Health and Healing Direct Primary Care, led by Dr. Aimee Ostick, opened its doors in Woodland Hills on Sept. 3 as the only primary care office with a direct pay model in the San Fernando Valley. HHDPC is based on a business model that cuts out health insurance – patients pay the primary care office directly. The direct primary care office model has been around for 15 years now, with most located on the East Coast and in the Midwest, Ostick said. There are similar practices in Huntington Beach and Orange County. Patients pay a monthly fee: $89 for adults, $99 for seniors, $199 for families and $39 for children with at least one adult membership; child-only memberships are $89 per month. Prospective patients must also consider a $99 one-time, non-refundable registration fee per household. Ostick currently has 50 patients, with a limit of 500. If the practice reaches that limit, another doctor would likely be brought on, Ostick said. The practice currently consists of Ostick and a nurse, who also handles administrative work. “A lot of people compare it to a concierge model, but it’s different in two ways – one is that the fees are much more accessible, and then we also don’t bill any insurance,” said Ostick. “Concierge will also bill insurance for their visits, whereas with direct primary care, your fee includes all your visits, whether you come once a month or 20 times that month, or once a year.” Patients drawn to direct payment give up primary care under their health insurance for better accessibility to their doctor, increased efficiency and a better overall relationship that doesn’t consist of rushed office visits. “You have a physician you can call directly, you feel comfortable with and have direct access to,” added Ostick. “Moving into this model, it really does provide that relationship people are losing with primary care and their doctors.” Services in a membership include comprehensive annual exams, sports and school physicals, preventive care, gynecologic care, chronic illness management, dietary and nutritional counseling, exercise recommendations, laceration repair, cryotherapy, skin biopsies, urgent care visits, EKGs, acute visits, joint injections, nebulizer treatments and house calls. Patients are also encouraged to call, text, email or correspond via video with Ostick, to help patients that may need a quick question answered and not necessarily a full doctor’s visit. Specialist care, hospitalizations, lab work and physical therapy are not covered in HHDPC membership. Pediatric immunizations, pathology fees, surgery, ER visits and radiological studies are excluded also. Health and Healing Direct Primary Care is located at 21400 Ventura Blvd.