In November 2012 my contract with MDVIP ended and I decided to become independent. Being identified with MDVIP has many positives but I desired a more independent internal medicine practice which keeps the positives but allows a smaller and more personal identity.
I am still affiliated with St. Lukes Hospital in St. Louis. Happily, I have also found a very nice medical management consulting company—Special Docs, Inc.— which also helps with billing. This is why the yearly patient fee is now made out to me (instead of MDVIP) and mailed to Chicago.
Yes, my practice is compatible with Medicare. Your annual fee covers those services not reimbursed by Medicare. Your Medicare Part B coverage will continue to work as it currently does.
Most health insurance plans are compatible with being a member of my practice but do not cover the annual membership fee. Routine office visits, lab work and tests, hospital stays, and specialist care are covered by insurance as usual. Your annual fee covers a more extensive and comprehensive preventive care/wellness yearly exam including some non covered labs and tests. Usually an exception are flexible spending accounts (FSAs) which are tax-advantaged financial accounts offered by many employers to cover medical expenses. Most often FSAs actually pay for the full annual fee for my practice and other MDVIP style practices.
The annual fee may be paid once a year in full or may be broken up into semiannual or quarterly payments. The administrative burden of monthly payments prevents me from offering a monthly payment schedule.
The fee may be deductible if you itemize your medical expenses. We can talk with your accountant if needed.
If the yearly physical has not been performed a prorated refund will be made. But if the wellness/preventive services have been provided, a refund is not available.
My current thought is that 400 patients will keep me as busy as I can appropriately handle. Most concierge practices have an upper limit of 600 patients. Membership is based on a first-come, first-served basis. When the limit is reached I will institute a waiting list and offer referrals to other doctors as the patient desires.
Usually I cover my patients via my personal cell phone even when I’m out of town. If unavailable during regular office hours there are several personal/concierge physicians who will cover for routine and urgent medical needs in their office. As with other internists, some personal/concierge doctors admit their patients to the hospital and some use hospitalists.