MDVIP charges $1,500/year retainer, which comes to $125/month, a reasonable fee. However, the program operates within Medicare and traditional insurance payment. We sent out an email to find out more about what the retainer actually covers besides “all-access.” Mostly we’re curious if there are any benefits to the program that don’t entail insurance.
MDVIP claims that members get an annual wellness exam and 24/7-access to their doctor. However, it wasn’t clear if this includes the cost of the visit, or if that is billed separately. MDVIP also claims patients spend less time in the waiting room, and more time with the doctor. These are beneficial attributes. However, it seems like patients are still caught up in the same insurance headache, meeting rising deductibles, paying rising premiums, and then forced to pay more to get “quality” care. Meanwhile, older patients are still dealing with Medicare limitations, and legal rulings that can lead to doctors being so poorly compensated from the government as to turn Medicare patients away.
On a positive note, we’re happy to hear Dr. Martin say he’s been able to establish relationships and save lives, because he’s had the time to do so. That’s why we’re here in the first place. Dr. Martin believes most doctors don’t have time for prevention. And we agree with him on that point.
However, charging an additional retainer to provide “exceptional” care seems to define a two-tier healthcare system—people with an extra $1,500 and people without. That’s not something we can get on board with.
We’re looking into what MDVIP actually includes and will update this stub with more details soon.