Concierge Medicine, Your Alternative to ObamaCare
Now that President Obama has won re-election, repeal of the ObamaCare health law is no longer realistic. Although some state governors continue to resist and there are some still-pending legal challenges, Americans should prepare for the law being eventually implemented in full. As politics continue to destroy our medical choices and swamp America’s medical system, it is time to begin thinking ahead for a way to side-step ObamaCare and have alternative strategies as a practical way to bypass the long lines for medical rationing and to dodge the ObamaCare bullet.
ObamaCare was rushed through to please certain interest groups with no consideration of whether it could actually be implemented, whether it was actually viable financially or whether it was acceptable to those who would have to live with it. They can make it a legal necessity but they cannot force doctors to accept this.
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), predicts ObamaCare will produce a mass exodus from the healthcare field over the next four years.
The federal healthcare takeover will worsen the primary care physician shortage that exists today, as 14 million new people become taxpayer funded patients by 2014.
Some doctors do not accept insurance or Medicare. Some may have a hybrid practice where they will accept insurance but you have to do the legwork to claim reimbursement. You can find anything from primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and even surgeons who fit this model.
SignatureMD partners with the best physicians in each city to help them preserve their patient base, while restructuring their existing practice to allow non-concierge patients to be seen by nurse practitioners. Those patients who opt in for concierge care have 24/7 access to their doctor. It’s a streamlining of healthcare that has been long overdue.
SignatureMD concierge doctors can also afford to spend more time with each patient and focus on their care without interference from bureaucrats or insurance executives.
Concierge care practices use a membership based approach to comprehensive and preventive care on demand. In 2005, only 500 practices followed this structure; today over 5,000 do.
With SignatureMD, you pay an annual fee and benefit from enhanced access to your doctor. You can use the services as much or as little as you want. Many practices are open 7 days a week, offer same day, or next day, appointments and some memberships include house calls or physicians on call by phone and email around the clock.
Our doctors save on overhead as they have less insurance claims and it also allows them to provide quality service to only a few hundred patients a year – compared to the thousands of patients needed in a high volume insurance or Medicare dependent practice.
This means your office visit is not rushed, you do not waste time in the waiting room, and your appointment can last half an hour or longer directly with your doctor. More time equals better health for you.
To find a SignatureMD concierge doctor in your area, check www.signaturemd.com which is one of the best networks for concierge practices in the nation.
Facts to consider:
A study conducted by The Physicians Foundation shows that physicians today are working less, seeing fewer patients, and reducing access to services. If that trend continues, nearly 45,000 full-time doctors will leave the medical field, greatly limiting patient access to care.
Fact: ObamaCare will worsen the current physician shortage. The law will also drive physicians to become hospital employees or to join large Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), where their treatment decisions will be monitored with mandatory electronic medical records. Government and private insurers will increasingly link payments to adherence to “comparative effectiveness” practice guidelines. Physicians will face significant conflicts-of-interest when their patients might benefit from treatments outside the guidelines, but the physician risks nonpayment (or losing his ACO contract) as a result.
Time to lock down your doctor of choice. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 60,000 physicians by 2015 and 90,000 physicians by 2020. The Physicians Foundation predicts a “silent exodus“ of physicians retiring early or reducing work hours in response to ObamaCare.
*Caveat – approaching Medicare age (65) and your current doctor will retire in a few years, consider switching to a younger doctor now. Many doctors no longer accept new Medicare patients, and this problem will worsen with anticipated Medicare payment cuts. However, most doctors will continue seeing their current patients even after they turn 65. But if you wait until after age 65 to look for a new doctor, you’ll likely have a hard time finding one.
Time to learn about a Health Savings Account (HSA).
These tax-free savings accounts allow you to deposit a certain amount of money to be spent later for medical needs. Most patients use HSAs for routine things like flu shots, chiropractic care, well-baby checks. Also consider upping yoru deductible to lower your premium, as SignatureMD offers you a wellness exam valued at over $1100.
Concierge Care = Security in health care:
For the cost of a daily Latte at Starbucks, SignatureMD concierge physicians offer immediate access, longer interface times and a coordination of your care with the various specialists based on your full medical history. There are no gaps in information, and your “team” works in a time efficient manner to eliminate long waits for appointments and surgery.
An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a major undertaking. Most ACOs are starting as part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), yet future models will apply the ACO approach to privately insured patient populations.
ACOs are designed to prevent duplication of services and encourage physicians and other healthcare providers to come together to coordinate patient care with shared data and infrastructure, for a fixed cost. Requirements for Medicare ACOs include having a minimum of 5000 Medicare beneficiaries (existing Medicare patients do not opt in or out of the program, but can opt out of sharing their historical data) and reporting on 23 of 33 total quality metrics (other metrics are provided by surveys and other data).
You must find out if your doctor is to be part of an ACO. If this is the case, you can opt out and not have your personal medical records included in the doctor’s ACO practice statistics.
SignatureMD (signaturemd.com), with offices in Los Angeles, California and Richmond, Virginia, is one of the nation’s largest providers of initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians, with an expanding network of over 160 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 31 states.