FAQs For Patients
How is Candor Care similar to traditional healthcare?
Our physicians have similar training to the Board Certified physicians who may already take care of you. Like their clinics, we have similar Practice Policies which have to be followed before we engage in services. Like them, when we start seeing new patients, we request some baseline records to establish a medical understanding of your health. Like them, we can order labs, diagnose and medicate, maintain and review records, in the course of your health care.
How is Candor Care different from traditional healthcare?
Traditional healthcare models struggle with too many competing interests. The usual “provider”, who may or may not be Board-certified, or even a trained/ licensed physician, has about 2,500 patients and must see about 30 patients per day to meet their corporate metrics. The average patient visit is scheduled at 15 minutes, of which 3 is spent in meaningful face-to-face communication with the patient. Candor Care is a completely novel approach to healthcare. Our Board Certified doctors are obligated to a limited number of patients, not insurers, so they can give you the time and attention you deserve. Our service is completely online, which means that you get comprehensive, personalized care from anywhere in the world, on any device, after establishing care. We have reinvented the 21st century “house call”: Your Candor Care doctor is your partner in health, long-term, and we treat you like family.
How is a niche micro-practice different from concierge medicine?
Most concierge doctors charge between $3,000 and $6,000 per patient per year, and are set up to see patients in-person at their office. Candor Care is more affordable, and flexible in pricing. Our doctors are equipped to meet patients where they are – via phone, text, and video chat. Our mission is to engage, educate and empower, one relationship at a time – and we view every visit as an opportunity to deliver on our mission.
What is Candor Care’s relationship to my health insurance?
It’s complicated. Not because we have anything to hide, but because we are dealing with entities who have perfected the art of intellectual sophistry. As Board Certified physicians, we are expert clinicians first. But the practice of medicine has unfortunately transformed into a streamlined business, the inner mechanics of which the best of organized crime syndicates would envy. Ignoring that fact would not allow our physicians to act on our mission.
We can generate statements for visits, like your current in-network practices, but we do not submit the same at this time. Depending on your plan’s telehealth allocations for out of network care, or out-of-pocket maximums, you are likely eligible for partial/full reimbursements of costs of medical services received at Candor Care. We encourage you to understand your insurer’s plan, and discuss any gaps in the offering with your employer’s benefits manager.
Studies have shown that direct to consumer models are often very cost-effective, for both patient and employer, and we are proud to offer a flexible model which works for all parties.
Do I need any special equipment to seek care?
No. All you need is a computer or a smartphone. The device must have a reliable internet connection and a camera (for video chat). We offer 15 days of free care, at the start of any monthly subscription, for you to test out our electronic interface, so you can ensure it is a good long-term match.
Further, during our clinical evaluation, we may find that there are standard/ novel technology options which allow for better remote monitoring of common disease states. Standard examples are measuring tapes, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, standard blood glucometers, home pulse-oximeters, or weight scales. Novel technology include Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems, validated health and wellness apps, devices newly approved by FDA, connected devices which can live-transmit data, etc. Costs associated with all these technologies maybe covered by your insurer, and are not included in Candor Care’s charges.
Our intention at Candor Care is to best harness the power of a digital presence to guide you to wellness, and if we know there are tools which may help in your case, we will discuss the options with you.
Can I get an in-person evaluation from a Candor Care physician?
No. Contact with your Candor Care doctor is completely through secure text, phone, and video interface. With our expert training, and many years of clinical experience, paired with modern technology, we are able to treat most acute and chronic conditions, completely online. In fact, you may find that our care is often much better than traditional care because your Candor Care Board Certified doctor can give you more time and attention, powered by our unparalleled expertise.
We advice that you retain a local primary care physician precisely because we cannot do a thorough physical exam: Candor Care physicians are a personalized tele-medical adjunct to your brick and mortar care, where comprehensive exams can be conducted.
Are there limitations to labs or medications I can get at Candor Care?
Healthcare at Candor Care is an individualized evaluation, every time. While our Board Certified physicians can expertly handle any clinical scenario, they are also going to fine-tune their responses according to what is best for each patient situation. For example, we can order a quantitative b-hCG to confirm pregnancy. But in a teenager who hasn’t yet revealed this concern to her parents, we know this lab would likely trigger an Explanation Of Benefits from their insurer, at which point, the secret is out. Until the patient has an understanding of this, agrees to the consequences or explores other options with us, we would not order the lab. Similarly, prescribed opioid use may be indicated for some patients. Our physicians retain the right to decide this individually, and Candor Care does not have any generalized limiting policies with regards to applicable standardized patient care.
What is my doctor’s availability?
