appointments time and 24/7 phone access by limiting our practice to only a few hundred patients per physician.  As the practice grows beyond a few hundred patients, more physicians will be hired. Though our specialists are not part of Premier Access, and therefore cannot guarantee Premier Access’s services, Premier Access is part of The GW Medical Faculty Associates, which is the largest independent physician group in metropolitan Washington.  It is an elite team of more than 700 physicians who deliver care through 53 medical and surgical specialties linked by your secure electronic health record system.  That allows all of your MFA doctors, including your Premier Access primary care physician,  to work collaboratively on your care.

How do I enroll in Premier Access?

Becoming a member Premier Access is simple.  Simply call 202-741-2300 to enroll. You can set up your first appointment or just schedule a time to visit our facility and meet with Dr. Mintz to discuss the benefits of the program. When you join, we will request payment information and send you an acknowledgement of services form to sign, which can be mailed or faxed to us, or brought in should decide to schedule your initial visit right away.

Can I meet Dr. Mintz before deciding to join Premier Access?
Yes.  Joining Premier Access is an important commitment to your health, and we want you to be absolutely certain that is the right decision for you.  We encourage you to call our office at 202-741-2300.  Ms. Tina Martin can answer any questions you might have, and she can arrange a time for you to visit our facility and meet with Dr. Mintz to discuss the benefits of the program.