I recently read an article in medscape and a doctor was quoted as saying:
I am no longer a physician; I deliver healthcare for a large provider. I don’t care for a patient; I care for a covered life as part of an insurance. Physicians have to pigeonhole a patient’s predicament into a very specific box for which they must enter a Current Procedural Terminology code. As individuals age, they also become more unique and less like one another. Checklists forced upon physicians ignore the unique needs of each patient. We have evidence-based protocols that say if everything else is equal, here’s what you should do. The problem is, everything else is never, ever equal.”
Everyone is unique and requires different things in order to age well. What works for another person may not work for you. In order for you to attain optimal health we must address what you eat & drink, your sleep, exercise, your toxin exposure, your mind, hormones, and what supplements you personally require. Each person has unique needs based on their genetics and lifestyle, along with what they are wiling to do and what their desired outcome is. This is what we call personalized medicine.
Traditional insurance simply does not allow for personalized medicine because they force the doctors to pigeonhole the patients into specicfic diagnosis and treat them in specific time frames. Insurances simply do not allow for them to be treated to an optimal level.
The bottom line is that insurances cover disease states, not true wellness.
I know that the state of our medical system is frustrating–for both patients and doctors. I can start changing the system by educating one person at a time and by being one of the doctors who has an innovative medical practice. I would love to see our medical system change to where this type of medical practice is prevalent and the medical system truly serves patients in an optimal manner. There are a lot of politics at play so it may be a a while. In the meantime, be aware and take control of your health.
With concierge medicine you get direct access to your doctor 24/7 as well as office visits that are unhurried and scheduled on short notice. But more importantly, you form a team with your physician. He/she has only a limited number of patients and is able to really get to know you and what you desire for your health.
Optimal aging involves addressing nutrition, fitness, stress, toxins, and hormone balancing among other things.
Traditional non concierge practices simply do not have the time to address all of this. Due to insurance constraints they must see numerous patients each hour in order to stay afloat, thus it is easier to simply throw medications at patients and not look into the underlying issues.
Optimal aging can be achieved with a concierge physician. In this type of practice the patient invests in his/her health by paying an annual fee that allows the physician to work outside the constraints of insurances. Because there is a small financial investment on the patient’s part, a concierge practice attracts patients who are interested in achieving optimal aging. This is a win win combination: a patient who is invested in their health and a physician who is dedicated to helping each patient achieve optimal health.
Bob had been given a prescription for a new medication from a specialist for a serious problem that he was having. The problem was that his insurance required a prior authorization to get it covered. The specialist office was not responding to this request and Bob was stuck in the middle.
Luckily Bob is my concierge patient and he got in touch with me to let me know the issue. My staff and I got right on top of it and within 24 hours the medication was approved. He got the medicine and he is now on the road to recovery.
These days traditional medical offices are overloaded and can not properly take care of things in a timely manner. In a concierge practice the doctor limits her practice to a few hundred patients instead of having several thousand patients. This allows the staff and the doctor to take care of your needs in a timely fashion. It costs about $5 per day and you get personalized care that traditional practices are unable to offer.
Nicole had abdominal bloating for quite some time. She had seen the gastroenterologist and had a CT scan done, an upper and lower endoscopy, and extensive lab work. Everything looked good so the doctor told her she was fine and tried to give her an anti depressant medication.
She joined my concierge practice because she knew that I offered personalized integrative medicine and did not want unnecessary medications. After extensively reviewing her history we decided that a food sensitivity was a likely cause (even though the GI doctor had told her that food was not the cause). It took a little time and patience but we figured it out. Now with specific food avoidance and some basic supplements, she is without abdominal bloating and we are working on her hormone balancing.
Concierge medicine involves the patient paying a minimal fee (which equates to about $5 per day) in order to augment the low payments from insurance companies. This allows the physician to spend more time with her patients than insurances allow. Obviously more time results in more in depth care and this is the only way a physician can truly get to the root of your issues and also work with you to keep you healthy once you feel good again. Concierge medicine allows for team work between you and your physician.
