what is covenantmd?

CovenantMD is a Direct Primary Care practice, featuring board-certified family physicians Patrick Rohal, M.D., and Susan Mellinger, M.D, and nurse practioner Jane Snyder, CRNP.  Direct Primary Care is a new approach to the common things in healthcare, providing lower cost and a refocusing on the doctor-patient relationship. Read more about us and our nurses here


How do i sign up?

Click here!


Are you guys Famous?

We are!  Check this out!


what is direct primary care?

CovenantMD is a Direct Primary Care (DPC) practice.  In DPC, your healthcare provider contracts directly with you, via a low monthly fee, and not with your health insurance company.  This means that it is just you and your provider making the medical decisions, not a third party like an insurance company.  And because your provider does not contract with insurance, he or she is able to find savings for you that are not available to most patients whose doctors are bound by insurance contracts.  Check out Dr. Rohal's blog posts about Direct Primary Care here, here, and here.  Take a look at examples of what CovenantMD can save you on medications, labwork, and radiology for looking out our Pricing page.  See Dr. Rohal's blog posts about how DPC fits with high-deductible insurance here, and sharing plans here.  And check out our DPC Library for more information about Direct Primary Care.


is this concierge medicine?

The terms "Direct Primary Care" and "Concierge Medicine" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same.  The main differences are the price of the monthly fee and whether or not the practice bills health insurance.  DPC is usually lower cost and billed monthly, whereas concierge is usually higher cost and billed annually.  Concierge practices will also usually bill health insurance.  By those criterion, CovenantMD is not a concierge practice.  We wanted our services to be affordable to many, and we wanted CovenantMD to be a viable option for the uninsured.


Why CovenantMD?

For a better doctor/patient relationship.  This is the heart of primary care.  Like any relationship, this requires time, availability, and predictability (especially in terms of cost).  These qualities are under assault in the current healthcare environment.  CovenantMD is making a better way.


Where Are you located?

We are located at 930 Red Rose Court, Suite 104, Lancaster, PA 17610.  


What are the benefits of joining CovenantMD?

As health insurance deductibles rise, people are seeking lower cost care, even outside that provided by their insurance policies.  Unfortunately, this quest for lower cost may even lead people to avoid the medical care they need.  CovenantMD provides value in primary care (as an example, check out our blog post here).  But the big benefit of Direct Primary Care is available, accessible, high quality primary care.  Same or next-day acute visits, extended time with your provider, 24/7 availability, and easy accessibility using all that modern technology has to offer.  Like Marcus Welby in the 21st century.  Dr. Rohal wrote three blog posts which go more in depth about the benefits of Direct Primary Care here, here, and here.


Why monthly fees?

In the typical primary care practice, your healthcare provider is reimbursed by an insurance company whenever he sees you, and only when he sees you.  This means that your provider is incentivized to churn as many patients through his door that he can.  It also means that you, the patient, might fear to come to the doctor as you may find that the fees for doing so are unpredictable.  You might have that low copay, but what about that lab bill that comes weeks later?  Or the cost of that new drug your doctor wants to put you on?  Direct Primary Care is different.  At CovenantMD, you pay a low monthly retainer.  This frees your healthcare provider to do things he wouldn’t be paid to do in the typical practice, like appointment times of 30-60 minutes, communication by email, phone, or text, and even the ability to diagnose and treat things without the need for an office visit.  And no more fear of hidden fees!  


How many patients do you care for?

At CovenantMD, we will “cap” our panel at 800 patients per health care provider, whereas providers in typical primary care practices care for 2500 or more patients!  Smaller numbers means accessibility, availability, and quality for every patient.  It means same day or next day acute appointments, and extended time with your healthcare provider to focus on lifestyle over drugs and procedures.


What are your fees for membership?

See pricing here.


Do I have to become a member in order to use your services?

Yes.  The benefits of direct primary care depend on a contract between you and your healthcare provider.


What’s included in my membership?

Much!  Click the link for "What's Included in the Monthly Membership" on our Pricing page.


I’m still not sure.  Can we sit down and talk?

Absolutely!  Call, text, or email to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.





Is CovenantMD health insurance?

No!  So we highly recommend that you keep health insurance if you sign up with CovenantMD.  


What if I don't have insurance?

