February 20, 2008
We near the end of February, nearly two months into the transition of my practice. Many of my patients, peers, friends and family have asked how the transition is going.
So far, so good.
The goals I have set for my practice are being met.
Please allow me to list a few of these:
1. Same day appointments- If you are not feeling well and need an appointment, the last thing you need to hear from your doctor’s office is that they can schedule you in three days. That just does not work! We have always offered same or next day appointments, and now if you call our office before noon on a workday, you will be offered a same day appointment. My father was also a family physician in a solo practice. He would always tell me, “Make sure you get patients into your office when they are sick, because if you wait a few days they may not be sick anymore.” I have followed my father’s advice.
2. Longer appointment times- When my office participated with health insurance companies, the large overhead expense forced us to try to see more patients per day. This would often cut into the length of time available per patient. Average appointment time prior to my transition was 12-15 minutes. Now we are scheduling for at least 20-minute appointment times, and longer for Wellness exams and physicals. My goal is that each patient gets the time they need for a full and comprehensive evaluation.
3. Less waiting time- With longer appointment times, I have finally been able to run on schedule. No one is perfect, but I have been doing a much better job of seeing patients at their scheduled appointment times. Another side benefit is less crowded waiting rooms and less time in the waiting room. In fact I am considering canceling some of my magazine subscriptions as no one is finding time to read them.
4. Creating a medical home for my patients- When contracted with health insurance companies my office staff and I would usually spend 4-6 hours per day on bureaucratic paperwork, referrals, precertifications and other health insurance nonsense that should have no place in our healthcare system. Well, no longer!! We now have time to serve as your sounding board to medical advice and treatment rendered by other caregivers and specialists. My office staff also has the time to help with the facilitation and coordination of your healthcare. This includes scheduling diagnostic tests and also referring and scheduling appointments with specialists.
I would like to restate my practice mission statement, as the words below are the standard of care that my office pursues.
To provide outstanding family medical care to our patients with a focus on comprehensive wellness and prevention.
To inform you of healthcare options that your health insurance carrier may not want you to obtain or know about.
To be an advocate for your medical care without regards to the health insurance bureaucracy.
Where patients go to be treated as a person and not as a commodity.
Where patients go to have a Physician who listens carefully and respects what the patient has to say and encourages the patient to say what is on their mind.
To give patients the ability to see their own Doctor and to make appointments without unreasonable waits.
To provide this care with an open mind, and to make your healthcare a team effort between Dr. Horvitz, his office staff, and you, the individual.
I appreciate the trust and confidence that my patients have shown in me. I take my job and my profession very seriously and I strive to treat every patient as I would want to be treated myself, and as I would treat my own family. I will always do my best to make every office visit or phone conversation worthy of your time.
If you have any suggestions or comments on how I can make my practice work better for you, please call or email. I will be happy to hear from you!
Steven Horvitz, D.O.
Founder Institute for Medical Wellness