A Letter to My Patients
Many of you are concerned about receiving adequate time and attention for your important medical needs in this rapid-pace depersonalized medical marketplace. I hear your frustrations and concerns all the time and your difficulties in finding physician-specialists like me whom you can see. More and more doctors drop out of insurance plans and Medicare, sell their practices to large hospital systems or just close their doors, telling people they have “retired.”
Doctors now seem to spend most of their time staring at their computer screens, typing endlessly. Eye-to-eye contact is at a minimum. And with their hurried schedules, there is almost no time left over to examine the patient! It need not be like this.
Personalized, comprehensive care reflects the way I believe medicine should be practiced. It should be in a prompt, unhurried fashion, with direct access to your physician, extended time at each visit, and a strong focus on health and wellness. I have cared for you and your families for almost 30 years, some for 3 generations, and there is nothing more important to me than continuing to serve as your health care provider and advocate.
We are all excited about our patient focused, very personalized concierge practice program. It is, simply put, the traditional 20th century doctor reintroduced for the 21st century. This model of practice, one that I have offered as optional for the past 7 years, provides both physician and patient with more quality time together, not only to delve into complex issues but to focus on disease prevention and proactive wellness. There is no substitute for a doctor who knows you well. Having an independent physician who is beholden to only your good health, not corporate shareholders, is critical. As an independent physician, I can focus on what’s best for you and you alone.
To further enhance our program and in a way that offers you many more services, we have recently collaborated, though I remain in my own solo practice, with Castle Connolly Private Health Partners, LLC to form Graf CCPHP, LLC. I encourage you to look at the following website www.grafccphp.com for a description of the many benefits that this new association offers to members of our concierge program.
Members of our program pay a very reasonable annual membership fee. The fee is, in fact, far less than most other physicians charge for similar programs. Benefits are numerous: you will receive same day or next day appointments for any pressing medical issues - - and you will be seen promptly, in an unhurried fashion; regular appointments are longer and more relaxed; this allows you to feel comfortable, sharing all your health concerns with me, not just what’s troubling you at that moment. We advocate for you in a myriad of ways with other health providers, with appointments, medical reports, problems, etc. There is a private office phone number for members of this program, 24-hour ability for you to reach me either on my cell phone, confidential email 24 hours a day, even on weekends when I am usually not on call, and as a new addition - - telemedicine. Additionally, the SENS Solution® Wellness Program is a part of CCPHP’s comprehensive and integrative approach to enhancing your wellbeing, focusing on four lifestyle pillars: Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition and Stress management. The Program includes: a personalized health assessment, health coaching, health and wellness tips, member events, and discounts and special offers for wellness, healthy living and related services.
An expanded annual comprehensive wellness exam is the cornerstone of your personalized wellness plan, created to help you feel your best. This visit allows me to perform a truly thorough yearly comprehensive history, physical and wellness evaluation. Together we will focus on prevention with an emphasis on fitness, nutrition and emotional well-being. We will formulate a personalized plan, created to keep you feeling your best. I am also able to perform additional screenings, ones that I, the physician you know and trust, feel you need, not what someone else deems necessary. Neither an insurance company nor the government should dictate what the limits of your care should be.
As a physician in private practice who strives to provide patient care while remaining independent, I am now transitioning my practice fully to this direct care Concierge model. I am not, however, dropping out of insurance plans or Medicare. If you have been seeing me as your primary care physician, you need to join this program. If you choose to not participate in our program but have a cardiology problem, then I can continue to see you but only as your cardiologist. This means that you would have a different primary care physician. If you have been seeing me only as your cardiologist, you are not required to join the program, but surely you could. I will continue seeing you as your cardiologist and you will continue to see your own primary care physician.
All visits are covered by your insurance and are still subject to your co-payment and deductible. The cost of the program might even be covered by your HSA/FSA. If my participation in your insurance plan should ever change, something I do not foresee it this time, I would give you plenty of notice. Please remember that even though you join and become a member, you must keep your own medical insurance coverage.
What I am describing is the way medicine is supposed to be practiced. It is the way I was taught and the way I intend to continue practicing. This program enables me to be with you whenever and wherever you need me as your medical advocate. I am humbled by the trust you have placed in me. So, let us continue to work together, as partners, in optimizing your health while maintaining the independence that is so important to both of us. To join or ask questions, please call an Advisor representative with whom I work at Castle Connolly Private Health Partners, LLC (CCPHP). The phone number is (917) 460-7646. Alternatively, you may call our office at 212 410-6001.
Jeffrey H. Graf, MD, FACC