On your last trip to your primary care physician, did your doctor shake your hand, look you in the eye, and start a two-way conversation? Or, as many people have recently described, was your visit more like a race against the clock? Where your doctor cut to the chase, asked a bunch of questions, and never lifted their eyes from inputting data onto their laptop?
Recent studies have found that on average, patients can expect to spend no more than 10-15 minutes with their doctor. Why? Because many doctors have contracted negotiations with insurance companies. The negotiations vary from plan to plan, but ultimately, doctors are better incentivized when they pack as many patients and procedures into their day as possible. This means the less time they spend with you, the more money they’ll make.
Why have these doctor/patient relationships and appointment times come to such a rushed situation? It’s ultimately driven by insurance reimbursement. Doctors are paid by insurance and Medicare for every patient they see according to WHY they see the patient, what procedures they perform for the patient, and (sad big surprise) definitely not by how much time they spend with the patient. So for example, if they booked 30 minutes with a patient instead of the general 15 minutes per patient, they would cost them ½ of their daily income.
There are other considerations as well. There have been a lot of changes recently in health care which include increased documentation, ramped up productivity requirements, and new metrics; all of which put time pressure on your doctor. In addition to all of these factors, there are also very few solo practices anymore, meaning that most doctors work in large physician group offices, giving them less control and flexibility over how they work. When being surveyed, some doctors who work for hospitals said that they’ve been asked to see patients every 11 minutes!
As if it could get any worse, studies have also found that many doctors don’t even listen to you in the short time period that they are with you! It turns out doctors have a bad habit of interrupting their patients. This was a discovery in not one, but THREE different studies over the past few decades. In 1999 a study of family physician practices found that doctors only let patients speak for 23 seconds before interrupting and redirecting the conversation. Only one of every four patients in the study got to even finish their thought or statement. In 2001, the University of South Carolina did a study of primary care patients and found that those patients were being interrupted after only 12 seconds! Just to keep this streak going, in 2018, a Journal of General Internal Medicine study showed that many doctors don’t even give their patients time to initially explain the reason that they’re even there before interrupting them.
At the end of the day, this doesn’t mean that your physician doesn’t care. However, the world of healthcare has become a corporate cycle that revolves around financial gain and putting a lot of pressure on our physicians to maintain and achieve a certain criteria and goals. This leaves many physicians stressed and over-worked.
Why are we telling you all of this? Because it is exactly why we decided to open Premier MD Care and become Concierge Physicians. We didn’t want the relationships with our patients to be dictated by the rules of insurance companies and large physician groups. We wanted time. We wanted to understand and really evaluate our patients, and we wanted to know that at the end of every day we offered the most prestigious and comprehensive level of care that we possible could to everyone that called or walked through our front door. We acknowledge that the doctor-patient relationship is the key ingredient to quality care. We’ve known it all along and the results that we’ve had with our patients proves it.
We schedule a minimum of 30 minutes with every patient and depending on the reason for the visit, the appointments sometimes are scheduled for an hour. We take the time to ask the right questions to find out what our patients needs are, both in terms of their current health issues, and in terms of preventative care to ensure a long and healthy life. Our patients are incredible and truly grateful for the time we spend with them.
Here’s the results of spending the time necessary to truly treat patients:
“Dr. Ivan Cvik is patient, attentive, thorough, and has helped me feel better!” says patient Teresa B. “Dr. Cvik found what three other doctors in the area for years failed to help me with and for that I am truly grateful!!”
“Dr. Jelin Israel-Cvik is an incredibly knowledgeable and caring physician who is committed to providing the best possible care to her patients. She exercises due diligence when collecting data about a patient’s medical history and her thorough exams include attention to the social-emotional well-being of her patients too. She makes it a point to go above and beyond, and it is obvious to those who know her that being a physician is truly her vocation. Her nurse, Danette, and office staff are also so warm and welcoming. Dr. Cvik is the consummate professional, and my husband and I are so grateful that she is our primary care physician”, says patient Jacqueline Lentini.
“I went to see Dr. Jelin Israel-Cvik during a time when no one else could figure out what my medical concerns were”, says patient Amy Marie. “Within a few days Dr. Cvik had all my concerns answered. She is very professional, calming, a great listener and very compassionate. The world needs more people like her!!!! I will NOT go to a regular physician again.”
“What a terrific practice! I had been trying for years to figure out a personal health issue and everyone else said it was nothing”, says patient Kimberly Hale. “Dr. Jelin worked very hard to make sure that I now know what is going on and how to feel so much better. She and the staff are miracle workers!”
If you’re looking for a primary care physician who listens to you and takes the time to find out what’s best for your health, give us a call at Premier MD Care! (239)466-6855