"4 miles on the eliptical machines," says Phil.
Cannady says before he met Dr. Anderson, going to the doctor was frustrating.
"I don't want to be sitting in a lobby and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and leave and not feel so good," says Cannady.
Cannady discovered a new way of doing business through a company called MDVIP. It's called concierge medicine or direct care. In addition to maintaining his health insurance, Cannady pays an extra $1500 a year to become one of Dr. Anderson's patients.
"The VIP is unbelieveable," says Cannady. "I mean it's super. They do what they say they're going to do."
Dr. Anderson has been in primary care for over 30 years. He used to have about 2500 patients, but under the concierge model, he'll never have over 600. Instead of seeing 20-25 patients a day, he now sees 6-8. Patients pay for access.
"I feel like I'm happier because my patients are happier," says Dr. Anderson.
One thing you won't see in Dr. Anderson's office are patients in the lobby. That annual fee nearly guarantees you won't wait to see the doctor. Patients also receive a yearly wellness exam with a 2 hour physical, and they're given their doctor's personal cell phone number. MDVIP claims 96% of its patients are satisfied with their care.
"Being able to get a hold of him at any time, that's worth its weight in gold," says Cannady.
Not everyone believes concierge medicine is the best way forward.
"It gets to the issue of is healthcare a right or a privilege," says Dr. Charles Mouton.
Dr. Mouton is the Dean of the School of Medicine at Meharry Medical College. While he understands the benefits of the concierge model, he knows there is a shortage of primary care doctors in America. More and more medical students are choosing to specialize.
"There is a big primary care shortage, and concierge practices will add to that," says Dr. Mouton.
Mouton says not everyone is willing or able to pay for access. Some doctors charge as much as $40,000 a year, and physicians with smaller practices will leave hundreds of patients without a doctor.
"It starts to really create havoc with those practices that are willing to see patients across the spectrum," says Dr. Mouton.
For patients who are willing to pay, like Phil Cannady, the extra time with his doctor is worth the extra money.
"I'd recommend this to anybody," says Cannady. "If you can't afford it, think about how you can afford it."
It's that personal relationship with his doctor that Cannady believes is improving his health.
"It's the best money you ever spent," says Cannady. "It's the best money you ever spent."
MDVIP's $1500 plan is equivalent to $125 a month, about the cost of a latte a day. Other concierge companies like Pinnacle Care charge up to $40,000 a year for their exclusive plan, the cost of a luxury car.
Monday, July 11 2011, 09:40 PM CDT
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