doctor in AZ wants $125 per month to be a patient? is this legal?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Asatrump, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Asatrump

    Asatrump New Member

    In a phone conversation this morning with my cousin in Tucson AZ she took her elderly mother to GP yesterday. This woman is on Social Security.

    The doctor informed both my cousin and her mother that he wants to trim down his patient load from 3,000 to 600. AND, that to remain in that 600 they need to pay him directly $125. per month. That would be $75,000 a month for just to be on his "list".

    Is that legal? Sounds like extortion to me. Not sure if I am allowed to mention his name here.
    I live in NY state and I never heard such a thing.

  2. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    This doctor must be independent? I assume he has hospital privileges? My doctors are all in a clinic affiliated with a hospital.

    That's ridiculous, I would think if not illegal at least unethical. Interesting info.

  3. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    a couple of years ago.The Dr. I interviewed had a private practice with her husband. They did not take insurance. Basically for$ 5,000.00 a year,I would have essentially been buying a membership into their practice. For that I would have unlimited visits,they would be @ my "Beck and Call" whenever I may have needed them. All tests were included as well. At the time i decided I probably wouldn't get my $$$ worth,however,for someone with chronic issues or one that likes to go to the Dr. for every little thing,it's probably a pretty good deal. It's not unethical or a sham,many Dr's. are fed up with insurance Co calling the shots(no pun intended) and so little recompense for Medicare. If you think about it that's the way medical care was done before the advent of HMO"S. Before that it was major medical,folks paid out of pocket for routine visite.p.s ..was that 75,000.00 a typo? cuz that seems pretty extreme!~~Jeanne
  4. Asatrump

    Asatrump New Member

    600 patients and asking each for $125.00 per month so you check my math...... I am sure my family doctor earns nothing close to that and as he currently has 3 kids in college would love that kind of situation.

    I just was really taken back by that information this morning, my aunt is 91.9 and on Social Security and this man has been her famly doctor for a very long time, he balances her heart meds, bp etc. Let me correct that : she has seen somebody from his practice, evidently rarely seeing the actual MD but seeing an NP. Seems since I have been discussing this topic today I am getting a lot more reality and feed back, I hadn't realized she nearly never saw this doctor. I don't know if 3,000 patients would be considered a medium, or heavy load, am quite clueless as to that info.

    I just got email from a friend in FL that she heard of a doctor with this same concept, and he promises much more individual time and that he would even make house calls.

    At 65 I am old enough to remember house calls, black bag, mother putting out clean towels in the bathroom. Granted this wonderful doctor lived next door, but when I was a kid doctors came in the house. Bless that man, he recently passed nearly 90 . And I at 65 was part of an era of wonderful and personal care.
  5. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    There's a name for the Medical program my Mom's Dr. is now affiliated with and he is doing the same sort of thing.
    He had 2000 patients. Now he has 600. Mom pays per quarter. To us it was well worth it. She is assured that she sees him everytime - has 24 hr access etc. When she went in for her last visit, they spent almost 2 hrs with her! We couldn't believe it. There is no waiting etc. We love this Dr. so we didn't want to make any changes. I think a lot depends on the relationship you have with you Dr. and if it's worth it to you.

    Now there are some Dr's - a friend of mine has one - who is no longer taking her insurance and is charging her $4000.00 a year to care for her. I should say 'wants to' - she wants no part of it. That would be on top of her out of pocket pay. THAT is nuts.
  6. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    Oh,my bad,I guess I wasn't getting your reference to the DR's. monthly income. I was thinking you had meant to type the cost to your aunt would be $7,500.00 per year. Again,as I mentioned in my post and as Janalynn mentioned,this concept really puts that Dr's. in a position to answer their patients' every need. That's why I didn't go for it,no need for that kind of medical attention @ this point in my life,however,as I age it might be a great idea. By the way,math was never my strong suit..LOL~~Jeanne
  7. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    Take a look at "paver1960's" post about Fibro and Fatigue centers. Guess it's happening all over!

    Geez....what is the medical community coming to? It's a little scary. And, as if people who are sick don't have enough to worry about.
  8. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    What happens if you move or decide you do not like the doctor, get sick and have to go on disability, lose your job?

    If you end up in the hospital I take it any services the doctor performs there would not be extra?

    It would be interesting to see how the contract is worded.

  9. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    My understanding is these fees only cover office visits,routine tests,bloodwork,etc. That's why I didn't go for it.Unless you need undivided attention @ your whim it can be costly. I liken it to a gym membership,stats show that 80%of people only use their membership 10% of the time.Essentially,those that under use this medical concept,would be paying for those that overuse it.~~Jeanne
  10. aftermath

    aftermath New Member

    The "paid membership" thing is called a "concierge practice."

    It is legal, and becoming more common in the US by MDs who are tired of having insurance companies tell them how to run their practices.

    I wouldn't compare it with FFC, which is generally seen as a full-out fleecing scam among those on this forum.
  11. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Hi there -
    To answer your question, I think it is really great for someone like my Mom. She's not going anywhere, so no chance of moving. I do not know if I personally would participate for my own health needs.

    Like I said Mom pays by quarter, so if she were to move - I think they even refund her anything she would be out. Her Dr. sounds a little different than some of the other programs others are talking about. Gosh, I can't remember the name of it.

    Anyway- the charge does not pay for any medical "services" per se - so you pay for visits etc on top of that. This Dr. accepts insurance/Medicare/cade. His main reason was to better serve his patients. He never had enough time with each of them. In and out....

    This Dr. has been sort of a family friend - or we knew his Dad who was a prominent Dr. in our area. He has been a GODSEND to us through our recent struggles w/my Mom. Both he and his nurse -the whole office actually helped not only Mom but us 'kids' as well. I've never seen better 'care' and compassion. This Dr. actually sent his son (teenage) in with his dog to visit Mom in the hospital. We all know how healing animals can be.

    FFC - totally Different type of thing.

    Bottom line, if you have a Dr. that you don't want to lose, feel is the right and possibly only one for you, then it's worth it to some people.
  12. denis321

    denis321 New Member

    Like Aftermath said, it's called a concierge or boutique practice.

    If you want to join one, I would be very clear about reading their contract and knowing what it covers. Some include certain tests in the fees, some don't. Also check with your insurance company and the practice how they will work with your insurance as there have been cases of insurance companies that refuse to cover things ordered by these practices or people have been referred to non-covered specialists/ services. If I remember correctly, these types of providers have to opt out of Medicare; I think it might actually be illegal for them to take people with Medicare. It might work out OK for some people but buyer beware.

    Also, although there are benefits for physicians like control over patient load while maintaining a good income, some physicians are actually opposed to them ethically. I have family member in healthcare so we've talked about this. Here's a quickly googled article: