Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is Clear Lake Internal Medicine?  Clear Lake Internal Medicine is a direct private practice. Being a member of the practice requires an annual fee. The annual fee is designed to create more time and availability for each patient with Dr. Dolle. It also covers items traditionally not covered by insurance, such as a Comprehensive Wellness Assessment and after hours availability to the physician. By treating only a few hundred patients instead of thousands of patients, Dr. Dolle will be able to provide patients with rapid access to office-based services and telephone consultations if needed.

2. Why did Dr. Dolle change her practice in 2011?  Simply to provide her patients with the best possible medical care without the constraints imposed by managed care and federal regulatiion. Dr. Dolle’s mission is to provide unimpeded access to preventative services and early treatment of acute illnesses in order to maintain each patient’s health and improve their quality of life.

3. Do I have to join the direct practice and pay the annual fee to be a patient of Dr. Dolle’s?  Yes.   Dr. Dolle converted her entire practice to the direct private practice.

4. What are my options in paying the annual fee?  You may pay in monthly installments or one annual payment. You may pay by automatic bank draft (preferred) or credit card.  The fee is slightly higher for those paying on a monthly basis.

5. Is a membership in Clear Lake Internal Medicine considered a medical cost for tax purposes?  Please consult your tax professional or employer about whether the Comprehensive Wellness Assessment and annual fee are permissible medical expenses under your health savings account, and for an analysis of the impact on your taxes or insurance out of network benefits.

6. Will my insurance pay the annual fee?  Since Clear Lake Internal Medicine provides non-covered services, most medical insurance and Medicare/Medigap do not cover the annual fee.

7. Is this an insurance policy?  No, this is not an insurance policy.  You will still require medical insurance for hospitalizations, emergency room visits, lab work, x-rays and other imaging tests, prescription medications, specialist care, vaccines, and other services not provided by our office.

8. Is Dr. Dolle moving her office?  Dr Dolle moved her office in August of 2011.  

9. Will Dr. Dolle add another doctor to her practice?  Dr. Dolle currently will have no other physician in the practice on a regular basis.  When she is out of the office and completely unavailable, arrangements will be made for you to see another physician, or she can be contacted by phone or email for non-urgent issues.

10. What if I have an emergency or need hospitalization?  If you have a life threatening emergency, call 911 immediately. Dr. Dolle will be available after hours for consultation with emergency room personnel for coordination of care. Specialty referrals will be discussed with the emergency room physician if warranted.  Dr Dolle no longer admits patients to the hospitals in the area, but she will still remain available for consultation regarding your medical needs while you are hospitalized.

11. What happens when the office is closed or Dr. Dolle is away and I need help?  During office hours, if you encounter a medical problem, simply call the office. The office stays open and is staffed on all non-holiday workdays.  After office hours, on weekends, holidays, etc., Dr. Dolle is continuously available by phone. Simply call the main office number and your call will be forwarded to Dr. Dolle.

12. Will my insurance be billed for services?  Your insurance will be billed on a very limited basis.  For example, if a vaccine is necessary, a charge for the vaccine may be billed to insurance.  However, your insurance will not be billed for Dr. Dolle’s time.  And, you will not be billed for co-pays or deductibles.  The annual fee will be the only cost to you for Dr. Dolle’s time.  Other expenses such as lab work, x-rays, etc ordered by Dr Dolle will be billed to you or your insurance from the provider of the services, i.e. the lab, radiology facility, etc.

13. What if Dr. Dolle becomes sick or unable to provide my care?  According to the contract, either party may terminate the contract with 30 days notice. If you prepaid your annual fee, you would be refunded for the unused portion after the first 6 months of the contract term has passed.  If you have not prepaid, you will only be responsible for the remainder of the first six months of the contractual term.

14. Will I need to keep my current insurance coverage?  Yes, you will need to keep your current insurance or Medicare coverage for medical care outside of Dr. Dolle’s office including but not limited to hospitalizations, emergency room visits, laboratory work, prescription medications, x-rays and other imaging tests, specialist care, and other services not provided in Dr. Dolle’s office.

15. Am I able to be a patient of Clear Lake Internal Medicine if I don’t have any insurance coverage?  Yes.  However, you will be financially responsible for any tests, treatments, and medications recommended by Dr. Dolle or any other provider of services.

16. Can I save money on my current insurance coverage if I join Clear Lake Internal Medicine?  Maybe.  Many patients are able to lower their premiums by purchasing policies with higher deductibles for catastrophic coverage.   

17. What happens if I am traveling out of town and become ill?  Dr. Dolle will be available to handle your basic medical problems by phone.

