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Membership Medicine: It’s About Time

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By Nick Davis, MD

Think back to the last time you had an amazing customer experience—one where you felt like you were really being heard and attended to—just “wowed” by the person helping you.

Was it at your doctor’s office?

Chances are, likely not.

Americans are frustrated. The traditional healthcare model has evolved over time with good intentions, but the reality is that physicians are overworked, and patients suffer. Appointment times are brief because the physician has to hurry to see the next patient. Patients wait for days or weeks for an appointment, then another hour or so in the waiting room until they can be seen. Doctors hustle to treat the immediate problem and move on to the next patient. Care seems to be more dictated by insurance companies than by actual doctors.

As a physician, this discouraged me. Like most physicians, I chose to enter the field of medicine because of my love for helping people. I discovered the best way for me to do so is by developing a strong, long-lasting relationship with my patients—one that lets us truly get to know one another so that we can work towards health goals together—and not just treat acute illness.

Fortunately, a new model for healthcare has emerged that completely disrupts the traditional model—with a focus on the relationship between the patient and physician that helps patients get and stay healthy to live their best lives.

Membership Medicine (sometimes called concierge medicine or direct care medicine) breaks the cycle of allowing insurance companies to dictate how medicine is practiced by eliminating third-party payers at the primary care level. Patients and doctors have a direct relationship without insurance interference by paying a small membership fee that offers them greater access, more time and better service. The result means that doctors can have smaller patient panels and still be financially viable.

And smaller patient panels results in a number of benefits:

More Time Together.

With fewer patients, membership medicine physicians now have the luxury of being able to spend more time with each patient—from 30 – 90 minutes depending on the patient’s needs (versus 10 – 30 minutes in a traditional office). And more time together provides the opportunity for a more complete picture of a patient’s overall health, and their wellness goals. That means, patients and doctors work together to prevent illness, not just treat it when illness arises.

Less Time Waiting.

Smaller patient panels allows membership medicine doctors to actually see their patients when they need them—not a few days or weeks later. For example, in my practice, I guarantee same-day or next-day appointments during the week—plus my patients have access to me via my personal cell phone and email 24/7. And in-office wait times are mere minutes, not hours.

Better Health Outcomes.

When patients and doctors work together to prevent illness, patients are more likely to stay healthy—it’s that simple. Studies show that membership medicine patients have fewer ER visits and hospital admins; reduction in overall healthcare costs and definitely improved patient satisfaction. The pandemic highlighted the need for our healthcare system to evolve—provide more convenient care with better access and improved patient experiences. The Membership Medicine model is leading the way of this healthcare revolution. Learn more about Membership Medicine at Nick Davis, MD, and Associates on our website or call my office for a free meet-and-great to see if the model makes sense for you.

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