July 29, 2014 – When Neil Kaplan walked into the Boca Raton office of internist Dr. Kevin Monahan complaining of headaches and facial numbness, the doctor knew from one look at his patient that something wasn’t right.
A former competitive hockey player, Mr. Kaplan attributed his symptoms to his dental implants. Finally, one morning his wife insisted he make an appointment. By 1:30 that afternoon, he was in Dr. Monahan’s office.
As Mr. Kaplan described his symptoms, a nurse took his blood pressure. It was 135 over 115. “I know you,” Dr. Monahan said. “This needs attention.”
Dr. Monahan insisted Mr. Kaplan go to the hospital – and called ahead to alert them of his arrival for immediate tests and a referral to a respected neurologist. When Mr. Kaplan left his office, Dr. Monahan told his nurse, “I think he has a brain tumor.” Mr. Kaplan bypassed the emergency room and was registered and checked into a private room, “which was amazing in itself, how he fast-passed me into a room,” Mr. Kaplan recalls.
A CT scan and an MRI soon revealed a lesion on the brain. Dr. Monahan recalls how extremely frightening the diagnosis was for Mr. Kaplan who is 47 and married with three young boys. “His life was turned upside down,” said Dr. Monahan. Operable and likely benign, it still needed to come out quickly.
After hearing the diagnosis and confirming his suspicions, Dr. Monahan immediately called MDVIP corporate offices to apprise them of Mr. Kaplan’s situation. They recommended the Medical Centers of Excellence program which is a benefit for patients in MDVIP-affiliated practices with difficult diagnoses who need guidance and timely specialty care at some of the nation’s leading diagnostic and treatment institutions. “It’s a daunting experience when a patient is on his or her own,” said Dr. Monahan. “MDVIP was able to guide Mr. Kaplan all the way. It was a great relief to him and his family.”
Within one week – not weeks or months – Mr. Kaplan had an appointment with world-renown neurosurgeon Dr. Roberto Heros at the University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Hospital – an MDVIP Medical Center of Excellence. Days later, Mr. Kaplan was admitted for additional scans and pre-operative testing. And the next day, he underwent more than six hours of brain surgery.
Meanwhile, hospital staff kept his wife informed – and even arranged for her hotel room as Mr. Kaplan stayed in the ICU overnight. The surgeon called Dr. Monahan after surgery to update him.
Five weeks later, Mr. Kaplan was well on the road to recovery.
Mr. Kaplan’s experience is one reason Dr. Monahan affiliated with MDVIP. In practice for more than 25 years, he loves medicine and he longed for the way he once practiced, spending time in the examining room discussing his patients’ healthcare. More than a doctor, he is his patients’ advocate.
“MDVIP has allowed me to continue practicing in a way that puts the patients first,” he says.
Mr. Kaplan, an insurance and benefits executive from Boca Raton, Florida, knows health insurance “backwards and forward.” He knows the difficulties patients can have getting timely appointments with their doctors. He’s convinced the quick response MDVIP afforded him with Dr. Monahan made all the difference.
“If my clients ask my advice, I’d tell them to look for an MDVIP physician,” he says. “When you’re seriously ill, you want two things: the ability to get to great doctors who have been vetted beforehand, and to see them as quickly as possible. I got both. And MDVIP took all that pressure out of the mix. You can’t put a price tag on that.”