18. Will Dr. Dolle be involved in my medical care if I become hospitalized?  Dr. Dolle will not be the attending physician during your hospitalization; however, she will attempt to stay in contact and consult with you and your primary admitting hospitalist or specialist during the hospitalization so as to better understand your needs after hospital discharge.

19. If I go to the Emergency Room on the weekend or see another doctor, will you pay my bill?  No. Your annual fee ensures you access to care at my office during regular office hours. I will be available for emergency phone calls and to act as your advisor. There may be times that an emergency room visit is necessary due to a serious medical condition. You, your insurance, or Medicare will be responsible for all services not provided by me.

20. Do I still have to pay an annual fee if I am on Medicare?  Yes, you will be required to pay my annual fee. However, Medicare should still pay for medical services obtained outside my office by Medicare participating medical providers.

21. Can I join Clear Lake Internal Medicine later?  Maybe. I believe that in order to provide the individualized, high-quality medical care that is my goal, I need to limit the number of patients enrolled. Clear Lake Internal Medicine will be a small, personalized practice. Once the practice becomes full, we will stop accepting new patients and start a waiting list. Preference will be given to prior patients of Dr. Dolle's practice; afterwards, new patients will be accepted.

22. Will I receive a discount if I don’t have my Comprehensive Wellness Assessment?  No. Your annual fee also covers my availability for complete supervision of your medical care. I encourage each of my patients to see me on a regular basis, annually at a minimum. Preventative care is the best foundation for an excellent quality of life.  

23. If I become ill and require extensive medical services, will my bill for your time increase?   No.

24. Since I need to keep my insurance, will there be any problem with reimbursement for outside tests ordered?       I don’t anticipate this to be a problem. Most patients are in medical plans in which “out of network” providers are allowed to order tests and provide medical care. Some insurance providers or HMO’s may restrict payment for tests not ordered by your assigned “gatekeeper” physician. For this reason, I recommend that you fully evaluate the kind of insurance that you have before signing up for Dr. Dolle's practice.

25. Is the cost of prescriptions covered or discounted through my annual fee?  No.  If you take several monthly prescriptions, you should consider insurance for pharmacy coverage or a prescription discount program.

26. If I need to be hospitalized, where will I go?  At the present time, I will continue to remain on hospital staff at Christus St. John Hospital and Clear Lake Regional Medical Center.  I will utilize the services of the emergency room physicians, hospitalists, and specialists for your hospital care. I will be in contact with your attending physicians and specialists while you are hospitalized to coordinate your care plan.

27. What happens if I move after joining Clear Lake Internal Medicine? You can continue to be a patient if you are able to return to Nassau Bay for your Comprehensive Wellness Assessment and any necessary office visits. If you need to transfer your care, I will try to assist you with finding a new physician. Your medical records will be sent to your new physician promptly. If you are more than 6 months into your annual membership, the balance of your yearly fee will be prorated and refunded.

28. If I get married, can I extend coverage to my spouse? Spouses and partners can be added to the practice as long as there is space available.

29. Can I still see my gynecologist? Yes. I am well trained and experienced in routine, outpatient gynecologic care, but I recognize that many women prefer to see a gynecologist separately. As always, I will support and facilitate whatever decision works best for you. If you receive gynecological care outside of Clear Lake Internal Medicine, you will be responsible for those charges.

30. What about lab costs, x-ray costs, specialist’s fees and hospitalizations? Lab work (except the lab work that is included with the annual comprehensive wellness assessment), x-rays, specialist’s fees and hospitalizations will be billed directly to you, your insurance company or Medicare directly by the provider of services.

31. Is there a co-pay?  No. Your annual fee secures your access to medical care at Clear Lake Internal Medicine during regular office hours without having to pay a co-pay.

32. Will I be required to pay even if I do not need to use your services?  Yes. Paying your fee allows access to my practice whether you are sick or well. Preventative care is a primary focus of our practice. Clear Lake Internal Medicine strongly encourages wellness consultations, regular office visits, and yearly wellness assessments.

33.  What other expenses might I incur in this new practice?  There may be some out of pocket costs, which will be very limited and/or optional.  For example, there may be preventative screenings that may not be paid for by commercial insurance or Medicare; you may choose whether to utilize these additional screenings after we have discussed whether they might benefit you.  Insurance may be billed for vaccines or other specific services provided in my office.   You may still have your labs, x-rays, etc. performed at facilities that are in network on your insurance.  You or your insurance will be responsible for the charges from the provider of the service; e.g. from the lab, x-ray facility, etc.

34. What if I have questions about Clear Lake Internal Medicine not answered above?  You may call my office or send an email to with any other questions that you may have.



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