Do you feel that you should see a doctor, but don't feeling like waiting in a crowded waiting room, only to have to wait another 15 min or so in the exam room? Then, when the doctor walks in he/she seems rushed and stares at the computer the entire visit. Let's face it, primary care medicine is changing..and not necessarily for the better. The days of really getting to know and trust your primary care physician may be numbered, especially with the expected increase in insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) effective in 2014.
Have you noticed how hard it is to find an internist or family physician? Despite some incentives out there from the Medicare Advantage plans and newly covered preventive services, the burden on most private primary care physicians is overwhelming. Frankly, many have given up and closed their practices to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
Suppose you have private insurance or employer-sponsored insurance benefits?
Think of how much you could save by opting for a high-deductible plan? A typical family could save hundreds a month by opting for a catastrophic high-deductible plan and having their Cirrus Medical Network doctor for primary care issues.
Perhaps your long time physician has already made to leap into a "Cash Pay" or "Direct Pay" or "Concierge" practice? Rest assured, he/she will be contemplating it as more and more of their colleagues are making the leap.
Is there a solution?
Your medical record is maintained in the cloud and available for you to review at any time. Progress notes, lab and x-ray results can be forwarded to any physician or specialist. Since this is done online with messaging and videoconferencing, no physical exam can be performed. Of course, for some conditions this will make it impossible to make informed medical decision making. However, there are many conditions that can be diagnosed and treated without a physical exam. Having a blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, and a thermometer are encouraged, but not mandatory. The future is bright for virtual care, and technology is making it easier to provide comprehensive care remotely.