Frequently Asked Questions

Kirsten Lin, family doctor in Hampton, speaking with patient

What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?

DPC is a model of healthcare in which patients pay their physician directly for primary care services.  The physician does not bill the insurance company.  Although it may sound counterintuitive, patients usually save money (while experiencing more personalized care) with a DPC model.  To learn more, please visit DPC Frontier.

Do you accept my insurance?

Every person is welcome to become a DPC patient.  We accept all patients regardless of whether or not they are insured or what type of insurance they have.  We simply do not bill the insurance companies.  This way, we can provide the best and most affordable care possible by eliminating the "middleman."  Our patients can of course still use their insurance for ancillary services as desired, such as labs, imaging and medications at a retail pharmacy.

* HMOs and some Tricare plans may involve restricted networks.  Please reach out to us with any questions about this.

* Dr. Dougherty's panel is currently closed to Medicaid and Medicare patients.

What about Medicare?

We welcome Medicare patients at Family Matters!  Again, we still contract directly with the patient and do not bill Medicare for any of our services.  You will be asked to sign a waiver to this effect.  You may still use your Medicare coverage for specialty care, diagnostic testing, and, of course, hospitalization.  At this time only Dr. Lin is accepting Medicare patients.  Our Medicare patients often find that they save a great deal of money when they purchase medications through our practice rather than retail or mail order pharmacies.

Is DPC a form of insurance?

No.  We encourage our patients to obtain at least catastrophic insurance plans.  DPC also pairs well with high-deductible plans or health sharing ministries.

Can I use my HSA to pay for my monthly subscription fee?

At this time, due to current federal tax code, HSA/FSAs cannot be applied to the monthly fees for medical services.  There is a bill being reviewed by the U.S. Senate that would make the necessary alterations. 

HSA/FSA funds CAN currently be used to purchase medications or pay for diagnostic testing.


Do you provide vaccinations?

We provide vaccines for patients age 9 and up here at the office and will administer them to our patients based on CDC guidelines.  For our insured patients, we are now able to bill the insurance company directly.  For our uninsured patients, we offer vaccinations at-cost, or eligible patients may choose to go to the Allegheny County Health Dept to receive vaccines at no cost.

Do you prescribe chronic controlled substances?

We do not prescribe any long-term controlled substances, which include but are not limited to:

  • Benzodiazepines 
    • e.g. Xanax, Valium 
  • Narcotic pain medications
    • e.g. Percocet, Norco, Oxycodone
  • Stimulant ADHD medications
    • e.g. Adderall, Ritalin

How do I sign up?

Go to our scheduling page and click the blue button.

Other questions?

Feel free to call 412-685-3373 or email any time.  

For very detailed questions, we suggest you set up a consultation appointment (free of charge, no obligation to join).