Dear Husband received a mailer about two weeks ago from his doctor. The doctor was requesting that his patients attend a meeting about a new form of health care. We didn't have a clue what was coming, but we signed up to attend the two hour meeting.
Dear Husband came home early to change and we drove to one of the local hotels, and found places at the back of the auditorium. DH's doctor, and another doctor got up to speak. Each of them talked about their schooling, their families, their personal interests, and their hopes for the future. And then they told us about a management association called MDVIP that they are going to join.
Two startling facts came out. Each of the doctors will have a maximum of 600 patients in the future. And each of those patients will have to pay $1500 ANNUALLY for the privilege of being one of those 600. Ostensibly, that $1500 is for an annual physical. The physical is fairly extensive, and the purpose is to give the doctors information to help the patient create a life plan to prevent disease. Any other office visits would be covered by the patient's personal health insurance.
Dear Husband has a deductible on his health insurance of $1,000. So, he will start the year owing $2500 for health care and maintenance, plus 20% of any additional charges.
The doctors painted a glowing picture of the additional time they would be able to take with each patient. No more 15 minute visits with sick people. Instead, they would be able to spend as much as an hour, or more, with people who want to take control of their lives and stay healthy!
The doctors could look forward to fewer late night calls from the emergency room, and fewer hours doing rounds at the hospital, because their patients would be healthy! And, because these two doctors had decided to go into this form of management together, each of them could look forward to a three week vacation each year, and a week for professional improvement, as they cover for each other.
They painted a glowing picture of the triangle of MDVIP, the hospital, and themselves. Unfortunately, I didn't hear anything about the patient in this presentation.
The doctors talked about obscene malpractice costs. They talked about having 2200 to 2400 patients depending upon each of them, and how much they would miss those of us who chose not to sign up. They studiously avoided talking about the 1800 people they were setting loose on the other doctors in this area, those 1800 who are ill and can't afford the additional cost, or who don't sign up in time to be one of the 600.
At one point, I thought, "Yeah....this might be a good thing, especially if you have an ongoing problem and want the old-fashioned kind of doctoring, where you were given information and advice and kept abreast of current research." And I can understand that these men want to have a life.
But, when I step back and look at it, it just feels greedy to me. It's one more LARGE fee to get the kind of care we should already be getting.
Our health care system is broken, and someone needs to take responsibility to fix it. I don't think we will be continuing with this doctor. Would you?