You don't need it to join or stay with CovenantMD.  We offer an excellent, low-cost choice to get good primary care.  But we are big believers in health insurance to help pay for the unusual, expensive stuff.  We'll will work with you to explore options for health insurance.  Be aware that if you become a member of CovenantMD and do not carry insurance, you will still be subject to the annual fine through the Affordable Care Act.


What if I already have health insurance? 

Keep it!  Or better yet, switch to a lower-premium, higher-deductible insurance plan.  Dr. Rohal wrote a blog post about this here.  Or even better yet, tell your employer about CovenantMD!  


What if I’m healthy and never see the doctor?

Good for you!  But shouldn’t doctors assist you in maintaining wellness, and not just treating illness?  We can talk about lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, etc.  And on the occasion when a tree suddenly springs up in your path, or you get assailed by the latest viral bug, you can think of CovenantMD as the “Triple-A of Primary Care.”  On the occasion when you need us, it’s great to have us!


Can I use my HSA to pay for your monthly fees? 

Talk to your tax or financial advisor about this.


What if I need to see a specialist?

We can make referrals to specialists just like any other primary care healthcare provider (unless you have an HMO health plan, which may require a primary care "gatekeeper" to access a specialist).  And we'll have the time to confer more in depth with your specialist.  We also offer the outstanding service of RubiconMD, which connects your primary care provider with a specialist in under 4 hours.  Compare that to a standard wait of 3 months to see the Dermatologist!


Insurance premiums AND membership fees?  Why should I pay twice for a primary care doctor?

When CovenantMD was featured in LNP in November 2015, this was the most frequent question asked during the social media chatter.  So I wrote a blog post addressing this very question here.  Here's my answer in brief:  You are already paying twice!  First time -- your health insurance premiums.  Second time -- every purchase you make that goes toward your health insurance deductible.  Employers, individuals, and families are all struggling with skyrocketing insurance premiums.  This is causing a trend toward lower-premium, higher-deductible insurance plans.  This means that people that carry such plans are essentially self-pay, just like groups that don't carry health insurance, like the Amish.  People need value in primary care.  They need a way to stretch their healthcare dollar.  Direct Primary Care does just that – predictable, low-cost, yet high quality primary care.


If I have Medicare, can I still join CovenantMD?

Yes, indeed!  But Medicare will not pay for your CovenantMD fees.  Instead, you could use Medicare like a catastrophic plan -- for expensive procedures, medications, or hospitalizations.    


What type of health insurance would you recommend?

Direct Primary Care offers the most savings for individuals, families, and employers who switch to lower-premium, higher-deductible health insurance.  This is because your primary care provider can handle 90-95% of your healthcare, with the rest handled by insurance.  That's 90-95% of your healthcare costs for $1560 per year for a family of 5.  (Dr. Rohal wrote a blog post about this here.)  When it comes to specialist referrals, we will be “out of network” for all insurance plans.  This is seldom a problem with PPO-type plans, as usually patients are able to self-refer.  But this could be a problem with HMO-type plans, as you may need an in-network primary care “gatekeeper” to make your specialty referrals.  





What are your hours?

Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 5PM, except for Wednesdays, when we're in 8:30AM to 12PM.  We are on call for our patients after hours, and can arrange after hours, weekend, and holiday acute visits.  


Are there other types of  “visits?”

Call.  Email.  Send a text.  Conference on Skype.  But those don’t come with coffee.  (We have free Keurig coffee in the office!) 


Do you do home or work visits?

Yes, indeed!  At no extra cost (depends on availability).




Can I reach you after hours?

Yup.  Any time day or night.  


What about_______? 

We're a Family Medicine practice.  We can do that!

Sports medicine
Urgent Care, including stitches, splinting, and casting
Women’s medicine
Mental health
DOT physicals
Medical weight loss


What do you NOT do?

Prenatal care.  We can still be your doctor, just not for the pregnancy.


What are your views on vaccines?

While we do recommend the current standard vaccine schedule for all patients, we acknowledge the controversy and issues on both sides of the debate.  We will respect your wishes regarding vaccines.


What are your views on holistic medicine?

We believe that holistic medicine has its place within a mainstream medical practice.  We will work with you to adopt mainstream medical therapies while you also pursue holistic therapies.  Dr. Rohal is considering undergoing additional education in holistic and integrative medicine, so as to offer a more broad-based medical home for our patients.  Stay tuned!