I developed a complicated pain condition last summer and was discharged by my PCP's office following a heated exchange with an uncompassionate NP. I quickly found a new PCP which was necessary because I was suddenly seeing a bunch of other providers and going to the ER frequently. Well, I don't really like this guy too much, he was somewhat dismissive as he didn't have my records from the other providers, and it just seemed like he was trying to get me out of there quickly.
My pain condition has since spawned a couple of other complications that are not diagnosed or fully understood yet. I need someone who has time to work with me and my other providers. I was Googling for PCPs near me and I found someone who is really highly rated, but she's with MDVIP. I've heard of concierge services before, so her $450 a quarter is not a surprise. I just don't know how the rest of it works. Like, are all the other normal things still covered by insurance? Anyone do this?
Post by goldengirlz on Feb 7, 2023 19:09:39 GMT -5
I use One Medical, which is a lot cheaper. I’m not sure if you’d consider it “concierge care” though.
MDVIP says on its website that its doctors do take insurance and its fee covers basic preventive care, labs and wellness. Other concierge practices take no insurance whatsoever but their fees run a lot higher. It just depends.
My good friend is a physician with One Medical. All the usual stuff is covered with insurance etc. It’s basically the same as a refuse dr except you get more time and access (she has an email system so it’s really east to ask her questions anytime, same day availability, nice long appointments etc)
My PCP went to concierge model last year. I assumed it would be out of reach expensive, but it really wasn’t. I’ve seen her in person once and she spent nearly an hour with me. There was absolutely no rushing. The nurse gave me no grief about not wanting to be weighed. It was a great visit.
I’ve texted her a couple times since then, including about a skin issue I was having. It was so nice for her to just give me a quick answer via text than have to wait weeks for an appointment.
She took over all my derm and gyn scripts which is so nice to eliminate unnecessary visits (the derm wanted me there every 6 months for acne medication).
My MIL had an opportunity to be a patient in a concierge medical practice when her primary care doctor switched. As I understand it (and this is a rough understanding), her doctor accepted a limited number of patients into his practice, something like 250 (max), and each patient pays $2,000/year. So, the doctor has a set base of pay/funding to run the practice. Then, as a patient, you get regular medical care (as needed) which may just be annual stuff or can be specialized - based upon your medical needs that year. With such a small client base, the doctor has the time to be attentive. Insurance is billed as usual. So, the doctor is paid as usual (and on top of the annual fee). With the solid base of funding coming in every year, the doctor does not need to churn through a large number of patients to keep his practice funded and going well. (Side note- It also flips the medical model from paying doctors for treating sick patients (for payment, as per usual) to paying doctors for well patients - to keep patients well.)
My friend goes to a concerige doctor. She pays $1500 or $2000 a year (can't remember anymore) and the doc's practice is limited to a certain number of people. She can have unlimited appointments (and she has a couple of medical issues, so this is a big plus for her), appointments don't have a set time; they can be 15 minutes or an hour. She has the doc's cell phone number and can call her any time .
My beloved PCP went concierge. She doesn't charge an annual fee, but it's a cost per visit (e.g., $350 for annual, $99 for sick) with access via email/text included. I'm considering switching to her. I went to the new PCP that took over her patients at the same practice. She seems great and all, but I have a semi-urgent thing I need to see her for--even just a quick telehealth appt--and first available appt is over a month away and her nurse isn't responding to my portal requests. So yeah, I get the appeal of more personalized care and direct access.
In your case, since you have some complicated things going on and need continuity of care, I wonder if you could do a consult of some sort to see if you connect with the doc, etc. before jumping ship on your current PCP.