by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection
Have you ever wished you had your doctor’s cell phone number? Or that you could stop in real quick to see your doctor to ask about a rash that developed overnight? Or that your kid away at Auburn could phone his doctor from school to ask about how to treat the bee sting that keeps swelling? Or that you could just simply talk to your doctor for more than 7 minutes per office visit about the things that ail you? Or that you didn’t have to worry about co-pays and filing insurance? I have wished all these things.
Dr. Casey Locarnini has the answer to my wishes. Dunwoody Direct Primary Care.
Let’s back up a little. asey is originally from Sonoma, California where his dad was the small town’s doctor. He met his lovely wife Roxanne in New Orleans while she was attending Loyola and he was finishing Tulane Medical School. They’ve been together ever since finishing up Casey’s residency and tour in the military, then ending up in Roxanne’s hometown…Dunwoody, Georgia. You may recognize the Locarnini name. Casey and Roxanne opened Dunwoody Urgent Care 17 years ago. Don’t worry. Dunwoody Urgent Care isn’t going anywhere, and Casey is simply walking next door…
Zach at Amacher Brothers provided great advice on updating the paint, floors, and finishes to morph the former 70’s-era Dunwoody Montessori School decor into the beautiful new Dunwoody Direct Primary Care office. Both Dunwoody Urgent Care and the new Dunwoody Direct Primary Care are in the same building in Dunwoody Village along Mt. Vernon. DPC is on the left and DUC on the right!
Have you heard of Direct Primary Care? It’s more inclusive and comprehensive and doesn’t involve insurance. And in this case, which is unique, Dunwoody DPC will include urgent care services as well. To say Casey is excited about this new concept and practice is an UNDERSTATEMENT. I talked to him about this over a year ago and now that he’s so close to opening he can hardly contain his grin when talking about the future. He will still be able to handle the “urgent/acute care” needs for his member-patients but will also now be able to develop relationships with them. He’s looking forward to having the time to focus on healthcare and prevention as opposed to disease care and fixing things that are broken. He is excited about devoting his time to keeping his patients healthy.
How will this work?
The practice will have a LIMITED number of patients. Each patient will have direct access to Dr. Locarnini (or Doctor Loc as he is commonly known). His practice is structured in such a way that each member-patient will get 30-45 minutes with Casey per visit (as needed). He will dedicate his availability, time, and expertise to all who join the practice. He is committed to be responsive via text, phone, and email and available evenings and weekends for urgent issues with his patients.
Again, the Direct Primary Care model is all about more/better access for a limited number of patients. You are probably thinking…. this must be PRICEY like concierge medicine? Well, I certainly think it is very affordable, especially when you consider no more co-pays and no dealing with insurance. Plus, most lab fees and all urgent care type things are included such as X-rays, stitches, and EKGs. Pathology and outside labs are generally sent through insurance. You can save money by increasing your insurance deductible to lower your insurance premiums and the difference may be a wash. Even better, I asked my Health Care Savings account provider, and they will allow me to use my funds to pay Dunwoody Primary Care fees. Ask yours! And the same may be true for FSA’s as well.
This direct primary care model gives control back to the doctor and patient and takes it away from the insurance companies. No more confusing “Explanations of Benefits/EOBs“. Dr. Locarnini will not be sending your medical records to any insurance companies. All records stay in his office unless you request them to be sent to a specialist or to a hospital, etc.
Sounds good to me.
Here are the prices to join:
- Patients aged 18-25, $80/month
- Patients aged 26-64, $130/month
Please note that for now Dr. Locarnini is only planning to treat adults and is working to eventually accept Medicare but for now cannot. Also, no gynecology. Here’s more good news: you never talk about money in the office. You can pay your membership fee monthly or yearly.
For all of you who have been seeing Doctor Loc at Dunwoody Urgent Care for 17 years and have been asking him to be your Primary Care Doctor….The time has come!
Casey wants to spend more time with his patients. He wants to be your liaison with specialists. If you must go to a hospital, he can be your advocate. Roxanne and Casey are aiming to open on July 11th. Plans are to get the first patient members in for lab work or acute injuries/illnesses the first week, then set up with an appointment/physical the next week.
Dunwoody Direct Primary Care
1730A Mt. Vernon Road
Dunwoody, GA. 30338
Click here to learn how you can join Dunwoody Direct Primary Care!