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Old 07-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #1
teacup princess
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Anybody's dr dealing with Obamacare by going VIP?

I was at an office visit yesterday and was surprised to be informed by our family physician of 15 years that in October he will be joining a VIP doctor group and will only be seeing the first 600 patients to sign a contract for the privilege to be his VIP patient. This "priveledge" costs $1800 per person per year. And for this you get same day or next day appointments, his cell number, longer office visits and a more comprehensive yearly physical. Is this a scam or the new slap in the face reality of Obamacare?

Mind you I have no intention of signing up for this ($3600 per year for DH and I- no thanks. I liked him as a doc but really?). I've now got to call around to find a new doc, try to develop a trust while knowing in the back of my mind that they could drop us like a hot potato at anytime if they go VIP or just use critical care clinics for all our healthcare needs. Is anybody else experiencing this?
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:48 AM   #2
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As far as I know our Doctor's group is not doing this but I'm not sure why you call it a scam.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Primary Care Doctors to make a profit with their office practices. Reimbursement rates are going down while regulations and paperwork continues to increase and they have to hire massive staff loads of people to help run the office.

$3600 for you and your husband. If you were to combine that with one of those High Deductible low pay catastrophic health insurance plans chances are you'd be paying about the equal or less than what either you or somebody else is paying now in total premiums, and the focus moves away from pre-approvals and hours spent on paperwork and more toward actually providing patient care.

It isn't an adequate option for everybody, especially those who need high levels of hospitalization or specialist care, but for many it works out great.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:58 AM   #3
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Not a single one.

I see a primary (a small shared practice with about 3 other physicians), a gyno/OB, dermatologist, perinatologist, and ENT who are all single physician practices.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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This is not a scam, this is called "concierge medicine". It is a model that some practices are going to, however, it has many drawbacks. For one, it is mostly only those who are well off that can afford such services. Obviously, your physician believes he can find 600 patients in his practice willing to pay this premium fee, however, it is not a model every doctor has the ability to implement. Additionally, taking payments for concierge services can prevent the physician from being able to accept payment through governmental payors (Medicare and Medicaid). These government payors represent the majority of many physicians' business, and many are not willing to give up their access to persons who are covered by these providers. Finally, it is not used for specialist or hospital care. Only PCPs and their related offices employ this model. Although, there are "physician owned" hospitals which could employ this model, they are few, far between and recent regulations prevent any more from being instituted.

In other words, most physicians are not going to this model and you should not have a problem finding a new physician.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by branv View Post
Not a single one.

I see a primary (a small shared practice with about 3 other physicians), a gyno/OB, dermatologist, perinatologist, and ENT who are all single physician practices.
Same here.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by teacup princess View Post
I was at an office visit yesterday and was surprised to be informed by our family physician of 15 years that in October he will be joining a VIP doctor group and will only be seeing the first 600 patients to sign a contract for the privilege to be his VIP patient. This "priveledge" costs $1800 per person per year. And for this you get same day or next day appointments, his cell number, longer office visits and a more comprehensive yearly physical. Is this a scam or the new slap in the face reality of Obamacare?

Mind you I have no intention of signing up for this ($3600 per year for DH and I- no thanks. I liked him as a doc but really?). I've now got to call around to find a new doc, try to develop a trust while knowing in the back of my mind that they could drop us like a hot potato at anytime if they go VIP or just use critical care clinics for all our healthcare needs. Is anybody else experiencing this?
There is a dr. in our area who did this a while ago. I believe he's been very successful. However, his charges were 1/10th of what you quote. For $360, I think the idea is intriguing and could be worthwhile.

Something drastic has to be done about healthcare in the United States and if Obamacare is the impetus for that then that would be wonderful.

I have long thought that healthcare reform needs to start with investigation of major insurance companies and hospital systems, but of course, what do I know.

