Doctors Concerned With Health Care System Gather in Scottsdale for National Conference.
Doctors united by a shared frustration with today's health care delivery system, met in Scottsdale, AZ for the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP) annual meeting. AAPP is the national association of physicians who provide "concierge service, direct care" fee-for-service, and other forms of health care delivery characterized by a direct, financial relationship between private physicians and their patients. The movement is growing across the nation and has forever changed American health care.
"Choosing personalized, direct care came after a collection of defining moments," shares Marcy Zwelling-Aamot, MD, AAPP Board of Directors, President. "I grew tired of the interference in regards to therapies I was recommending for my patients and of hearing patients describe scenarios where they were paying more for needed medicines because these were placed in a 'specialty tier category'. These are everyday scenarios that put patients at risk."
Nationally, there are more than 3,500 practicing concierge doctors who treat more than a million patients every year. In Arizona there are more than 20 practices and approximately 10,000 patients. Patients who seek to restore the doctor-patient relationship of times past: private doctors unencumbered by insurance company policies, provider-network constraints, and the misaligned incentives that have infected the health care system.
A characterization of the misaligned incentives adamantly opposed by concierge medicine is a strategy called "specialty tier", as it is a barrier to optimal patient care. Many health insurers have adopted a new pricing system for the most expensive treatments and medications called "specialty tier." In Arizona, these cost structures ask that chronically ill patients pay hundreds and thousands of dollars, rather than paying a flat rate for medication, meaning that the new "specialty tiers" pay coinsurance of up to 33% of the total cost of the drugs.
Another tactic opposed by the AAPP is "therapeutic switching" which is the common practice among pharmacists to switch patients' prescriptions to generic or less expensive brand-name drugs, often without informing the patient. Mostly motivated by finances, cutting costs should never be at the expense of a patient's health. AAPP recommends that all patients ask one question when picking up their prescription: Is this the exact drug that my doctor prescribed
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