Doctor’s offices are getting over crowded and unable to accommodate patients in a timely manner. The doctors are forced to see more patients to keep the doors open and are overworked. Patients are getting sicker, on more medications and having more chronic diseases. This is a result of a health care system that is broken—it basically pays physicians based on the diseases that they diagnose-there is no reward for true preventive care, the insurance companies dictate what the doctors can do and what they get paid, and many patients expect insurance companies to pay for everything and not to pay a penny out of pocket. This is not a good way for the public or doctors to be healthy.
Concierge medicine addresses these issues. In a concierge practice the doctor limits his/her practice to a few hundred patients instead of having 1500-2000 patients-seeing 8-12 patients per day instead of 25-30.
Each concierge patient has direct access to the doctor 24/7 if needed. Office visits are typically a half hour instead of 10 minutes and the patient can get in the same day for urgent issues and within a few days to a week for non urgent issues. Annual physicals are about an hour and a half between in office testing and doctor face to face time. The focus is on optimizing your health–not just putting out fires and waiting for catastrophes to happen, which is all a traditional practice has time to do.
In order to offer this type of we quality time intensive service the patient takes on some financial responsibility. You can no longer rely on insurance to cover everything. Your insurance is used for lab work, radiology studies, office visits, and hospitalizations. To get the services of a concierge doctor you pay a small annual fee to the doctor that equates to about $5 per day. This fee allows the doctor to treat you fully as stated above because the annual fee that you pay offsets the poor reimbursements from insurance companies. This is a win win–the doctor is not over worked and the patient gets personalized care.
Many patients are searching for head to toe care from a physician who has time to spend with them. They are tired of long waits at the doctor’s office and being unable to contact their doctor when needed. In addition, the desire is growing to have traditional medicine offered along with bio-identical hormone balancing and other integrative medicine practices.
Concierge medicine allows a doctor to provide what you want. This type of medicine is where the patient pays an annual fee (payable quarterly if needed) that allows the doctor to drastically limit the number of patients that she sees. She is no longer forced to take care of thousands of patients, only a few hundred. This naturally gives her the time to be able to spend the time with you that you need, when you need it.
By having a concierge practice insurance companies are no longer in the driver’s seat for your doctor. She can now practice personalized medical care, including integrative (anti-aging) medicine. Integrative medicine involves working with you to prevent future diseases so that they do not occur and also working on existing diseases through nutrition, supplements, etc so that you can minimize medication use.
If you desire complete head to toe care that encompasses hormone balancing, nutrition, and other anti-aging therapies then concierge medicine is the choice for you.
If you are a business owner or manager then you will want to look further into concierge medicine. If you are an employee you will want to ask your employer to look into concierge medicine. It is a win win situation. Healthy employees are more productive at work and miss less time from work AND live a happier more fulfilling life outside of work. Traditional insurance based health care is focused on illness, whereas concierge medicine is focused on health. Being healthy means being happy at work and at home.
As components of the Affordable Care Act are implemented businesses have new mandates regarding the provision of healthcare benefits. Innovative and engaged employers are turning to MDVIP (a well known and respected concierge medicine program) to offer their employees an affordable program for healthcare that has proven results.
Because of the high quality of care the MDVIP concierge doctors deliver, the MDVIP model has been proven to offer superior results. This has been proven through clinical data and several studies now published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals that shine the spotlight on MDVIP’s positive health outcomes and resulting cost savings–to both employers and employees. In addition to the American Journal of Managed Care and theInternational Journal of Person Centered Medicine, MDVIP’s most recent recognition in Future Cardiology shows that the MDVIP Wellness Program is identifying more patients at risk of cardiovascular disease through the multi-marker lab panel provided by Cleveland HeartLab.
MDVIP has the national footprint and published outcomes data to provide companies a cost-effective benefit option that supports their business goals of healthier, more productive employees and a healthier bottom line. Employees love the fact that they get personalized health care focused on their health and well being, employers love the fact that their employees are more productive. It truly is a win win situation.
