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Direct primary care comes to Vashon

Local doctor adds membership program in order to provide affordable care.

For the first time, patients on Vashon can see a doctor without a co-pay or deductible at Maxwell Family Medicine. As part of the growing direct primary care movement, Maxwell Family Medicine is offering a membership structure to provide comprehensive care at a lower cost.

Dr. Maxwell was inspired to offer this direct primary care membership program, in addition to continuing to accept traditional insurance, to increase access to health care for people who are underinsured, have high deductibles or who are on a plan like Medicare that doesn’t cover naturopathic services.

Direct primary care (DPC) is growing rapidly. The Heritage Foundation estimates that there were more than 5,500 direct primary care practices nationwide in 2014, up from just 756 in 2010. Like other DPC practices, Maxwell Family Medicine will charge patients a monthly fee ranging from $70 to $90 (less for children) that covers all visits, preventive screening visits, and various other services. Labs are offered to patients at a discounted rate.

Although patients are encouraged to keep a low-cost wraparound insurance plan to cover emergency services or surgery, their membership fee would replace a large portion of their monthly insurance premiums, as well as their co-pays and deductibles. This model enables substantial savings on the patient side since the often complicated and costly insurance aspects are completely removed.

Dr. Nicole Maxwell has been in practice since 2002 and founded Maxwell Family Medicine in 2011. As the first direct primary care practice on Vashon, it offers convenient patient care at an affordable price. For more information, please visit