Dr. Jennifer Conde and her husband, Jonathan, are transitioning their practice from a traditional insurance model to a direct care model.

Patients with appointments at the Comprehensive Center for Dermatology soon won’t need to verify their insurance information during their visit.

That’s because the medical practice is transitioning away from the traditional insurance-based practice to a direct care model.

“We’re going to go back to the way medicine used to be before third-party involvement, which means more price transparency,” said owner Jennifer Conde, M.D.

Patients will pay a reasonable fee at the time of their visit. New patient office visits will cost $165; established patients will pay $110. If medically necessary biopsies, liquid nitrogen treatment of precancerous growths or intralesional keloid injections are performed during the visit, a flat rate of $75 per visit, not per procedure, is charged. The most a patient will pay for an office visit is $185.

Patients with high deductibles or no insurance will likely find that its fees are significantly lower than what they are currently paying out of pocket. For those who have out-of-network benefits, the office can provide a ‘superbill’ so that the patient can submit an insurance claim for possible reimbursement. HSA and FSA accounts can still be used to pay for services.

“In this model, we’re not working for insurance companies or the government but for our patients,” said Dr. Conde.

The office also offers an in-house dispensary of many commonly prescribed generic medications with competitive cash-pay pricing.

“Leave our office with your prescription in hand,” said Dr. Conde.

The direct care model will mean she can spend more time with patients and provide higher-quality care.

Patients Lawrence and Sharon Joffe, who have Medicare, didn’t blink an eye when they were informed about the change.

After moving here from California, Sharon visited her primary care doctor, who noticed suspicious lesions on her forearm and recommended she see a dermatologist. Her primary care doctor recommended Dr. Conde.

“Dr. Conde diagnosed me with melanoma on both of my arms and my husband even had cancerous cells on his nose,” said Sharon. “I credit her for saving our lives.”

The couple now sees Dr. Conde every three to six months for complete skin checks. They weren’t phased at all when they heard the news that she was not going to be accepting Medicaid.

“When we saw that her rates aren’t exorbitant, we decided to stay with her,” said Sharon. “We think she’s the most caring doctor and very thorough.”

For the time being, TRICARE will still be accepted.

Its new model will not affect payment for its cosmetic services, which include neurotoxins, fillers, HydraFacials, chemical peels, microneedling, dermaplaning and extractions.

The Comprehensive Center for Dermatology is located at 5607 Skytop Dr. in Lithia in the FishHawk Medical Plaza. Its office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.ccdermatology.com or call 813-530-6511.

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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.