Concierge medicine offering better care for KC patients

LAWRENCE, Kan. - With the shortage of primary care physicians all over the country, more and more patients are frustrated that they are not getting enough time or attention from their primary doctor.

The medical community calls it 'treadmill medicine' when physicians are forced to see patients more quickly and spend more time on paperwork.

Now, concierge style medicine is allowing some doctors in the metro to form relationships that benefit both the patient and doctor.

Dr. Eric Heurter in Lawrence limits his practice to 400 patients after seeing up to 3,000 patients just a year ago.

He says the smaller concierge medicine practice by MDVIP allows him to devote more time and personal attention to his patients.

“On occasion, I've had people on Saturdays cut themselves and rather than go to the emergency room, we'll just meet here at the office and I can do the stitches."

It also includes an executive style annual wellness exam with enhanced testing.

That's how Geoff Husic, who already lives a healthy lifestyle, got a heads up.

"I started to exhibit a little bit of elevated glucose, so consistent with pre-diabetes, which seems a little odd for someone with my physique and the way I exercise, but those things are often genetic," said Husic. 

Dwight Brinkley also appreciates the wellness exam.

"We found out that I was on the diabetic side - type 2 and so we changed in March. And since that time, I lost almost 20 pounds and my type 2 diabetes is going away."

Brinkley’s wife, Mary, is also a MDVIP patient.

"The orientation is toward wellness. Are we well? If so, how? And if something needs to be addressed, it can be addressed immediately," said Mary. 

Heurter makes himself available around the clock.

"Patients have my cell phone number. People will call and some people text. And it's nice, right at the moment of the crisis, to have the person that knows them best, to help guide them," said Heurter. 

Other benefits of membership include same or next day appointments, office visits that run 30 minutes or longer, and a travel and reciprocity program that enables patients who are traveling to another state to see any of the MDVIP-affiliated physicians in the area same day.

There are several MDVIP affiliated physicians around the metro. The program works alongside insurance. The cost for more personalized healthcare comes out to about $140 a month – an expense many see the value in.

"Response time is quick," said Mary. "With fewer patients, I think, gives him more time and he can spend more time with us or we can call him on his cell phone, and we appreciate that very much."

MDVIP patients renew annually at 90 percent, and they report a satisfaction rate of over 90 percent versus 58 percent of patients in traditional practices.

For more information or to find an MDVIP-affiliated doctor, visit www.mdvip.com.

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Jane Monreal can be reached at JANE.MONREAL@KSHB.com.

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