There has been a lot of talk about healthcare lately. One topic of conversation is concierge medicine. Concierge medicine has a different meaning to different people.
There is a small number of physicians who charge roughly ten thousand dollars (or more) per year in order to provide comprehensive care to a very limited number of people. The more common version of concierge medicine is where the patient pays $1500 to $2000 per year in order to have better access to their doctor and longer visits. This is an affordable concierge option for most people. The extra $4-5 per day that you pay allows your doctor to greatly limit his (or hers) practice and spend quality time with you.
Insurances are designed to be there for when you are sick. In essence they are disease insurance. It is important to have that type of insurance in case of major illnesses, to cover medications, and to pay for radiology and laboratory services. But if your desire is to truly be healthy than adding concierge medicine is for you. A concierge doctor has the time to work with you to personalize your health care.
Below is from an actual real life patient who uses concierge medicine.
I went for my mammogram and they told me it was abnormal. I can’t even tell you how worried I was!! I called my concierge physician right away. She helped explain everything to me and calmed me down.
My doctor had her staff get me in for the biopsy as quick as possible. She made sure that I was doing OK. When the results on the biopsy came in she called me and went over them with me.
Luckily everything was OK. Knowing that my doctor was there for me through this whole process was priceless! It is nothing to spend $5 a day to have a doctor who cares about me and is there to guide me through the confusing medical world.
Traditional insurance models ensure that doctors see the max patient loads. For the cost of a cup of coffee per day, you can have personalized medical care from a doctor who is able to provide quality over quantity. Regardless of who your insurance company is, personalized medical care is an affordable option for you.
You might be asking why concierge medicine comes with a fee and why you should pay that fee in addition to your insurance premium. To answer that question let’s look at traditional insurance based medicine (100% insurance based). This is where you may pay a copay or not, and your office visits are billed to the insurances. Your visits may fall under a deductible that you must pay but otherwise you do not pay the doctor anything else.
100% insurance based medicine (PPO/Medicare):
Doctors are paid a set amount ,of money for several different levels of visits. These levels are based on the number of illness diagnosis that you have. If you are not sick and do not come in, they are not paid. If they spend extra time with you they are not paid extra. The incentive is to have you come in often and deal with only a few issues at a time. If they do not do this then they will be out of business. The majority of doctors do care about you, they just need to keep the lights on. The system is broken and is based on disease rather than being well. It causes doctors to take on several thousand patients and to utilize mid level providers (physician assistants or nurse practitioners) to survive financially. Patients end up waiting weeks for a routine appointment and then see a doctor or mid level provider who hardly knows them.
Concierge medicine: patients pay an annual fee which enables the doctor to be able to greatly limit his/her practice to a few hundred patients. The doctor is no longer solely dependent on what the insurance companies pay them. You are one of a few hundred patients instead of a few thousand. This allows the doctor to know you personally and give you his/her personal cell phone and e mail. Your concierge doctor is available 24/7. Often he/she can address questions by phone (text or voice) or e mail, saving you time and money. Your office visits are still billed to your insurance but these visits are longer and more involved than what insurance would pay for. Many patients with an HMO insurance use concierge medicine too, paying a minimal office visit when they do come into the office. (Saving their HMO for hospitalizations and medication). With concierge medicine you get a comprehensive physical yearly included in the price. This is generally an hour and a half including testing. Unlike the 15 minute insurance covered physical, your concierge medicine physical encompasses a comprehensive wellness plan for you. In addition, treatments such as bio-identical hormones can be addressed at your physical and at other visits. This is typically a separate privately PSID service. Basically concierge medicine is health care tailored to you.
The question to ask yourself is this: is $5 per day worth it for personalized, comprehensive wellness care? Naturally people who want to live long and vibrantly answer yes. Act now because the concierge doctors fill up quick and there are not a lot if them!!