Doctor, VIP, Really??


Doctor, VIP, Really??

Elly's Doctor sent us a letter recently describing the next step in his practice. He is going to focus on "Wellness". How much more "wellness" does my Grandma need? This is what flew around in my head! She only goes once a year to this doctor which is the agreement I made with him last summer :) So, there is a program called MDVIP that doctors can apply to which helps them reduce their practice. Now that this Primary Care Doctor has been accepted into the VIP Program, he is asking his patients who want to stay with him to pay a $1650 annual Membership fee and it's first come, first served as there is a limit to how many patients he will accept! This will allow him to see as few as 200-600 patients and give them more access to him. Supposedly, according to the website, doctors will spend an average of 30 minutes or more with each patient so that he can fully answer questions or impart his knowledge without being rushed into the next room for the next patient. Patients or should I say, Club Members will get 24/7 access to the doctor and same day appointments on a regular basis. The Annual Membership fee will make up the amount insurance pays and his fees for the visits and testing. After further research into the program online, I found that the doctors redecorate their offices to look like the family room with couches and TVs. Also, the VIP program takes a cut of that Annual Membership Fee. Patients receive a CD of their medical records, updated after every major visit. Doctors still see a variety of ages in their patients because the families of the poor elderly will pay the annual fee so that their family member can keep the same doctor and not have to change.

Elly has been bothered by this! She began muttering under her breath again. She has had the letter for 2 weeks but just picked it up again on Sunday re-reading it. Sunday night during our favorite TV Show she muttered the whole hour!! I waited patiently until after the show was done, she turned off the TV, then decided to reveal what she was muttering about. It was her doctor!! She felt betrayed that he would ask her for a thousand dollars which she doesn't have, on top of her insurance payments so that she can continue to see him. I reassured her that she would be referred to another doctor and that I would make sure things would go smoothly as best as I can. I will try to get her kidney doctor to write for her RX's, all of them in case we get a Dr. who won't go with our program of keeping the status quo without ordering more unnecessary tests. We have until the end of May, that's when Primary doctor will close his practice and reopen under the MDVIP program.

I can understand why the doctor is doing this. I can also understand why patients would do whatever they could to stay with a doctor who will given them more time and access. I am disappointed that we will be affected at this stage of our caregiving since it is so stressful to try to find a new doctor who will take a Medicare + Insurance 92 yr old patient here in our city! Is anyone else seeing or hearing about this program? How would it affect you?

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Thanks Leah, I know the doctor had trouble with his office manager and his loyal nurse wasn't happy with the office situation. I see it as a win for the doctor for sure when they are tired and want a smaller practice. It is unfortunate that he could not pick and choose whom he would keep. Elly is taking it very personally which is what we as caregivers have to help negotiate and help them to understand it isn't a \"personal\" slam against the caree...


I'm with Richard, though the words I would use are not suitable for a family-friendly website. I am so sorry this is happening to you and Elly. I hope you find a new doctor who truly believes in doing no harm.\r\n\r\nI can't help but wonder how soon these \"VIP\" doctors would further inflate their costs to \"keep up with expenses.\" Got to keep current with the latest upholstery and HDTVs, you know. :-/