Below Dr. Kipper answers some important questions about his services, what “concierge” exactly means, how it differs from standard office based practice, and his experience working with a care management team. We thank Dr. Kipper for his time in answering our questions about his practice, and we encourage anyone looking for a San Diego based concierge physician to give his office a call.
As a concierge physician, how does what you offer differ from standard office based practice?
All concierge physicians begin with the offer of a smaller medical practice, which allows for more time with the patient and greater overall access to the physician and his/her staff.
My practice offers the same, but with a twist. I have three levels of “access,” all with different annual fees to reflect the needs of the individual patient; since some patients need their doctor all of the time, while some need them less. Other concierge practices in town have a “one size fits all” annual fee. Consequently, I am more affordable than other concierge practices, for patients that like the idea of a smaller and more personalized medical practice.
Standard medical practices see over 20-24 patients a day (frequently more than that), while my practice is limited to 12 patients a day maximum. This allows for the time necessary to truly care for all of the needs of the patient.
There is minimal waiting, if any at all, in my office. Patients get the time they need to satisfy their concerns, and mine on their behalf. In addition, my staff and I have the time to ensure that the plan of action is taken care of without delay; whether it’s prescriptions, or referrals, or setting up the test or scan we need to order. Also, I have time to discuss patient issues immediately and directly with the specialists involved in their care, which eliminates any confusion that is common to standard practices where the patient is often in the middle of two caregivers not on the same page.
Can you explain what concierge means to your patients?
“Concierge” translates into TIME for our patients. That is, the time necessary for me, their personal physician, to LISTEN, evaluate, follow through, explain and accomplish preventative care, and to quickly diagnose and treat the issue(s) at hand. If I need to see a patient the next day or the next week to follow up, it’s never a scheduling problem for our office.
Do you work with health insurances?
Yes, we see all Medicare patients and accept all health insurances that are not HMO.
Will you work together with specialists?
I have a cadre of specialists with whom I have established an excellent working relationship, as noted above. I frequently call them directly to discuss patient care, treatment plans and to expedite my patient’s ability to see the specialists. This wastes little time getting the necessary information, evaluation, and recommended treatment underway. Many of the specialists I use have known me for over 25 years.
What benefit have you seen in working with a care management team?
I am a big believer in the care management team approach. Clearly not all patients need this much coordination of care, but for those who do it is perhaps the piece of the puzzle that serves the patient best. There are few to none dropped balls and, in the care of a complicated patient or one with any disparate needs, it can (and often does) mean the difference between improving verses worsening health. It has also been shown, through many long-term studies, to be remarkably cost effective for the patient and the health care system itself. For my practice, personally, it adds yet another layer of care that serves my patients by making their life and health better. THAT IS THE REASON I PRACTICE MEDICINE!
Are you accepting new patients and what is the best way to contact your office?
I currently do have room in my practice for new patients. A visit to my website, www.stuartkipper.com, or a call to the office at 760-632-1018, will answer further questions and allow for a personal conversation with my staff about our practice and any details that need further clarification.