Concierge Medicine - The Doctor-Patient Relationship Refocused Around Your Needs
Much of what you probably dislike about the health care system, doctors dislike just as much…
Because of decreasing reimbursement from insurance companies, today’s ophthalmologists are under pressure to see an increasing number of patients each day, in order to pay their expenses and earn a reasonable wage. Many physicians see an average of 60 to 80 patients each day, with just a few minutes with each patient. Patients wait a long time to get an appointment, then again wait for hours in the waiting room the day of the appointment only to be seen for just a few minutes by a doctor who is under pressure to move on to the next patient. Both patient and doctor feel rushed, stressed, and forced into an impersonal transaction.
In response to this, more and more practices around the United States have adopted some form of "Medical Concierge Program”.
The concept -which started over 20 years ago - is simple: The patient pays the physician or practice an annual retainer in order to join their Concierge Program. This fee gains them access to a whole host of services not covered by insurance as well as amenities normally available only to private pay patients.
Because of the additional reimbursement, these practices can afford to see less patients per day and spend more time caring for each patient. Both doctor and patient enjoy a level of service which is rarely seen in the medical field today!
Patients love the idea because they enjoy a host of value-added services on top of their regular coverage, as well as a feeling of being a real patient and not a name on the chart.
We developed our Concierge Program with these goals in mind. The program allows us to provide patient centric care with an emphasis on prevention and early diagnosis by using the latest diagnostic technology.
Our Concierge Program benefits include:
- Preventive Care – Our Annual Eye Wellness Screening Program. This is an annual “well visit” optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging test of the macula (part of your retina that enables you to read) that screens for the main causes of blindness including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), background diabetic retinopathy (BDR), and glaucoma - among others. ($65 per OCT test)
- Free annual refraction exam (determine your prescription for glasses or contacts) which is not covered by most health plans. ($40 per refraction)
- Free unlimited telemedicine consultations by phone or email regarding wellness or minor issues not requiring an office visit. Health-insurance plans only pay for consultations when they are done face-to-face with the doctor. Telemedicine consultations are therefore paid by the patient out-of-pocket. ($200 to $350 per consultation).* *Based on the consult, we may determine that the issue is potentially more than minor and therefore requires a face-to-face office visit to further examine your eye. In this case, the face-to-face office visit will be covered by your insurance plan. Phone calls and emails relating to office visits are included in the office visit fee paid by your insurance plan.
In addition to the above, the Concierge Program will offer Members – free of charge - the following conveniences normally provided only to our private pay patients:
- Extended Office Visits. Patients can come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays - which are normally exclusively reserved for our private pay patients. On these days we schedule less than half as many patients as we schedule on a regular day (only one patient is scheduled every 20 minutes) giving Dr. Collazo much more time to spend with each patient.
- Individual Appointment Slots. On days reserved for our private pay patients, you will receive a specified appointment time (versus the "wave" schedule we use on regular days - where 4 to 6 patients are given an appointment at the beginning of each hour and then are seen in the order of arrival).
- Guaranteed non-emergency appointments within a week.
- The option to pay for clinical services by credit card.
You should consider joining our Concierge Program if one of the following applies to you:
- If you find it difficult or inconvenient to leave your work or home for medical care and wish you could work with your doctor more by phone and e-mail.
- If you want a doctor with the time and technology needed to focus on prevention and wellness.
- You are happy with the care you are receiving, but you don’t want to wait so long to receive it.
- You want and or need a physician who will take more time to listen to you, explain his assessment and plan in detail, and answer any questions you may have.
In order to obtain this premium level of service, patients who choose to join our concierge program pay an annual retainer. This retainer ensures that Dr. Collazo is able to devote an extraordinary amount of time and resources to each patient - all the time that is desired to address your medical concerns both in our office and through Telemedicine consults.** ** Patients are still responsible for co-pays and out of pocket expenses.
We developed our Concierge Program to provide you with the convenience, accommodation, and best-of-class service you’ve come to expect from every service provider in your life. Most importantly, we give you a depth of medical attention and doctor responsiveness that has never before been available.
Ask our staff for more details.
You can also call us at 787-728-3700 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernesto L. Collazo, M.D., F.A.A.O.
President & Founder
Collazo Eye Associates