It makes me crazy to think about how much my family spends in insurance, yet, we don't go to the dr because of the costs. Outside of our 1 well visit a year (that I use every other year), for us, insurance is basically for something catastrophic.

I was looking at what wellcare services are covered by our plan just the other day and the items on there make me such as HIV screening for ages 2 to 17 really? I so wish I could pick and chose services that my family will use and leave the others behind.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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$3600 for you and your husband. If you were to combine that with one of those High Deductible low pay catastrophic health insurance plans chances are you'd be paying about the equal or less than what either you or somebody else is paying now in total premiums, and the focus moves away from pre-approvals and hours spent on paperwork and more toward actually providing patient care.
I don't know what you mean by this. You still have to pay all of your office visit fees, copays, lab fees, ect... On top of the $3600.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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I can't imagine doing this. I very rarely see my PCP. In fact, I've seen him exactly twice in the past 10 years, both times for sleep problems. Even when I get sick, which is rare, I just go to Minute Clinic because the wait for my primary doctor is several weeks. Maybe for people like my MIL who are constantly going to the doctor it might make sense but I can't see how this would be beneficial to the average person.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:29 AM   #9
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I go to a husband/wife practice. Several years ago he went concierge and she picked up the remaining patients. If she gets overloaded he will see regular patients. The concierge give the privilege of having almost immediate access to the physician. You still pay regular fees just like everyone else.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacup princess View Post
I don't know what you mean by this. You still have to pay all of your office visit fees, copays, lab fees, ect... On top of the $3600.
read here
http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/11/news...ors/index.html
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacup princess View Post
I was at an office visit yesterday and was surprised to be informed by our family physician of 15 years that in October he will be joining a VIP doctor group and will only be seeing the first 600 patients to sign a contract for the privilege to be his VIP patient. This "priveledge" costs $1800 per person per year. And for this you get same day or next day appointments, his cell number, longer office visits and a more comprehensive yearly physical. Is this a scam or the new slap in the face reality of Obamacare?

Mind you I have no intention of signing up for this ($3600 per year for DH and I- no thanks. I liked him as a doc but really?). I've now got to call around to find a new doc, try to develop a trust while knowing in the back of my mind that they could drop us like a hot potato at anytime if they go VIP or just use critical care clinics for all our healthcare needs. Is anybody else experiencing this?
I do not think it is a scam, and I have seen more and more doctors doing this. So far, I have not been willing to pay the $1800, but I've thought about it. I have selected a family care doctor who works in a pretty large practice and if that particular doctor left and went VIP, I would just see someone else in the practice.

Even with that I almost got burned when they came down to last day on renewing their contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The whole system is a mess right now.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:14 PM   #12
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Yes, a couple of them and others are retiring early. It's not a scam, but it is a reaction to Obamacare as well as being able to give patients more individual attention without losing more money than they already have. We aren't participating so we've moved Dr's. All I will say , is there are much better ways to fix our healthcare system and insurance than Obamacare.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
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My mil primary was going to do this. She was handed a sheet with the fee and explaining the concierge service she would get. Not sure if the doctor opted out of this - she still goes to see him but she does not have this service.
I need to ask dh what happened since he is the one who takes her all the time.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:29 PM   #14
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A pediatrician in my town does this, but the cost is per family, not per child. The office has a waiting list for new patients. The families I know who are members are *very* happy and feel the care and attention they receive is worth the money. They pay no extra charge for any service that is provided in the office or at the patient's home (many have received house calls, though that is not listed as a benefit - just something the doctor does in certain cases). No copays, for example.

We only have one child so the cost doesn't make sense for us, but if I had a large family (e.g., a friend of mine has five kids and uses this office -- she's always got someone falling off a bike or stung by a bee or whatever) I would consider it.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #15
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600 patients at $1,800 each is $1,080,000 a year Holy cow!

I haven't heard of this yet, but that's just crazy. I'd be finding another doc if mine decided to do that. For most families that cost is just not going to be feasible.
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