The trend toward concierge medicine is a blend of the old school family doctor with the latest technological and preventative approach to medicine. Wellington’s Dr. Pedro Sanchez has embraced the trend, which he feels provides better healthcare for his patients.
Sanchez spent more than 25 years in a traditional medical practice, seeing approximately 30 patients per day, before joining MDVIP last year.
“I was spending approximately 5 minutes with each patient, which wasn’t enough,” Sanchez explained. “Now, I can give individual attention, which is a massive improvement and a much higher level of care.”
Apart from the individualized attention, he believes there is also a cost savings benefit to MDVIP’s approach.
“I can call specialists while the patient is in the room and consult with them — and the patient — on the best way to treat the illness,” Sanchez said. “By doing this, I recently saved a patient an emergency room visit.”
Sanchez also feels that he can now better help patients who have chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more.
“I have time to counsel and explain their condition to the patient, and insist on coordination amongst all of the specialists,” he said.
MDVIP was founded in 2000 in Boca Raton and now has a nationwide network of more than 950 affiliated physicians serving more than 280,000 patients.
“It’s also excellent for snowbirds and travelers,” Sanchez said. “All of my patients have my cell phone number, and either I can coordinate what they need, or I can get them in to see one of my colleagues.”
The foundation of the approach is the MDVIP Wellness Program, which encompasses advanced screenings and physician counseling that focuses on important health and wellness areas, and includes an annual comprehensive, prevention and wellness assessment that lasts up to two hours.
The annual membership of $1,650 can be paid quarterly, semi-annually or annually. An added courtesy is the Family Plan, which allows the adult patients’ children, between the ages 16 and 26, to be seen without an additional annual membership fee.
MDVIP accepts all commercial insurance and Medicare, and the concierge approach offers another cost savings to the patient. “I have time to get prior authorizations,” Sanchez said. “I have more time, which means my ability to fight for the patient against the insurance company has increased.”
The annual well assessment also means that the patient is rigorously screened for diseases that are either present in their genetic tree or appropriate to their gender, age, race or ethnicity. This is another way where the patients’ long-term health is focused upon, while simultaneously keeping costs down through early detection and treatment.
“Everybody in medicine is moving in that direction,” Sanchez said. “Accountable care organizations and commercial insurance companies do everything based on costs.”
Sanchez added that MDVIP has access to the master database of the Centers for Medical Excellence, which allows him to research the very best specialists to treat each specific condition and get an appointment for the patient.
He has privileges at both Palms West Hospital and Wellington Regional Medical Center and is connected to most specialists in the area. “Even if my patient is being treated by a specialist in the hospital, I will still stop by and visit during my social rounds,” Sanchez explained.
At any given time, he has a total of about 300 patients, and because he only sees about 10 per day, he has time to deal with their urgent needs. “If you need me now, you’ve got me now,” he said.
Sanchez feels he is practicing the kind of medicine he always wanted to. “This is a dynamite package of high-level, quality, individualized attention at a reasonable level of cost,” he said. “We’re finally doing the right thing for people.”
Dr. Pedro Sanchez Family Medicine, affiliated with MDVIP, is located at 1035 S. State Road 7, Suite 120, in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 432-4971 or visit www.mdvip.com/pedrosanchezdo.