Your Candor Care doctor is available at your convenience, more or less. You can securely text your doctor anytime. Your doctor will respond to their text messages at various points throughout the day. Also, you may schedule a same/ next-day phone call or video chat appointment. The Website Care Team is online during business hours to provide a real-time check on physician practice hours for you.
But Candor Care’s physicians do have limited hours dedicated to patient care, so we can pursue other academic interests. We advice that you always retain a local primary care provider because we cannot guarantee availability. Candor Care physicians are a personalized tele-medical adjunct to your brick and mortar care, the traditional “medical home” usually afforded by insurance.
What we do guarantee is service with quality: No driving, no waiting, no concerns of others’ germs, no playing tag with clinic staff. One doctor, whose credentials you know and trust, to one patient, who transitions to optimal wellness under our care. The way healthcare was meant to be.
Is my “virtual doctor” at Candor Care a replacement for my primary care physician (PCP)?
No. You should keep your PCP for access to local on-site care. Candor Care does not have offices for in-person evaluations, and we are a personalized tele-medical adjunct to your PCP’s services. We are available if you cannot reach them, and we can review records/findings and discuss the same with you as a second opinion, but we are not a substitute or replacement. We ally with your PCP and encourage coordination of on-site and virtual care, to help improve your health.
Are my online communications safe?
Yes. The entire Candor Care platform is secure and HIPAA compliant to ensure that the communication with your doctor remains private at all times. Your information is stored on our secure servers and we take every measure to ensure your privacy and the safety of your data.
How can Candor Care access my records?
Only with your permission. Our electronic interfaces allow for you to upload files securely for us to review. Some EHRs facilitate our review: For example, in Epic, using your MyChart website or MyChart mobile account, patients can generate a share code to provide us with one-time, temporary access to the patient’s health information. Using this one-time use share code, our physicians can view what is available in the patient’s Share Everywhere view. Similarly, some commercial labs facilitate our review: Operationally, Lab Corp reports results directly to patients, while Quest does not at this time. You can then upload the same for discussion with us. Some of our doctors also have courtesy privileges at local tertiary care centers as well, and can use our electronic access there to facilitate care for our shared patients.
What should I do if I have an urgent medical matter or emergency?
Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Later, inform your Candor Care doctor of your emergency and they will help monitor the direction of your care, and support your understanding of the decisions made by on-site clinicians.
FAQs For Physicians
What services can Candor Care provide my clinic?
At Candor Care, we are a private telemedicine practice. Our goal is to expand patient access to care by Board Certified physicians across the State, without sacrificing physician or patient autonomy. We leverage technology to solve industry challenges of improving efficiency, outcomes, and patient experience, while sharing our gains with the patient’s primary care provider.
When you reach out to Candor Care for coverage, it is a win-win-win, for the patient who now gets another experienced physician on their side, for the PCP who knows baseline issues have been adequately addressed via telemedicine in conjunction with their visits with you, and for our physicians, who value their clinical time with your patient.
Competition or collaboration? Please explain.
Collaboration, always. We do not offer any Business Associate Agreement with your practice, to remain independent advisors, in full transparency. But from our publicly-verifiable, and varied, longstanding non-clinical obligations, you can correctly guess that Candor Care physicians have no intention of setting up a competitive “brick and mortar office” next door to yours. If it reassures you to see this in writing, we have written so here.
What events do you have for physicians?
There are so many dysfunctional aspects of American healthcare which leave an indelible imprint on our clinical practice, secondarily impacting patients. Other independent entities, like Kara Pepper,MD,LLC, HPEC.IO, Osler’s Alliance, FreeToCare, ZDoggMD Industries and Physicians For Patient Protection, all started by physicians, have paved the way for exposure to these issues, and we look forward to contributing in that direction. We encourage you to listen to the “Shine the Light” video on our website, and contact our Website Care Team with any event ideas you have.
How can I join Candor Care as a care “provider”?
We would love to hear from any Board Certified physician, and would be honored to have you join us! Synergies definitely exist and patients need us to care: we will find ways to develop together in Candor Care’s mission to engage, educate and empower patients and physicians, one relationship at a time, while delivering on the promise we made to ourselves with taking the Hippocratic Oath. Please chat our Website Care Team during business hours, and provide as much detail as you can about your current position, interest and availability.
Why are only Board Certified physicians included as Candor Care physicians?
Because education matters. The healthcare landscape has changed so much over the last decade that the “providers” being presented as “equally capable clinicians” to the patient could have an online education of 500 hours before prescribing medications to patients. They command less in salary than physicians, and are therefore attractive to administrators worried only about the bottom line.
