Saturday, January 24, 2009

Medical Care is a perk?

Ok, I'm a bit irked. The doctor that the Adorable Husband and I have been seeing for almost 20 years now is leaving private practice and is no longer going to directly see patients as a primary care physician. He is handing over all his patients to his partner in the practice -- a guy we like well enough, but really haven't seen very often. We're pretty low-maintenance patients, I think. Maybe one appointment a year?

Anyway, so we weren't too terribly happy with seeing the new guy -- but today we got a note in the mail that he's changing his practive to 'premier medicine": i.e., he's going to charge patients a yearly fee to be included in his patient list. This "private doctor" model was floated a few years ago and is apparently pretty popular. THe doctor has fewer patients (200 vs 2000) and you have a more personalized experience, longer appointments, less wait time, etc. They still bil your insurance for any services, of course, the extra fee is just to buy into the club. He will no longer see any patients who do not pay his service fee. They can be seen by the nurse practictioner in the office, or they can go find another primary care physician. So sorry, buh-bye!

Well, thank-you-very-much, Doctor. If it was our original doctor doing this, we probably would seriously consider the 3K+ yearly fee. We like him, he has our whole history. But a new doc? Bah. I guess I didn't realize that medical coverage was now a super-secret club avaialble only to those with an extra couple of grand to spend. He could have at least waited a year or so, so the patients got to know him and might consider this sort of thing.

We're going to be out looking for a new PCP, I guess.

No comments: