My experience with MD-VIP and Dr. Michael Mall

Update: I get a lot of people looking through this post,  evidently  not reading it, and then leaving really stupid comments.  So without spoiling the whole story below, please keep in mind is that my problem with Dr. Michael Mall is the inconsistent information given to me by him and his staff, not the idea of concierge medicine.  I actually did end up going with a concierge plan, just not with Dr. Mall.  I found his offices to be lacking, his staff to be rude, and was not happy with the level of service I received.  I pay just as much with another plan doctor and receive far superior care.

Original Post: As I explained in a recent blog post about Concierge medicine in Las Vegas, I was looking into a concierge plan here in Las Vegas, and I came across MDVIP.   I was at first very impressed with the company.

 The representative I spoke to was very well informed, and not at all pushy.   Not only did he do a good job explaining the benefits of the plan, he offered to set me up on face-to-face meetings with doctors in the plan, so I could find one I was comfortable with.

The plan itself was relatively low priced compared to other concierge plans I looked at.   And the price tag of $1,500 would include my teenage son.   I thought this seemed fair.

I searched Google to see if I could find any complaints about MDVIP, but most of what I found were either doctors debating the value of concierge medicine as a whole, and some patients complaining that their doctor had switch to an MDVIP plan, and now he wanted $1,500 to see them.  

So I went forward with the face-to-face with one of their doctors, which went very well.   You can see details of that meeting on my previous post.   During that initial session, I told the doctor that my hearing had been very poor for the past couple months.   With a quick look he discovered that I had some impacted soft wax.  

He recommended I fill my ear with mineral oil with a dropper for the next week, and come back for an appointment to get my ear cleansed.   When I was leaving, I scheduled the appointment with the nurse.   I mentioned that I may not have the time to sign up for the MDVIP plan before I come back, and wanted to know if I could just get this done with my regular insurance.   She said that wasn’t a problem, and asked what my insurance was.   After confirming that my carrier does approve ear cleanings, my appointment was scheduled, and I was on my way.

So I began putting mineral oil in my ear at night.   Each day my hearing got worse and worse, presumably from the amount of junk now in my ear.   By the time my appointment came two weeks later, the hearing in my right ear was gone.   It was if I was wearing noise cancelation headphones on one ear.  

I went to the doctors office around the time of my appointment and checked in.   I waited in a very busy waiting room for 10 minutes before the nurse at the desk asked me to come up.   She asked if I had signed up for MDVIP yet.   I told her that I had not had the chance to talk to them, or review the contract yet, but it was on my list of things to do after the holidays.   She confirmed that I intended to sign up for the plan, and I agreed that it was my intention to do so.  

A few minutes later she came back with some bad news.   Because I had not paid my $1,500 yet, I would not be able to get the treatment that I came in for.   I told her that I understood that they wanted me to sign up for MD-VIP, and I had every intention of doing so, but for today, I really need to have this stuff taken out of my ear as scheduled.   The nurse told me that was impossible, but she did have an MD-VIP rep on the line holding for me to go ahed and pay by phone now.

This threw me for a loop.   They had decided that it was more important to call MDVIP to get my $1,500, than to treat me.   And I was expected to pay $1,500 over the phone, without looking over the agreement, before I could be treated.   Keep in mind that I do have about as good of insurance as money can buy, it’s not like I’m looking for free health care.   But I was being treated like I was trying to trick the doctor and MDVP into treating my one and only ailment, without paying their fee.

At this point I felt like I was being hard sold to the point of MDVIP being a scam.   I told the nurse that I had no intention of paying money over the phone, with no contract, just so that I can see a doctor.   I reminded her of what I was told when I made the appointment.   This meant nothing to her.

It appeared that there was nothing more I could do.   I was being told to either pay $1,500, on top of my insurance or co-pay, or not get the treatment.   At this point I was getting pretty pissed.   My ear was stuffed to the point of pain, and now I was being shaken down by a service that is supposed to make my life easier.   So I decided to push back.

I told the nurse that this was truly unacceptable, and at this point it’s doubtful that I will be signing up for either MDVIP, or re-visiting Dr. Mall every again.   If they would not treat me, then I would just have to seek out a another doctor, even if that meant going to an emergency room.

I was making a bit of a scene in the office, so I was starting to finally not be ignored.   She said that it was possible that another doctor there, Dr. Kaplan, could see me, but he was running nearly two hours behind schedule, so it would be a while.   A two hour additional wait seemed awful, but better than having to go an emergency room, so I asked her to confirm that he could actually see me, and I would wait.

While I was waiting, I decided to call MDVIP to see if they felt this was a good way to handle prospects.   I had been told that Dr. Mall would love nothing more than to help me, but it would violate his contract with MDVIP.   So, I figured I would see if they would let Dr. Mall make an exception.   I asked the nurse for the number.   Now keep in mind that she had just told me that she had them on the line.   But now that she knww I’m calling to complain, she can’t find the number.

No problem, I have an iPhone!   I look up the number on the Web and make the call.   I sit on hold for a short time and finally get through to a rep with a bit of an accent.   I explain my situation, and ask for his help.   Surprisingly he understood my issue without me explaining it twice.   Not surprisingly, he was not willing to do anything but take my credit card over the phone.  

I decided to play the only card I had, other than saying I would not sign up if I could not get my treatment.   I let him know that I had already written a post about my experience with MDVIP so far, and that it was now ranking very well for the term “las vegas concierge medicine’.   I let him know that I was clearly not happy with the plan now, and I could either go back and write that I did not get my treatment, or write how MDVIP made an exception for my well being.   This tactic seemed to fall flat.   It’s been my experience that people that wear headsets at the company   don’t really care about the company itself.  

I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put on hold.   The rep came back and told me that his supervisor had agreed with him. Shocking.   I reminded him that I didn’t ask him to relay my story to a supervisor, but that I actually wanted to speak to a supervisor.   He repeated his position, so I let him know that I was asking for the last time to speak to a supervisor, and then I would be hanging up if I didn’t.   He then transfered me.

The supervisor was nice enough, but didn’t seem to offer up any solutions.   I let her know about the previous post, and to my surprise, she already seemed to know who I was, and said that she had read my post.   So I asked her why she wouldn’t make an exception for someone who was clearly planing on joining the network.   She said that she had no problem with me seeing Dr. Mall, but that it was his decision.   This pissed me off a bit, because now I’m hearing the two blame each other.   I will say that my gut told me to believe MDVIP more than the doctors’ staff.   There was one nurse in the back of the doctors office that seemed like a bit of a dragon lady about the whole thing, and she seemed to be the one stopping me from being treated.

The conversation with MDVIP didn’t progress into anything constructive.   I hung up when I was being summoned back into the doctors office.   It seems that making a scene did the trick.   They were now anxious to get rid of me.   I was brought into a room where Dr. Kaplan joined me.   I had never met Dr. Kaplan before, and he seemed quite nice compared to the other people I dealt with that day.   I would almost consider having him as a doctor, if not for the 2 hour behind schedule thing.  

In the end, I got my ear treated.   Which by the way felt like someone sandblasting my ear drum, but that’s unavoidable.

One last thing that did amaze me is that when I got into the room with the doctor, one of the nurses I was dealing with came in to let me know that my insurance approved everything, but there was a $20 co-pay.   I said okay, and she just stood there.   “Soooo, can we take care of that now?” she asked.   Keep in mind that I’m sitting in a room with a doctor.   Most doctors just have you take care of the co-pay on your way out, or maybe when you check in, but she really wanted my $20 right there and then, like I was going to run off on them or something.   I handed over my credit card and mentioned that they are all about the money.   She didn’t like that.  

Looking back at everything, I have to consider who is at fault for my having to spend 2 hours in the doctors office for something that should have taken 15 minutes.   I certainly share some part of the responsibility for this, I should have double checked on the MDVIP thing before going back.   MDVIP surely could have handled things better.   It would have been nice for them to go out of their way to make sure I got treated.   I feel now that once they get their money, they are out of the picture, no matter what issues I run into with the doctor.

I would have to say that the lion’s share of blame for the situation falls on to the office of   Dr. Michael Mall.   I really do understand the idea of concierge, or boutique medicine.   It’s to have fewer patients, but have them pay well.   From what I understand about MDVIP’s plan, they get $500 of my fee, and the doctor gets $1,000.   Since Dr. Mall can treat up to 600 patients on the MDVIP plan, that gives him an income of $600,000 yearly.   Of course he needs to over the office fees and staff, but that would mostly be covered by the insurance billings and co-pays on your visit.   After all, that’s how most doctors make their entire living.   So assuming that Dr. Mall’s office would break even with typical patient charges, he should be able to pocket the $600k.   And to top it off, the work load should be significantly less.   And on top of that, MDVIP is a marketing machine for Dr. Mall himself, referring patients like me who likely would never had heard of him before.   These plans make sense for the right doctor.   A great resource to check out the doctors stand point on this is My Concierge Doc.

But I don’t feel Dr. Mall’s office is accustomed to dealing with the affluent.   Judging from the waiting room, it’s not their standard patient.   How Dr. Mall has a separate waiting room, it’s maned by the same staff.   This staff seems more accustomed to dealing with people who, I guess,   are likely to run off on their $20 co-pay.   In the end it doesn’t look like the place for people like me.   And judging from that staff at Dr. Michael Mall’s office, I’m not welcomed.  

I spoke briefly with a person who handles PR for MDVIP.   She of course defends MDVIP and thinks the problem was just a miscommunication.   I can agree with that.   The fact is, I was not yet a MDVIP member, so why should they have gone out of their way to help me?   It was Dr. Mall’s office who told me to come back in.  

So I decided to re-visit my search for a doctor.   This time I’m going to remain plan-agnostic and see which doctor I like best, and then move forward.   Keeping in mind that the doctor is the most important issue, but the staff may be the people I deal with most.   I’m going to expand my focus to several concierge plans and see if I can visit a few doctors.   This is a bit of a pain in the ass and time consuming, but so are most important things in life.   I’ll likely be looking more into other plans, so I’ll make sure to follow up and link to new posts as I move forward.

MDVIP appears to be a legitimate company, although they are based in Florida, and many readers know how I feel about companies based in Florida.   If not   you can read that in my post about trashy Florida people. I asked a couple of questions that I’m waiting to get answered.   The main question I asked was, if I pay for the MDVIP service, and I run into a bad doctor, can I transfer my fee to a new doctor?   I’m not 100% convinced I would have had a successful visit with Dr. Michael Mall’s staff even if I was a MDVIP member.   So I’m curious if I would have had the option of leaving.   I’ll update this post when/if I get that answer.

But I’m curious if anyone else has had any negative experiences.   What do you think of MDVIP?   They are in 26 different states, and supposedly have over 100,000 members, so there must be some interesting opinions out there one way or another.  


  1. These plans all seem suspicious to me anyhow. Why should I have to pay to be able to see my doctor at the scheduled time. If my doctor made me wait 2 hours, I would walk out and find a new one.

    I would suggest not going with anything like MDVIP and just find a good doctor.

  2. Your negative blog comments refers to “Concierge Medicine in Las Vegas” which is an actual medical practice and website for Doctor Ed Soumi who is a great internist and very attentive physician. I don not want your readers to confuse his practice with that of Dr. Mall or MDVIP. Dr. Soumi is not connected with Dr. Mall or MDVIP in any way.

    Thank you

    • I looked at the website of Dr.Soumi's, as far as the fee goes, he has a monthly fee of about $249 (perhaps the annual fee of $2490?, wow?, this is not covered by the insurance, out of pocket membership fee?).

      • Why does everybody think that doctors are supposed to virtually give away their services,as if they owe a debt to society? Lawyers can charge what they want,along with accountants,and other business people. If you dont like the concept of concierge medicine,then you are free to go to somewhere else.

  3. Joann – Thanks for the comment. For the sake of anyone confused, it appears that Dr. Soumi has chosen to name his practice “Concierge Medicine in Las Vegas”. When I comment on concierge medicine in Las Vegas, I’m not referring to Dr. Soumi’s practice. I have never met Dr. Soumi, or heard of him until today.

  4. My docter,Jeffery Schyberg,Internal Medicine, is going MDVIP in March 2009.My decision,so far, is to switch doctors. What is your advice?

    • I guess it would depend on how much you like your doctor. If you like him enough to pay $1,500 to keep him, then sure. Personally I was not impressed with MDVIP's service. I would look for another doctor and see how that goes before plunking down that much cash. And I would honestly look for alternatives to MDVIP.

    • Dear Harvey, Over the years of care I have given you I hope I have done my best job. I can no longer provide that level of care to 2500 pts. I wish you would stay with me because I know you would enjoy this new model. If not I will always wish you the best with your health

      Jeff Schyberg

  5. I fell for the MDVIP concept and the first year it was very good. I had been seeing this very good doctor and diagnostician for several years before he went on MDVIP, so I signed up even though I could ill afford to. Appts. on time, goodies in the little waiting room refrigerator, access to a doctor by cell phone after hours and on weekends, med samples, etc, etc. The second year, there were fewer goodies in the refrigerator, 15 minute waits, not always a same day appointment, longer wait for calls to be returned during business hours, less staff and a shorter physical. The third year I saw less concierge medicine, although I still had access to my doctor who had diagnosed several medical problems that other doctors had missed in prior years. I still came up with the 1500 to stay with Dr.X. Then came a letter from the doctor that stated that my normal copay of $15 for my BCBS insurance had turned into $50 since BCBS does not approve of concierge medicine, even though the insurance was being billed to the practice naming another non-concierge doctor. Ya think something better could have been done?

  6. Continued from above: Needless to say, I told my doctor of the fact that I could not afford to pay the insurance plus the large copay plus the MDVIP payments and he was very sympathetic and understanding yet he did not offer me a "scholarship" or reduced rate as they state on their MDVIP web page. Within 2 weeks after the first payment to MDVIP was not received, and BEFORE I told them I was having to drop out, I was cut off from my online medical records. I have been relegated to a non-MDVIP physician whom I have never even met. I have called for refills on my regular meds 5 days ago and I have still not heard from them nor has the pharmacist. All I could do was get an appointment 2 weeks from now so I will go without my meds for 2 weeks. I feel like I am being punished for dropping out of MDVIP. My 2 college children were also dropped from the program and have to find another doctor and one of them has an ongoing medical problem which has to be monitored. I guess if you have the money, they have the time. Welcome to Peonville.

    • MDVIP physicians are able to offer scholarships to their patients who are unable to afford the membership fee. They will enjoy the same benefits of a paying member as a gift from their physician. The cost to the physician will be $100-200. MDVIP recommends giving no more than 10% of patients a scholarship membership so if a practice has 600 patients then 60 would be the maximum number of recommended sholarships though a physician may give as many scholarships as he wishes. Also, most physicians aren’t making an incredible amount more financially in their new MDVIP practice but they are enjoying a greater quality of life. However, the MDVIP staff which has countless titles and executives and directors of this and that are making out like bandits.

      • MDVIP retains 1/3 of every members annual fees and very little of that is actually used to benefit open practices rather it is used to pay six figure salaries to staff that in addition to their salary have grossly excessive spending accounts to enjoy five star dining complete with $100 bottles of wine, they spare no expense. They do have a $175.00 per night hotel room limit. I don’t know about you but I could stay in some very upscale hotels for $175/night and add to that a generous per diem to cover meals and throw in limo service or taxi fare or a nice rental car and of course airfare and what’s not to like IF you are an MDVIP employee.

        • It is not the doctors that you should be upset with over this direction in healthcare as the model truly does have value and provides the patient a relationship with their physician that exceeds all others it is just a shame that the physicians allow MDVIP to take 1/3 of the patients fees and spend it frivolously allowing MDVIP staff to behave as if they deserve to live like millionaires compliments of the fees that so many of us patients struggle to pay each year to maintain our relationship with our doctor. It would be so nice if MDVIP reduced their cut to $250 per patient each year and allowed us, the patients, to pay $1250/year for our membership. I guess someone has to support all the fancy restaurants and hotels though so you go MDVIP execs, spend away.

  7. I love Dr. Mall. I have gone to him for 12 years. You are really misleading the public with your comments. As a paying member of the Vip program, I think I would be upset to find out I was turned away for the day for someone who has not signed up yet. As for Dr. malls 600K a year? You forgot about mal practice insurance. in nv it is high. So you really think the 45 dollars a visit he gets with the copay is going to pay for the building, staff, etc. get real. he allows 30 minutes for each client. more than that for a physical. his nurses are great, friendly and helpful.
    you get more help with honey.

    • Barb, I'm happy you like Dr. Mall. I liked him too, but still had a bad experience. And yes, I think the $600k per year would cover his staff and office expenses, especially with the fact that those are shared with another doctor, who is presumably paying an equal part.

      • As a doc, I can tell you that if I cut my practice down to 600 patients (as MDVIP docs do), there is no way the insurance and copays would cover my expenses. We have a 3000 pt panel and see 30 pts a day to cover our overhead ($200,000) and make $140,000 take home. Not defending the doctors office or MDVIP, just wanted to point out that the $600,000 in MDVIP fee is probably not just going straight to doc.

        • The fees do not all go to the doctor. One third goes to MDVIP, then the rest must be used to pay the office overhead which can easily be a few hundred thousand. What’s left goes to the doctor, and it is much less than you think. MDVIP is an option for doctors just trying to survive..

  8. So let's get this straight. You wanted the concierge doctor to treat you while you considered joining the practice and then are surprised that they wanted their money? Why don't you go to your local car dealership and tell them you want to try one of their new cars for the weekend while you review the sales contract? See how far gets you.

    • Roger, let's indeed get this straight. You can do so by first reading the whole post before making an ass of yourself. I was told by Dr. Mall's staff that I would not need to be a member for my second appointment. Furthermore, I did not ask for free service, they accepted my insurance and I was willing to do the co-pay.

      And you car analogy is as stupid as the rest of your argument. I have in fact taken extended test drives in vehicles. The fact that you don't know they do this is a little baffling.

  9. Well, I have an MDVIP doctor, and it turns out that doctor (I won't be gender specific) is actually busier nowadays than before the doctor joined MDVIP (and that came from the doctor owns words in a moment of unguarded candor). Why? Hospital visits! Prior to MDVIP this doctor did not make hospital visits to the patients. Now that MDVIP says hospital visits for doctor's patients is a part of the medical practice guidelines, MORE time is being take away from the doctor's office practice and is spent with travel time and hospital visits.

    For myself, given the economy situation with my own finances, I will let my MDVIP membership expire.

  10. I personally think that Dr. Mall should have seen you that day as a courtsey. It would have shown his compasion. I cant believe his office staff asked for your copay while you were in the room, I would have been embarrased. to asked. I wouldnt have asked. If you would have called at a later date and asked to be scheduled for an appointment. Then I would have gently pushed you toward MDVIP, but I wouldnt have gone as far as getting MDVIP on the phone. I would have talked to you myself. If it was an emergency then theres no doubt that you should have been seen.

    • Why would Dr. Mall or any doctor see a patient as a courtesy??
      Why ??? does a dcotr owe a patient free health care?
      Then I think I deserve a courtesy Free Ferrari!!!

        • If an MDVIP doctor happens upon a serious car accident or a person walking in front of him suddenly collapses, does he render assistance or turn away claiming that those injured or ill hadn’t paid the 1500 dollar MDVIP fee? I believe that MDVIP may be supperceding the Hippocratic oath.

  11. You were in pain, MDVIP or not. He is a doctor. Now I wouldnt say that MDVIP is a bad program. It is good. It is all about preventative medicine. You also have to have a doctor that you can connect with. He just wasnt the doctor for you, thats all. Not all MDVIP doctors have 600 patients. Yes you can take in account that the doctors do recieve money from the insurance companies; depending on the insurance, doctors get paid between 25.00 to 35.00 dollars a patient. Some patients do have copays, between 10.00 and 35.00. Please consider that a doctors office, even with a small staff has alot of bills.

  12. The MDVIP doc also has to pay for your MDVIP Physical testings through the various companies, Quest, Lab Corp, or CPL for your labs, if the doctor doesnt have an xray machine, they have to pay for the CXR. It cost money to do a ekg, spirometry, hearing test, and stress test. You also have the phone company, for a commerical phone bill your looking at alot of money, believe it or not. Its not like a house phone. Depending on what medical manager system the doctor operates on, that also cost alot of money. You have to take in consideration of rent and utilities, medical supplies, office supplies, the cost of updating the doctors credentials, possibly a billing service, an accountant, equipment rental (some machines have to be leased, depending on the cost) there is so much more you have to take in account. Not all doctors get 600k a year, believe or not. And I know for a fact that many of them, the oustanding ones, do it because they want to be able to spend that extra time with the patient, they want to treat that patient because they love medicine. It really is a good program and I am sorry that you didnt have a good expierence. Its not all about that money.

      • Serena, You are exactly right. Having all of that rent, medical equiment and supplies, testing on site, contracts with lab's, continued education for physicians and nurse's, upgraded computer system's, phone's, fax's, pagers, professional licensure as well as malpractice insurance is an incredible amount of money!!! Posting that any primary care phyisican is making 600K only seeing 600 patient's is unbelievably nieve and irresponsible!!!!!! MDVIP is not a perfect system, but it has it's great advantage's and to generalize it as a money hungry machine is doing a disservice to reader's of this blog. I am a MDVIP member in Illinios and only choose that because my physician of 15 years moved to the program. I couldn't be happier, and love that he now has flexibity to take more time with me if he needs it. When he know's it will be a complex visit, he will often allow over 1 hour just for me….where will you EVER find that????

  13. My Mother is in the MDVIP program from the beginning with Dr. Mall who has been our family physician for over 20 years. We love the service for all the time and testing that has been done for my mom. I live in Texas and she is starting to have some issues with her Memory. Dr. Mall always take the time to call me after the appointments and give me a recap of what is going on so that I am on the same page as my mom. I usually try to be there for the quarterly appointments but like the fact that he will call me and take my calls any time of dayif there is an issue. My mom has excellent insurance but this program has been great for us especially with the distance involved.

    You have to remember that with this program you get a lot of testing that most likely would not be run by a regular doctor and they have found some things that we were able to deal with earlier before they got bad.

    I am sorry that you had a bad expereince with MDVIP and hope that you have luck finding a doctor that works for you. For me the peace of mind is worth anything extra that it costs.

  14. I have been to Dr. Mall Twice and he has followed me through two surgeries, all without being signed up yet for MVIP He has been great and through…I am signing up as I have never found a Dr. who talkes the time and cares about you as he does

  15. THIS IS NO SPECIFIC TO DR. MALL BUT GENERIC TO THE MEDVIP program as noted from literature given to me by a neighbor who had it "mailed to the home address" rather than discussed with the physician the family has used for 20+ years.

    MEDVIP is entering into a contract with me based on the laws of another state – Florida. what do i know about Florida law? absolutely nothing, so that my exposure is maximum to things i have no knowledge of and if necessary have to hire an expert in Florida law – read LAWYER- to pursue any issues. STRIKE ONE

    MEDVIP states quite clearly that the $1500 fee must be paid or "contracted for" upfront, and that included in this contract is an annual physical exam. how wonderful! once this "physical" takes place in a given contract year no part of the $1500 fee can be refunded. prior to the "physical" prorated refunds can be granted. now guess how soon after you "sign the contract" will your wonderfull doctor give you this "physical?" correct ASAP so that you will not have any possibility of any refund. STRIKE TWO

    • MDVIP adheres to laws of the state in which the affiliated Dr. practices. The $1500 fee pays for all the testing which is above and beyond what a normal yearly check up would encompass. Why would you get a refund if this was already done? Also they recommend you schedule your yearly testing in your birth month for ease of recollection, not all at once. It is impossible for each doctor to do all these 90 minute appointments as you suggest. That leaves no time for all the other appointments for sick visits and followup appointments. You obviously have no idea how a medical practice runs. Get a clue!

  16. MEDVIP states that you might be switched to another doctor for under various circumstances. like suppose he drops the program, moves 200 miles away or mercifully drops dead? what equivalent doctor will you be granted access to? what about your medical records? what if you move away and all the "doctors with 600 patients" are filled up? remember lyou signed a contract with an intermediary representative based on Florida law and hopefully not incorporated in the Bahamas! not the doctor. STRIKE THREE

  17. Basic "game" is that the doctor has become a "salesman" for a group of reservation clerks located in Florida. who will note your "needs" – read your doctor doesn't have time for in depth learning and diagnotics – as your doctor passes your information to them, and then arrange for your grand tour of the medical profession locations which can do the diagnostics. of course you are responsible for all those costs, travel, expert analysis, etc. etc. this is all accomplished because your doctor bought into a "commision sales pitch" wherein he will most probably split the $1500 fee with MEDVIP. now you might compare this with the current practice of having your EKG or CATSCAN transmitted to India via phone so it can be interpreted by a "medical expert" located in Bombay or Calcutta. STRIKE FOUR

  18. note that the current political "gift" from our Washington genius think tank does not do anything but – create a 'DOCTOR FIX" annual payment to fill the Medicare abyss due to the low payments to doctors, maul the insurance industry, generate an ungodly debt load on the enconomy now and for the future as far as one can see, while never addressing the real issues of "third party" interference between the doctor and patient nor reducing the impact of tort abuse by LAWYERS. all these issues are to be magically overcome by the creation of the great health care bill that will be "historical" and go down n the history books as the legacy of the current president. it must be done now to collect the income, salvage his presitige and yield benefits in about four years or so to a few and take them away at a later date. STRIKE FIVE


  20. This is just an "affluent" rant by an elitist patient. I have been with my con cierge doctor in Houston for six months now and it is the best thing I have ever done. As I mentioned I live in Houston where we have the largest medical center in the country. I used to go to UT Medical center and got herded around like cattle until of course it was time to visit the pay counter. Dont not choose a concierge based on the one persons rant.

  21. Yes, I have had a bad experience also. I had a doctor for twenty years and suddenly, when he turned 70, he decided to become "VIP." Well, I am not dumb and told him he should have saved for retirement. My husband and I immediately transferred to other physicians with whom we are very satisfied.

    Think carefully before signing up for this type of doctor.

  22. I am a Minnesotan (used to wonderful health care network up north) living in Florida now and have courted a relationship with a good primary care Physician for 12 years. Last year he went MDVIP. Well, I freaked, as all these years of courting a personal skilled Doctor was out the window, unless I paid the 1500.00. Well, I charged it on my Visa….hmmmm…. Ok, well, I needed a trip to the ER for a cut finger. I was really a bit cocky about the injury as I was going to be able to present my little blue and white MDVIP card and I would have my brow pressed with cold cloths while I sipped a Margurita. Uh huh…they looked at my card and said "what's this ?" Oh , my MDVIP card…"Never heard of it…" Oh , wait…I whipped out my Disk and proudly presented my entire health record … this time the ER was ignoring my finger and consulting with a Mental Health Doctor. Discouraged to say the least , I finally had a band aid applied to my injury and sent on my way. Back in the real world I am heartsick and need to find a new Doctor. I am on a really fixed income and……….

    • Joanna, I am sorry about your injury, but I do feel you miunderstand how the program works. I am a nurse, I'm also a patient of a MDVIP physician in Illinois. The Disc you carry is supposed to be used in ER situation's that require knowing your past medical history like prior surgeries, allergies, current medicine's, chronic illness, etc. As an ER nurse myself I can't begin to tell you how vital all that info is when someone comes in alone and confused, or unconscience. If they have that card….it would help them out sooooo much!!!!
      If your injury occured during office hours it is possible you could have had it evaluated, and most likely treated by your MDVIP physician. The fact that the ER staff wasn't familiar with the program doesn't warrant you leaving excellant care, unless of course you have other issue's with this doctor.
      Best of luck to you!!!! Michelle

    • Joanna,
      Your MDVIP card only works with YOUR doctor. NOT the entire planet. Would be good to READ the service agreement you SIGNED and were GIVEN a copy of.

      • That is not true. Your MDVIP membership does provide you travel benefits which allow you to see MDVIP physicians nationwide should you have urgent needs during your travels. You would contact YOUR MDVIP physician and they would contact an MDVIP physician where you are traveling and get you in with them same day or next. For those that travel this does provide added value in membership. Another benefit is that should you have guest (friends/family) visiting you from out of town and they become ill or have minor injuries YOUR MDVIP physician will see them as a courtesy to you and will bill their insurance company for their services or allow them to pay a reasonable self-pay fee. MDVIP is not all bad and does have true benefit. They only give themselves a bad name by the MDVIP staffs frivolous spending of the 1/3 of the patient fees that MDVIP retains to support these highly paid executives with grossly excessive spending accounts.

    • You never said what time your injury to your finger was, but unless it was at 3 a.m., why didn't you go to your MDVIP doctor? That's where you should go under most any circumstances. If going out of town, you should look up who the MDVIP doctor in that area would be should you need to consult a physician while away from home. You can also call your doctor via his cell 24/7. Get his take on what you should do if it's outside of his normal working day … which I might add, for Dr. Mall is from 7 a.m. and up to 8 p.m. in the evening. I know because I've had to call him at that time and still found him in his office. You also said they gave you a band aid and released you from the ER. What was so vital that you had to go to an ER in the first place. Just curious.

  23. My doctor in Houston joined the MDVIP gimmick thing. What do I think of it? Let's see … $1500 per year per family member PLUS my insurance copay and the payment from the insurance company for WHAT?!?! to not be rushed? I think it has more to do with a way to shake off the medicare, medicaid and low income patients who can't afford the up front money year after year. I think they should all be ashamed of themselves. The MDVIP people AND the Dr's who want to take the easy way out and just scrape the cream from the crop.

    • Ask any emergency room nurse…those with government assistance and many who can not pay have the latest cell phones and designer clothes, etc…if Fraud was eliminated there would be no problem caring for those who really cannot afford health care.

      • I have been a nurse for 30 years. I daily see crowded waiting rooms of medicaid recipients with coach purses and designer shoes. In addition i get phone calls from very wealthy patients who are mad that they got a Bill for 16 dollars they clearly owe. Its sickening that everyone wants all their care for do you think we have the advanced care systems we have here they aren’t free. If i were the nurse in that office you disrupted i would have called security and had you removed.sounds to me like they were very patient with really think your ear wax was the greatest problem they were dealing with? There were probably 40 people waiting that were sicker than you and needed to be seen sooner.get a grip.and learn to keep your ears clean do you won’t have that problem again.

        • I guess it’s good I don’t go to your doctor. It sounds like you’re an ignorant, judgmental asshole. I’m sure your doctor would love the idea of calling security on a wealthy, paying patient with an appointment, especially one who was going on a high end concierge plan, and one that has an active blog. I hope you’re a better nurse than business woman.

          And don’t concern yourself with what brands of phones or purses others have. Just do the job. There are plenty of low income people with iPhone, many whom can’t afford a computer, so it’s how they check their email and apply for jobs with a phone number. You really sounds like an awful human being.

    • I agree 100%. To make an analogy, this is like a boss telling his or her employee that they only have to work two days a week, instead of five, and make the same–or more money! Now…who wouldn’t want that?

  24. MDVIP program allows the doctor plenty of time to address all your problems rather than being rushed in and out of the doctor's office as the doc tries to stay on schedule, seeing his 30 patients a day. You get what you pay for. There is no question that patients who are enrolled in MDVIP program will get more prompt and better care/service than those who are in traditional practice where the doc is just trying to get thru the day. Don't blame the doctor for choosing to practice good medicine and don't blame those patients who put value in their health and are willing to pay for it.

  25. Even though I am not a fan of the terrible American Health Care Service and the mostly crappy doctors in it, I still feel that you made an awful ass of yourself. You must be aware that MDVIP is a BUSINESS. Of course they are concerned about the money it is crucial they are paid up front. They didn't know you, they are not running a charity! To make an exception for you is to cheat others. Yours was not a medical emergency, as mine was once when I was admitted in screaming agony with a kidney stone and the hospital refused to treat me until they had verified I could pay the bill. Don't diss the whole service because you tried to get away with something and failed, you are just making an even bigger ass of yourself. Others have been highly satisfied to have a doctor on call. Just let's hope they have decent doctors, because with only one or two exceptions I haven't found one yet!

    • I see. I made an ass of myself because you were more mistreated than I. If you read the post, I simply did as I was told to do by the doctors office, and was then denied treatment when I returned because of their own internal misunderstanding of the program. So I had to go to another doctor. I’m not sure how that constitutes trying to “get away with something”. I paid for the visit in full.

      But I do think you’re an ass.

      • I agree with you Ed. The MDVIP model allows you to call your doctor at 3 a.m. to be told to go to the ER. The yearly physical adds a hearing exam which I don’t need and a ECG which is virtually worthless for anyone with the slightest heart condition. Once you’re admitted to a hospital, your personal physician washes his hands of your care leaving family members, if you have any, to coordinate discussions of your care with hospital specialists. Yes you can see your doctor in his office with minimal advance notice. That’s certainly a benefit. But my impression of MDVIP has been that they’re simply a cold hearted cash harvesting machine with little interest in establishing standards of care among their member physicians to insure that the patients care is properly coordinated. I’d say it’s 25 percent convenience and 75 percent scam.

