Dr. John Verheul, MD
The harried pace of traditional medicine left John Verheul deflated. “I spent all this time behind the computer and wasn’t able to look my patients in the eye,” he says.
He began researching concierge medicine, but disliked that most concierge companies required him to dismiss his nurse practitioners. “SignatureMD was the only company that embraced the idea of my nurse practitioners staying on board,” Dr. Verheul says. Patients who didn’t want to switch to concierge service remained with the nurse practitioners. That patient pool has become a “constant renewable source of program members for me,” he says.
The concierge schedule gives Dr. Verheul time to provide stellar patient service. Roughly 75 percent of his patients are seniors on Medicare, and he knows many crave social interaction. He began hosting activities for patients, including dances led by a dance instructor.
He devotes Friday mornings to home visits. He and a nurse stop in to see three or four different homebound patients each week, taking blood samples and observing the patient’s home environment. “While we’re there, for example, we can open the refrigerator and see what they’re eating,” he says.
“Throughout the day there is such a reduction of stress,” he adds. “My staff has time to laugh.” And colleagues who once doubted the concierge model “are now seeing how wonderful my life sounds compared to theirs,” Dr. Verheul says. They’re starting to think about possibly switching to concierge practice themselves.