LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It comes with a price, but there are a lot of perks. A growing number of doctors nationwide, and in Lexington, are decreasing the number of patients they see while providing increased care.
Dr. Barry Schumer says he is not as pressed for time like he used to as he has decreased his patient total from 1,800 to 400.
"In my mind, I'd have a dozen or so patients that I needed to see in the next 2 to 3 hours, so I was always keeping an eye on my watch, make sure I wasn't running over," Schumer said.
Schumer was at the breaking point with his stress, as he also served as the medical director at Keeneland. This is why he joined a concierge medicine network MDVIP. The Florida company has more than 800 doctors nationwide serving 280,000 patients.
"Face to face time with the patient was probably 10 minutes or less, and now I've got 30 minutes set aside for each office visit." Schumer said.
82-year-old patient Jay Creech says he joined the network, as he likes staying active running half marathons and wants to stay healthy.
"With all these diseases, he gives me the best chance to meet my goals and make it to the 90's," Creech says.
"[I like] having a good understanding of how far he's running, how often, his training patterns, things of that sort," Schumer explains, "I probably would have skirted a little bit in the past, just due to the time constraints."
Schumer is not the only Lexington doctor looking to join the network. Dr. John Borders says he is looking to have a better work life as he enters the later years of his career.
"The average general internist sees 25 to 40 people a day, averaging about 8 minutes face time per patient, and that has just become not sustainable, to be honest with you," Borders says, "I'm in my sixties, I want to keep doing this for 5-10 years."
The service is not cheap for most. It costs $1,650 annually. Customers' children ages 16-25 are also able to receive care as a membership courtesy, and insurance is not required.
MDVIP customers who are out of town can receive services with other doctors who are part of the network.