Perhaps not

There’s a lot of excitement in the media lately with house calls and concierge medicine. Today’s Washington Post has an article that combines both and inadvertently undermines the point it’s trying to make.

The story is told of a certain Dr. Schleider, “cruising” around New York City in his black BMW, making “convenience calls” to patients who pay $400 or $500 per visit, depending on whether they are established patients or new ones. No insurance accepted. Dr. Schleider “sees perhaps six patients a day. His practice grosses $25,000 a month…”

Do the math and you’ll notice he’s only seeing 50 or 60 patients a month. If he’s seeing six a day, he’s only working 10 days. Most likely, he’s not that busy, because people aren’t as willing to pay for convenience as articles like this would imply.

Dr. Schleider doesn’t  seem to have much self-respect either. The one patient encounter mentioned in the article is described as follows:

“This is ideal medical care,” Michael Harrison, 28, a commodity futures trader, said during an examination from Schleider in which he smoked and played with his dog…

Is it really appropriate to smoke while your doctor examines you?

March 18, 2007

One thought on “Perhaps not”

  1. As a medical house calls provider for the last seven years in Manhattan, I agree there is excitement around the resurgence of house calls not only from the media but from the patients I work with everyday. What truly excites my patients is having affordable access to highly personalized care in the environment of their choosing.

    My service, Sickday Medical House Calls (www.sickdayhousecalls.com), provides same-day care for acute and episodic conditions. The service is open 17 hours a day, seven days a week and holidays so we’ll be there when you need us. Our highly trained physician associates spend an average of 30-40 minutes with each patient assessing environmental factors and diagnosing a wide range of conditions.

    Sickday charges $250 per visit and is reimbursable by many major health insurance providers. The service is an extension of existing community-based office practices and is ideal for patients who are unable – or unwilling – to go without care, wait days for an office visit or hours for emergency room care. I thought your readers might be interested to know there are other options in the market that are both affordable and based on a model of quality patient care.

    Stay well,

    Naomi Friedman
    Founder, Sickday

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