How To Survive Old Age (Your Own or Someone You Love)

Posts made in October, 2012

Choosing a Doctor-Concierge Medicine

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Health | 0 comments

Sometimes you need a new doc because of a move and sometimes you and your physician are just not a "good match" anymore.  Perhaps your doctor has run out of ideas for treatment or you want more of his or her time than they can give you.  There are a lot of choices when seeking a health professional to manage your care, or the care of a loved one. Consider concierge medicine as one way to get a better relationship with your doctor.

Concierge Medicine
    MDVIP (www.MDVIP.com) has a network of physicians nationwide. When my family signed on, we were pleasantly surprised at what a difference there was between our new doctor and conventional medical practices we have experienced. 

What Do They Do?
    For an annual fee,  you can get same day appointments your doctor, no time limits on your medical appointments, and your appointment time is honored–no long waits. If you are traveling or if you need a specialist, Your doctor will connect you with other affiliated doctors across the country if an urgent need arises.  In addition, they can inform you of necessary vaccinations before traveling abroad.   Top testing and diagnosic specialists across the country are part of this network.  If you have ever suffered and worried while waiting for an appointment with a specialist, you will appreciate this feature very much. 

How Much Does It Cost? 
    The average yearly fee is around $1,500-$1,800 per person.   After that fee is paid out up front, then the doctor will take all the regular forms of insurance, including medicare, to cover office visits, medical procedures, etc. just like in a conventional practice.   As Nancy Udell of MDVIP explained, concierge services are different from conventional medical practices because “while a doctor in a conventional practice may have anywhere form 2500 to 4,000 patients, the doctors in MDVIP have no more than 600 patients. With fewer patients, the physician has time to really make plans to support a patient’s health and their progress towards their wellness goals.  Each patient typically has a 1-1/2 to 2 hour visit annually for this purpose.”
You can find a concierge doctor near you at the MDVIP web site:
www. MDVIP.com

Mary Boone interviewed  Nancy Udell of MDVIP
MB:
What is the difference between MDVIP and a conventional doctor’s practice?
Nancy:
The main difference is that in a conventional medical practice, a doctor will have between 2,500 and 4,000 patients.  With that patient load, there simply is not time for a doctor to get to know his patient or to focus on preventative care.
MB:
How many patients does a MDVIP doctor have?
Nancy:
They have a maximum of 600 patients per year. 
MB:
Wow, that’s big difference. 
Nancy:
With fewer patients, the physician has time to really make plans to support a patient’s health and their progress towards their wellness goals.  Each patient typically has a 1-1/2 to 2 hour visit annually for this purpose.
MB:
What other differences are there in a concierge doctor’s practice?
Nancy:
Our patients find they can go right in to see the doctor for a scheduled appointment with no waiting!  If there is an emergency, the patient has the availability and convenience of same day doctor visits.   A typical doctor visit is thirty minutes long, and it is never rushed if you need longer.  We like to picture our doctors walking through their day rather than running.  Fewer distractions means better focus on you—the patient.
MB:
That sounds great, kind of like an old time doctor in a small town, with the personal touch!
Nancy:
Right! The most up to date medicines and treatments are at our doctor’s fingertips as well through our network of specialists and diagnosticians.  Should you need a second opinion, we partner with a patient advocate to navigate state of the art testing at prestigious medical facilities, like the mayo clinic. 
MB:
This sounds like it would be very expensive!  What does all this service cost?
Nancy:
There is an annual fee of $1,500 for an individual.   That comes out to $125.00 per month.  Our doctors take all the regular forms of insurance, just like in a conventional practice, so after the fee, the rates for visits and procedures are the same.
MB:
That seems a worthwhile investment, especially considering that one’s health would probably be much better with the focus on wellness.  How popular are concierge doctors?
Nancy:
There has been a lot of interest in this new system, especially as patients become more and more dissatisfied with the conventional system that often leaves them feeling a bit lost.  We are growing in double digits, and are finding a real american cross section of people are subscribing—small biz owners, cab drivers and factory workers and professionals.  We are growing our network as fast as we can find exceptional doctors who qualify to work with our network.  There is a rigorous qualification to work with us—we set the bar high.  Our patients sign up year after year with a 92% renewal rate.
MB:
Sounds like with all the time to chat with your doctor about your health concerns, the patients get a better understanding of their health options.
Nancy:
Yes, and every patient gets a copy of their medical records via the web.  This is handy in case of emergencies away from home.
MB:
How many of your patients are elderly?
Nancy:
About 50%
MB:
Anything else I should know?
Nancy:
Because of the focus on prevention, our patients have 72% fewer hospitalizations than patients at a conventional practice and are less likely to be re-admitted after surgery.   Should a hospital visit be needed, your doctor will visit you there and oversee the care.  Finally, and this is pretty amazing, our doctors will even make house calls!
MB:
House calls sound great!  I think everyone would appreciate that benefit from time to time.  Thank you Nancy.

My family members been very happy with our concierge doctor.  We feel we have received the best that modern medicine has to offer-the top diagnosticians and best course of treatments and best of all, we love the focus on building health, rather than waiting for something to go wrong.

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