When the Doctor is Always In
May 24, 2013 11:04AM
● By Megy Karydes
Dr. Lynne Chervony Belsky doesn’t believe that 15 minutes is enough time to see her patients as a physician. “Sometimes, it’s in those extra moments when you have an ‘Aha!’ moment,” she says.
Belsky is a part of a small but growing trend in concierge personal medicine. “Being a concierge physician means I can provide more personalized care to my patients,” says Belsky. Patients pay an annual fee that ranges from $500 to $1,800, based upon age, and in return have direct access to Belsky 24/7, either by cell phone or an in-office visit.
According to the American Academy of Private Physicians, there were about 4,400 private physicians in 2012, an increase of 25 percent over 2011. As the traditional healthcare system continues to be stressed, experts say concierge medicine will appeal to those that seek more hands-on care and immediate access to a doctor that knows their history.
Belsky sets aside an hour-and-a-half for patients during their initial visit at her Northbrook-based clinic, Living Well Medical, LLC. “My patients are fully clothed during that first 30 to 45 minutes,” she says. “We go through their history, discuss what’s going on in their lives and I learn why they are seeking care.” The appointment continues with a full physical exam, where vitals are checked and lab work is done, so Belsky gains a good overview of the patient’s overall physical health.
Because she isn’t rushing to see patients every 10 to 15 minutes, and each patient receives an annual exam as part of their fee, Belsky can afford to spend more time with them and work on preventative care, rather than just focusing on illness.
“My goal is to help my patients optimize their health for now and the future,” she says, adding that her service includes hospital visits when the patient is admitted to NorthShore University HealthSystem hospitals in Highland Park, Evanston or Glenbrook. “In many cases, when you need to enter the hospital, you’re seen by a hospitalist,” she notes. “When one of my patients is admitted, I will go in and see them. My patients in their 60s and 70s, many of whom I’ve been seeing for more than a decade, feel more comfortable when I’m at the helm of their care. I know who they are and I know their history, while a hospitalist doesn’t have that benefit of information.”
Belsky attributes her interest in one-on-one care in part to her desire for others to live an optimal life. “Having dealt with my own illnesses and injuries, especially when I was training as a professional ballet dancer, I know firsthand the importance of having a positive force in my life,” she says. As a mother of two grown children, Belsky feels she offers her patients a full range professional experience, as well as life experiences when needed.
For those patients that appreciate a long-term relationship with their physician, a concierge physician like Belsky might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
To learn more about Dr. Lynne Belsky and Living Well Medical, at 1535 Lake Cook Rd., in Northbrook, call 847-418-2030 or visit LivingWellMD.com.