You can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. If you would like more information, please call our membership coordinator, Samantha at (970) 626-6026.
Membership Medicine and You
Personalized Medicine, a Tailored Approach to Healthcare
How does our practice differ from the typical traditional practice?
How does our practice differ from the typical traditional practice? You will see and feel the difference immediately when you visit us at Ridgway Center for Whole Health. Our reception area is relaxing and comfortable, and our office staff is friendly. You will experience very short if any wait times to see me. We can take the time to address your health concerns and questions with me; 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 and your family with a hassle and stress-free experience while receiving your health care services.
Why Offer Membership?
Our emphasis is on wellness and disease prevention. By charging an affordable monthly or annual fee for providing healthcare services, I am able to see fewer patients, and provide you with convenient, personalized and preventive care when you need it. Our focus on ensuring a strong and satisfying health care provider-patient relationship is the key to helping you stay healthy. It's the way I've always wanted and expected to provide quality health care!
What does membership include?
Direct Patient Care Membership
- For a low monthly fee with no insurance billing you will have unlimited access to our professional medical services and other amenities.
- If you participate in a Health Care Sharing Ministry, your membership fees may be reimbursed.
- If you have a high deductible insurance plan you can use your insurance for catastrophic events, labs, or radiology ordering.
- I am credentialed by Medicare and have chosen to “Opt Out” which means that Ridgway Center for Whole Health will not bill Medicare for clinic visits but will remain in network so all lab/radiology orders and referrals to specialists are covered by Medicare. Medicare recipients’ in office or telemedicine services are covered under their monthly fee as Direct Primary Care members. For more information, give us a call at (970) 626-6026. Additionally, my practice is well suited to handle the more complex medical issues often associated with older patients. I can spend the time necessary to manage chronic disease and the use of medications, and work together to optimize your health and wellness.
As part of my tailored approach to all patients, I can provide a great amount of care and care coordination by phone, email and text, including virtual visits when appropriate. I am available to discuss urgent concerns nights and weekends when needed. I am working hard to create a practice where you can reach me when you need me, 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. See the many services you will receive.
Who does this tailored approach to healthcare work best for?
People of all ages benefit from the value-added services we offer at Ridgway Center for Whole Health. It works especially well for:
- Patients desiring easy and direct communication with their health care provider.
- Patients who want a health care provider to address the root cause of illness, not just treat the symptoms.
- Those who want to take part in improving their health and staying well.
- Those with high insurance premiums, high-deductible health plans or no insurance.
- Self-insured businesses seeking to provide their employees with affordable health care and improved wellbeing, while simultaneously reducing everyone's healthcare spending.
Appointments, Referrals and Care
What happens if I’m admitted to the emergency room or hospital?
This can be stressful and often confusing for patients and their families. I will communicate with the hospitalist as needed, and upon your discharge, review your plan of care, answer questions, and make recommendations when needed. As your health care advocate, I will communicate directly with you and your loved ones, and help you navigate the health care system.
What if I need specialty care?
As your primary care provider, my comprehensive training allows me to handle most of your healthcare needs. However, if you do need to see a specialist we will help you find the right health care provider and coordinate your care. When making referrals, we handle the gathering of records and sending everything your specialist needs prior to your appointment. After your specialist visit, we will follow up to discuss any of your questions or concerns and arrange additional testing if needed.
What if I need urgent care?
If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately. A family member or caregiver can call us later so we can be in contact with the emergency room or see you soon after for follow-up and further testing or referral to specialist. For urgent problems that are not emergencies, you can contact me when you need to. Often, I can diagnose and treat your need without a visit to the ER. In fact, membership medicine has been shown to result in fewer ER visits for members because we can discuss your medical needs any time of the day or night. And you know you can see us the 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 done by “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.
What if my health care provider is on vacation?
As a member of Ridgway Center for Whole Health 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 health care provider available to assist you for any urgent matters or to be seen in the office.
How insurance works at Ridgway Center for Whole Health
Do you bill insurance plans?
We do not bill insurance for your visits. All services provided by Ridgway Center for Whole Health are covered by your monthly membership fee. We will use your insurance to cover referrals, imaging, and labs as appropriate.
Can you see me if I have Medicare?
Absolutely. I am credentialed by Medicare and have chosen to “Opt Out” which means that Ridgway Center for Whole Health will not bill Medicare for clinic visits but will remain in network so all lab/radiology orders and referrals to specialists are covered by Medicare. Medicare recipients’ in office or telemedicine services are covered under their monthly fee as Direct Primary Care members. For more information, give us a call at (970) 626-6026. Additionally, my practice is well suited to handle the more complex medical issues often associated with older patients. I can spend the time necessary to manage chronic disease and the use of medications, and work together to optimize your health and wellness.
If I sign the Direct Patient Care agreement, do I still need to have health insurance?
Yes, you do. Personalized medical practices do not take the place of general health insurance coverage. However, by providing you with extraordinary and connected primary care, your plan utilization can often be reduced.
How to join
How much is the membership fee?
Please see our pricing page. We have discounts for families and children, and there are no long-term contracts required. You may pay annually, quarterly or monthly.
Can joining Ridgway Center for Whole Health actually save me money?
We expect many patients will save money at our practice. 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. Studies show this model of care reduces the need for unnecessary medications, more expensive testing, and unnecessary referrals to specialists. It is more likely to prevent unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations. This results in saving you money and providing you better care. We also have negotiated deep discounts with local lab providers for our patients who choose to pay cash for these services.
Will I still benefit from this practice even if I don’t expect to need frequent medical attention?
Absolutely. Besides acute care and chronic disease management, our focus is on screenings and lifestyle modifications. We want to identify and prevent disease risk. We listen carefully to you to understand how your life, work and family may be affecting your health. Together we create a personalized plan to optimize your health with the help of advanced diagnostic testing and cutting-edge tools. Unlike the traditional practice environment, we have the time to deliver this type of comprehensive and detailed care. You receive direct availability to me via cell, text, video, or email throughout the year. We offer wellness technology solutions including Muse for mindfulness-based stress management.
Is there a limit to how many patients can join Ridgway Center for Whole Health?
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 want to cancel my membership?
You are welcome to cancel your membership with 30 days notice. We will refund memberships paid for the full year at a prorated rate.
How do I become a member?
Please see our Join Us page for more information, and to sign up for one of our upcoming information sessions. Please remember that space is limited and we accept members on a first-come, first-served basis. Once we fill all available slots, we will add your name to our waiting list, so we encourage you to act quickly.
I’m still not sure. Can we sit down and talk?
Sure! Call, email, or visit our Contact page. We are happy to also arrange a complimentary non-medical consultation with Shirley Olson, NP-C, IFMCP before joining our practice.