For Immediate Release
Contact: Dwayne Wells | Tel: (240) 560-5100
(Bethesda, MD – July 6, 2014) In response to the growing concern about the availability and quality of health care, Montgomery county physician Dr. Joe McDonald has started a unique medical practice in which patients pay an annual fee to see him.
Commonly called “concierge medicine,” the fee is meant to offset the cost of limiting Dr. McDonald’s practice to only a few hundred patients, instead of the few thousand typically seen by a primary care physician.
“According to estimates,” says Dr. McDonald, “the Affordable Care Act is going to produce 32 million new patients across the country. It is wonderful that people are getting coverage, but couple that with the already severe shortage of primary care physicians and you have a crisis in the making.”
Dr. McDonald believes that the Affordable Care Act will further hasten the creation of a two-tier healthcare system. “There are millions of people in the country who will not want to wait a month or more for an appointment, who will not want to wait even longer in the waiting room and who will want a doctor who spends more than eight minutes with them when it’s their turn. Those people place a premium on their time and those are the patients I will attract.”
Projections support Dr. McDonald’s vision. A study by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that “a national shortfall of 3,900 family medicine practitioners will occur by 2020.” And the Association of American Medical Colleges projects “a national shortfall of more than 90,000 physicians across all specialties by 2020.”
Dr. McDonald believes that by limiting his practice size and by offering round-the-clock appointments even at a home or office, he can provide the type of care that will be appreciated. “My patients have my cell phone number and my private e-mail address. They know that no matter what time it is or what they need, they can contact me. There was a time when this was standard, but changes in the health care system have made this type of access a dinosaur.”
In addition to the standard primary care exams, tests and treatments, Dr. McDonald is also providing patients with initial access to a host of other health care providers. “If my patient wants to lose weight, needs a dentist or needs senior care, to name a few, I have the resources in place to make it happen immediately.”
About Your MD
Your MD is an innovative concierge medical practice that places a high priority on patients’ time and on the quality of their medical care. At Your MD, our physician, Dr. Joe McDonald, will not rush your appointment – so you can discuss all your health issues in depth and collaborate on the best course of treatment.
Dr. McDonald is an evidence-based physician, which means that no medication is prescribed, no test is ordered and no instructions are given unless they have proven results elsewhere. Dr. McDonald favors high-quality research to offer patients clinical decision-making that reduces multiple attempts at treating the same complaint.