24/7 Telephone Availability
Expedited Check-in & Check-out; less wait
Care Coordination & Navigation Assistance
Discounted Community Wellness Options
PERSONAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP
Personal Health Partnership will enable me to spend the time with my patients that they need and should have - time which is so important to health and well-being. In this partnership, we will strive together to maintain health, prevent illness, and keep you feeling well.
Many of you have asked me how current changes in medicine including healthcare reform affect my practice. Unfortunately, I am finding that vast amounts of paperwork and administrative tasks are being imposed upon us. There is a seemingly endless tidal wave of prior authorizations (for prescription medicines, specialized tests, and referrals, etc.), documentation requirements, quality measure reporting, and requirements to practice “population health medicine “.
These obligations have been present for years but are getting much more burdensome at an apparent exponential rate greatly limiting my time and energy for patient care. From an economic standpoint, running a medical practice is increasingly expensive and insurance payments have not kept up, either diminishing or being stagnant in many cases. Due to these economic and time constraints it is becoming nearly impossible to spend a reasonable amount of time with you at your appointments, offer individualized attention, and practice medicine in the way I currently am doing.
I have been compelled to see more patients in an increasingly limited amount of time. Because I do not want to severely reduce my time at each patient appointment, I often work through lunch seeing patients, and frequently spend evenings and weekends doing the “paper work”. What future effects the healthcare reform will have are unclear but I am not optimistic that there will be improvement. Besides yet unknown to me probable bureaucratic impositions, with the projected increased number of insured people requiring a physician, primary care providers will be expected to take care of more patients which would cause more strain. In this current climate, few physicians are entering primary care medicine, many current ones are retiring early, and other current primary care physicians are turning to non-primary care positions of various types still further straining primary care medicine.
With these issues mounting, most forecast that private practice primary care medicine practices like my own will cease to exist. Currently there is a major national trend of larger practices and hospitals buying out smaller practices. Northampton has been no exception to that.
So, I strongly feel that I am at a crossroad. I greatly enjoy the practice of medicine, being your doctor, and the relationships developed with you and others in the medical field. I like to believe that I have helped you or at least been of some type of service to you. I also like to believe that our office staff makes visits as nice as they can and have assisted you in any way possible in working through the medical system. Essentially, this is a service that I and my office provide to you. I keenly realize that you are paying ever-increasing health insurance premiums along with co-pays, deductibles, and other fees for your healthcare costs which include my office visits. Unfortunately, I believe that the future of my current medical practice is very uncertain and quite possibly may not survive in the near future.
Because of this unfortunate reality, there has to be a change. Potential options could include #1- seeing still more patients each day which would greatly limit time per visit, #2 -potentially selling the practice to either a local or regional hospital or large medical group which would remove autonomy and likely affect the level of personalized service that I and my office are able to provide, or #3 - establishing a membership partnership that includes amenities and enhancements that patients would join for a yearly fee that would augment my current continuing medical practice. After intense reflection and candid discussions with a number of patients, I have decided to transition to the membership partnership option.
I hope you will be able to recognize that this transition is not just “about me and my practice” but also very much concerns you and your health. I hope you feel that you have been receiving excellent physician care and that the office staff has been kind, warm and helpful to you. Unfortunately, in this day and age these seemingly basic offerings can be difficult to find. In fact, the July, 2012 Consumer Reports Magazine ranked Massachusetts general adult medical practices. Our practice scored higher than all other practices in Hampshire County receiving the highest rating possible in all three categories. Only three other practices got the same ratings in all of Western Mass and only a small number across the whole state did as well. We would very much like to continue to offer these services to you.
264 Elm Street,
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
264 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01060 • Call 1-413-727-8694 OR 1-413-586-1100