You’ve waited 4 months to see the neurologist. You came prepared with your list of questions. Twenty minutes later you are standing at the check out counter with orders for neuroimaging and labs, a prescription and the majority of your questions still unanswered. You probably aren’t thinking, “That was a great visit!”
What you don’t know is that your neurologist is also dissatisfied. Faced with a schedule of double-booked patients, many neurologists realize that they no longer find the joy in the work they once experienced. This is a well-documented crisis among neurologists. In fact a survey in 2012 documented that 53% of neurologists were burned out. When patients and their physicians aren’t happy, the opportunity exists to look at alternative ways to deliver quality health care in ways that meet the needs of both parties.
Out of this chasm grew the concept behind Premier Neurology, a concierge neurology practice that focuses on delivering individualized, quality, neurological care, which incorporates lifestyle medicine as a priority. Televisits are integrated into the practice model as a way to increase access for patients, not only to the neurology team, but to other care providers ranging from case management to psychologists to nutritional counseling. Our commitment to the comprehensive management of people living with disease management, and our innovative delivery model, sets Premier Neurology apart.
But isn’t concierge medicine for the wealthy? How can I ever afford this practice? What is concierge medicine anyway? The website Concierge Medicine begins its definition of concierge medicine with the phrase, “ a relationship between a patient and a primary care physician” (Concierge Medicine Today , 2015). Concierge medicine is a form of fee for service practice model that focuses on individualizing and ensuring access to the care. By asking patients to pay for their visits at the time they are seen, rather than waiting on insurance payments, it is estimated that practice overhead can be decreased by almost 40%. Less overhead – Less pressure to see more patients in less time. More time, better care provided – happier and healthier patients. That summarizes the rationale behind Premier Neurology becoming a fee for service practice.
For many patients the difference in cost between seeing a provider that accepts insurance, and one that does not, is less than $100. The reality is that we are all paying more money out of our own pocket for healthcare. The power to decide how that money is spent is yours.
Open enrollment for insurance begins in November. This is always a good time to review your anticipated medical needs and ensure you have access to the providers you prefer. I’ll be looking at my insurance and health saving account options closely. I’d encourage you to do the same.