I have been asked to review the website MDVIP/Beyond Concierge Medical Care/Preventative VIP Medicine.
I have received compensation for this review from MDVIP. They do not, however, know the contents of this review. They are seeing it for the first time, just as you are now.
An MDVIP physician is one who has chosen to limit their practice to no more than 600 patients in order to provide personalized service to each individual (a normal practice may have up to 2000).
They offer 24/7 access, often via private phone numbers, hospital care, same day or next day appointments, unhurried visits and some will even do house calls.
The focus is on preventative medicine and health, which according the website results in fewer hospital admissions.
It seems not every doctor who applies can become an MDVIP, only the best are chosen. And, if you are a physician with the usual 2000 patient practice, you must decrease your number to no more than 600 and MDVIP helps you find care for your patients with other local doctors.
Basically, by helping doctors practice medicine the way they’ve always wanted, they enjoy their private practice and are able to have a life outside of medicine. Surprisingly, they get very few after-hours calls from their patients!
Patients receive personalized care, including a comprehensive yearly physical,
- a personalized wellness plan,
- a mini-CD with all their medical information on it (including EKG) that is playable on any CD (except vertical),
- a personalized MDVIP website,
- Travel Advantage (if you get sick while traveling and you are near an MDVIP doctor, you get the same personalized care),
- the Medical Centers of Excellence program (in other words, they are hooked up with major medical facilities across the country and will assist you in obtaining appointments – your own insurance kicks in here and if it doesn’t cover, the patient is responsible for the charges), and
- assistance with any insurance or prescription questions
Since the focus is on preventative care and healthy behaviors, the patients are assumed to be motivated and interested in living a healthy lifestyle based on their personal wellness plan.
Now, MDVIP is not insurance. It is also not a free service. Patients pay a membership fee of $1500 – $1800 dollars a year (average) for access to the advantages of an MDVIP doctor.
Patients still need insurance – the membership fee covers the preventative tests that most insurances will not cover in a physical and it also pays for the increased access and time the MDVIP doctor is able to give their patients. The MDVIP plans work with most insurances and with Medicare.
The site is one big advertisement, which isn’t necessarily a negative. One section is for physicians, the other for patients and still yet another for business executives (Executive Health Plus).
But it was very hard to find out the cost – I had to drop all the way to the bottom of the site and click on the “Press Room” link, then click the “About MDVIP” link on the left sidebar, then click on the “Corporate Fact Sheet” and then scroll down to “Patient Services” for the cost.
I would suggest putting the cost right up front after all the explanation of benefits in the “Patient” section.
Patients want to know. They don’t want to (1) have to send in for information or (2) download the brochure which said all the same things and never mentioned the cost!
In my own personal opinion, the cost is not excessive so there is no reason to make it so hard to find. By doing so, the site came across as a sort of “baiting” sales pitch and that left an initial negative first impression on me.
MDVIP needs to put ALL their information right up front on the pages their potential patients will see and that includes the cost of membership.
So, would I sign up?
Except that I am extremely pleased with the physician I see now (who happens to be within walking distance from one of the MDVIP doctors, a local MD with a wonderful reputation, by the way).
If my primary ever goes the MDVIP route, I’ll pay. If he retires or closes his practice, I’ll see if the local MDVIP wants to take on a very opinionated ER nurse/patient!
Just get that cost up front on the website! It will change the look of the site from one of a sales pitch to an informative look at an alternative to primary care. First impressions are important. Don’t bait the readers – inform the readers.