By Dave McClung
I have decided to to try the alternative approach to health care — concierge medicine (also known as “direct practice”). So far, I like it.
My doctor, a well respected cardiologist, has decided that he would rather devote his practice to a few patients who are willing to forget insurance than to practice the way that insurance companies and medicare require. I will pay him an annual fee and he will be on call 24/7 for my health care needs. None of his cost will be reimbursed by insurance.
The last two days have been my initial physical examination. He spent an hour and a half with me each day. He has taken the time to get to know me on a personal basis and is studying every aspect of my health.
After the results of all my testing are back, he will spend two hours or more with me developing a wellness plan including medication, life-style, and food. Once I agree to the plan, he will hold me accountable and will recommend a program of testing to confirm the results.
He has research that shows that less than 10% of patients of concierge medicine die from cardiac issues or strokes compared to more than 40% of the general population.
Both of my parents died in their 70’s. And, I have a history of cardiac problems (I had a bypass 10 years ago.) Considering those negatives, I have decided that it is good stewardship to spend some money to attempt to improve my life expectancy.
On tv, concierge medicine is presented as if it were part of a life style of excess. I have come to think of it differently. I believe I can increase my life expectancy by 10 years (that means doubling it) by stepping outside of the government/insurance company health care system. It is expenisve, but I asked myself, “How much would I be willing to spend to double my life expectancy?” My answer, was “more than this costs.”