A few months ago my family physician sent out a survey asking several questions about how I felt about the scope and quality of the health care that we had received from him and his office. I have always been very happy and satisfied with all of my interactions with him and both his nursing staff and his business staff, but the final question on the survey gave me pause and provided an obvious clue to what was to come.
The final question was something like this: would I be adverse to essentially paying a yearly membership fee in exchange for an enhanced level of service?
From that point on I could see what was, most probably, in my future and I came home a couple of days ago to a letter stating that my physician had decided to join what is termed a "Personalized Healthcare" group and that he would be limiting his practice to 600 patients with a yearly membership fee of $1,500! That equates to $3,000/year for us, not to mention a cool $900,000/year for the doctor and the "Personalized Healthcare" group.
The sad reality is that is very much out of my range, so I guess that I will be shopping for a new family physician after over 20 years of seeing the same doctor a couple of times each year generally for nothing more than routine visits. I have no idea how difficult this will be, but I'm certainly not looking forward to it.
Obviously, I have no clue as to the needs of other of his patients, but I cannot escape the feeling that this is nothing less than end run around the insurance companie's fee for service schedule in an attempt to maximize the clinic's revenue and I am, understandingly, angry about this move!