With Board Certification, our backgrounds are clear: Solid medical school and residency training, often adding up to 10-16 years of post-high school education, with 12000 – 18000 patient-care hours built into the training, should carry a different value. Candor Care is the engine we needed to build, to create the change we needed to practice medicine properly: By practicing outside of the existing traditional patient care options, and allying directly with the patient, our physicians are not complicit in a fee-for-service sick-care insurance model, and can actually focus on leading the patient to wellness.
But make no mistake: our network is a safe space for all clinicians – we pride ourselves in our diversity and inclusivity, both in our backgrounds and in our philosophy, and welcome all clinician participation at many other levels. Please chat our Website Care Team during business hours to find out more;
FAQs About Pricing
How do I get started with receiving care?
To receive any care, you will need to establish a doctor-patient relationship with our physicians. Please introduce yourself to us, and follow the steps for new patients to learn more about our services before purchasing any subscription or gift card, as the patient may or may not be eligible for Candor Care’s current services. Every patient has to have signed Practice Policies on file with Candor Care prior to first clinical appointment with our physicians, similar to any other medical office.
How does subscription work?
Candor Care assesses a specialty-based individual monthly subscription for medical services. There are no additional facility fees, or premiums, or deductibles, or co-pays, or co-insurance, or applicable out-of-pocket maximums. During the time of your active subscription, you have 1:1 direct access to your physician, with unlimited secure texting, and arranged phone/video chats as needed.
There is no risk and no long-term commitment to get started. Your subscription comes with a 15 day free trial, so you can ensure our electronic interface works for you. You may cancel anytime on your self-serve portal, available on our Website. Seeking care while your subscription is inactive means you are opting for consultative care, where visits are priced per visit or per package at the time of booking. So an active subscription is not necessary for a clinical visit.
Cancelling an active subscription does carry a risk: Our physicians may not be available to provide this level of service if/ when you need a subscription next time. Candor Care physicians always maintain a limited patient panel, and there are times when a wait-list option is used, as we are unavailable to take on more patients. Our Website reflects our current availability, and is updated as necessary.
If I have health insurance, do I need to pay for a separate subscription?
Yes. The Candor Care subscription fee enables us to provide a level of personalized service (via our Board Certified physicians, unparalleled technology and proprietary treatment modules) that is not typically covered as standard by any insurer.
Are Candor Care’s charges reimbursed by FSA, MSA, HSA or HRAs?
Yes. In many cases, our charges can be reimbursed by flexible spending account (FSA), medical savings account (MSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). If requested by your plan administrator or employer benefits manager, we can provide you with a Superbill/ Statement for Insurance Reimbursement. If the fee cannot be paid using your FSA, MSA, HSA, or HRA debit or credit card directly online, you will have to manually submit your claim to your administrator.
Is the subscription a replacement for health insurance?
No. You should keep your health insurance so that you are covered in case of a medical emergency/ catastrophe. Also, your Candor Care doctor may refer you to a local lab or local PCP/ specialist when needed. You would want to run those visits through your health insurance.
Are there other charges or policies?
Yes. On Candor Care’s fee policy, shared with all members, you will note there are after-hours fees, cancellation fees, and gift card fees, to name a few. Further, to be eligible for any medical care with your personal virtual physician, the Patient/ Parent/ Legal Guardian has to abide by all of Candor Care’s Practice Policies.
Why are there two models of care, with similar levels of service?
Candor Care is aware of the influence of the health insurance industry on the physician patient relationship, and we created two models of care to allow for patient choice. Every insurer’s coverage is as different as every individual’s health status, and only the patient can evaluate the value and impact of the care model they choose. Our physicians are here to care for the patient, regardless of which model works best for the insurer. Our Care Team can explain the two models and our pricing, but you need to have an understanding of your baseline health needs and insurer’s charges to make a ‘fiscally better’ choice between the two models.
Everyone deserves exceptional healthcare, regardless of their individual variations in health or insurer, and at Candor Care, we deliver it with a focus on science, resilience and radical empathy.
Why can’t I sign up for a subscription now?
Patients can always opt-out of the subscription model, but our physicians limit the number of patients they care for. Due to our panel limitations, there are times when a wait-list option is used for the continuity of care model, and our physicians are only available for consultative care. We also evaluate our Business Operations on a regular basis, and may halt/ delay the release of subscription availability periodically.
How often can I get a Superbill/ Statement for Insurance Reimbursement?
Candor Care takes pride in our light and efficient business operations, which allow for a full focus on quality clinical services provided at low cost to the Patient. We do not have extensive billing departments which support complex billing shenanigans with automated processes, like the large medical entities you maybe used to, and as such have to limit our related services as well. We create external Invoices and Superbills on a periodic basis, and will schedule your individual need according to the timing of your request. Please contact the Website Care Team with your request as the need arises.