I’m writing to announce an important change that is taking place at my practice. Please read this carefully as this change requires a response from you.
We are all feeling the effects of the changes to the health care system both financially and in the experiences you have when you seek medical attention outside of this office. Many of you have reached two conclusions...
It’s expensive to be sick – and even more expensive when you are left dependent on medications to carry you through the day.
It’s very hard to manage your health proactively when the system requires you to be sick before it will help you.
As you may already know, I’ve invested thirty years developing an expertise in what I believe is a better approach to managing health in partnership with my patients by addressing the causes rather than the effects of your health issues. Best of all, practicing medicine in this way has allowed me to develop lasting and multigenerational relationships with many of you.
Last fall, I concluded that my practice is not sustainable in our ever-accelerating health care system. Rather than closing our doors as many independent doctors have or choosing to sell out to a major conglomerate that does not place your health as their top priority or have respect for our patient/doctor relationship, I have decided to create a better alternative for us all. I have undertaken to turn our practice into what will likely become a practice model of the future.
What will change?
We are making a wide range of improvements to the practice and the service experience. To realize this vision requires that we make two other more fundamental changes.
I’m happy to say we will be going out of network with all commercial insurance companies. Instead, starting on August 1st , we will switch to a monthly membership model similar to a health club. Your membership will cover the costs of the care we provide in the office, and for most patients, this change could actually save you money. I will continue to participate with Medicare.
Today we manage the care of over 2,800 people. Like many doctors in our over-crowded system, I have had to accept that this is neither sustainable nor fair to my patients. To ensure sufficient time for us to work together as a team to reach your health objectives, I have made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our patient panel by roughly 70%.
The only aspect of this decision that caused me any hesitation is the fact that I must focus my attention and the resources of the practice on a smaller number of patients. To be fair, I am notifying all 2,800 of you at once, and we will fill our available spaces on first-come, first-served basis. When we reach our limit, we will add others to a waiting list as we do today. For those patients who choose not to sign up, it is important for you to know that in 90 days I will regrettably no longer be your physician. The termination of our professional relationship means I will legally be unable to see you, to refill your prescriptions or to give you medical advice.
I truly believe that I have delivered what no other physician does on a regular basis with an open door, an open heart and an open mind to provide you the best possible care, day or night, 365-days per year. Caring for my patients has been and will continue to be the axis about which my life revolves, but I need to do so in a way that is responsible to my family, myself and to you, my patient. I’m excited about this new direction for the practice and look forward to you joining me on this new journey.
Yours in health,
Franklin Lowe, M.D.