I recently received a letter from our personal family physician, who we’ve known for over 20 years. The letter began with a paragraph stating that he was leaving the group practice which he had been a part of, and had joined something called “PartnerMD, a membership medical practice that provides excellent primary care.”  He went on to state that “PartnerMD’s model will enable me to provide attentive, personalized medical care with an emphasis on prevention.”

The Concierge Medicine Model

My takeaway of this first paragraph was that I would now have to pay a membership fee to be able to see our family doctor. This membership fee would of course be in addition to whatever charges we would accrue as a result of the visit. The stated advantages of PartnerMD membership were “same or next day appointments, wait times of 5 minutes or less, direct access to our doctor via cell phone and e-mail, 30 minute office visits and much more …” If I responded within 30 days of this letter, I would receive $200 off my first year membership fee, and I could pay this fee on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. I didn’t call to find out more. The discount alone spoke to how much the total membership would be.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen medicine change dramatically.  I can recall times when I was a child and my mother would call our family doctor because I or one of my brothers was running a fever. Dr. Feinberg would actually come to our house, check on us, and prescribe accordingly. We were not wealthy, and I’m sure that Dr. Feinberg made a good living, but fee for service medicine was inexpensive enough for my parents to be able to afford a house call. Talk about concierge medicine!
The question to ask is what has changed healthcare in less than 5 decades?
Certainly, technology has advanced over the years and this creates new costs. But ask any doctor about what practice stressors create the desire to go to the concierge medicine model, or alternatively, to check out of practicing medicine entirely, and you will hear in no particular order such issues as litigation, increasing practice overhead costs, our federal government imposing itself upon healthcare, and the reality of ever-decreasing insurance participation (in other words, higher deductibles and more limitations on payments).

How Eastside compares

What was surprising to me about the selling points of the concierge medicine model? Eastside Chiropractic already offers:
1.  Same or next day appointments
2.  Wait time of 5 minutes or less.
3.  Direct access to me via cell phone (864-905-7053)
ALL of those features with the exception of one—the 30-minute office visit. When a patient is seen for a routine check up, we will not monopolize their time! Expect a 15 minute routine office visit experience.
New patients?  If you go to our online resource and fill out your paperwork before arriving at our office, then yes, expect a 30-minute office visit.
All of this, and no yearly concierge fees.

But what about Obamacare?

I have also discovered recently that the statement by our president: “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” stated over and over again while he was attempting to sell America on the “Affordable Care Act” was a falsehood.

I liked my healthcare plan. I wanted to keep my healthcare plan.
But I received this letter:

The takeaway from this letter?  I purchased my plan in July of 2010, so therefore, I can’t keep it. My healthcare plan will have to change as a result of the Obamacare debacle. What’s in store? Time will tell.
All that is certain is that our model for health care at Eastside Chiropractic will continue to offer “Concierge Medicine” benefits to our practice members while keeping costs as low as possible.
Call us today to schedule a tour visit and to meet me and my team. I promise to offer exceptional spine and natural health care to you or your family at fees which are affordable, with or without Obamacare.