      • Why are you trying to justify your actions. I understood perfectly….and you did the correct thing by not signing up because you knew that after you paid the bad service you received would only get worse. I cannot imagine someone coming into the exam room to get a $20 copay! How unprofessional and tacky that was. I am glad i read your post. I was just considering his office. Thanks for saving me the trouble.

    • We have the best health care in the world; people come from all the world to be treated in the U.S. The IOM report stating our low ranking was based on FREE health care. So it was a very misleading report used by the media during election season.

      • That’s just bullshit. The healthcare stats are legit. We are the only first world country with such bad numbers, and it happens we are the ones without a national healthcare plan. I don’t quite see the evil side of countries like Canada, UK and France when it comes to how we deal with healthcare.

  26. All I'm saying Mr Shull is "fair's fair". The AHCService (or System) is notorious for its abysmal patient care. My next door neighbor had to hire her own nurse to go into hospital with her when she had an operation just to make sure she got the ordinary care she should have been entitled to. My friend had to get up out of bed suffering from pneumonia in the middle of winter, wrapped in blankets and supported on either side, to go see the doctor for an antibiotic because he refused to prescribe over the telephone! Perhaps that's why the BEST doctors are leaving to join MDVIP, but it IS a business, NO FREE LUNCHES. If you want concierge service you have to pay for it. Otherwise vote to get the mess fixed.

    • Finally. Someone here who actually UNDERSTANDS the problems of American health care. MDVIP is the US doctors' way of fighting the system that has been eroded by politicians in Washington.and Calif. The US wold be ABLE TO AFFORD a better health care for Americans IF the federal govt and state govts like Calif WOULD LIMIT the provision of services ONLY TO LEGITIMATE US residents. But because these politicians would like to EXTEND CARE EVEN TO ILLEGALS, we now can NOT AFFORD to take care of OUR OWN.

      • Of course Bruce, the problem with our health care is the illegals. We need to take care of "our own". Right. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Bruce just might be one of those right wing assholes that spend their time worrying about "anchor baby's" and stupid shit like that. Illegals are not the problem with our health care industry.

    • There are a few things here; addressing the "entitled to ordinary care' – nurses have complained about inadequate staffing for years, but because of money constraints & the hospitals' budget, frequently they are spread thin. I don't believe you absolutely must hire a private duty nurse or aide, but sometimes it might be a good idea. As to the pneumonia; since some upper respiratory infections can be viral & antibiotic overuse in this country is a big problem, being seen & evaluated by a physician is the best way to determine what care is needed & appropriate. Unfortunately, Healthcare is Big Business in this country. I'm thinking I like MDVIP because $125 a month seems very reasonable to get the services they are providing. By focusing on prevention & health maintenance they are trying to possibly practice better medicine for their patients. Its alot of work.

  27. Confused! My doctor of 25 years just inform me that he is becoming part of the MDVIP network. I am frantic don't know what to do. $1500.00 plus insurance premiums and co-pays is going to make me insurance poor. I really like my Doctor but is it worth it. Plus I was told by the sales rep. that premiums go up every five years. What to do…..

  28. Wow. That's a great article. Have you ever heard back from Dr. Mall, or his staff? One would think they'd be more concerned with the bad press than MDVIP. It would be great if MDVIP offered a review system of doctors on their website. We're thinking about putting something like that on our company's Boston counseling site — Thanks for the article Ed!!

  29. the cost of the MDVIP program has not changed in the 10 years of its existence, except for a few practices in New York and California (both high medical cost areas)

  30. Bruce, you ignorant slut. Did you see the part where I said that I asked if I needed to join before I came back, and they said no? I followed their directions, that’s what I’m pissed about.

    • OK ……………. you’re not just giving the facts of your MDVIP experience now. Calling someone a “slut” – on your own blog. You take care and please stay in Las Vegas. Wow ……………………………………………………………………………………..

  31. MDVIP??? After reading your blog and everyones comments I can only state the following. MDVIP scheduled you a meeting with a doctor you were interested in great. Did you really research the company online? I did and they have no involvement with any medical treatment or decision the doctors makes its still his office, his staff and he as the right to refuse service to amyone. So the office said come back, the office denied your service. You really thought a supervisor or care agent can demand you get treatment? How you were treated sounds sad copay or no copay. MDVIP did what they were suppose to do. your knocking a company for doing exactly what they stated they would do. Why is MDVIP mentioned???

  32. My doctor of over 25 years has just joined this “Club”. I have the feeling of being extorted. My 2 maybe 3x visits annually certainly don’t warrant a “Club” charge of $1800. (It’s referred to as a membership charge).
    So, while I’ve been loyal…I will move on. I already pay an arm and a leg for private medical insurance, an additional 1800 wouldn’t be wise spending.

  33. To be honest I don’t have any legitimate reasons to be angry or happy with concierge medicine. Right now I am studying to get into medical school. I am not embittered by the system or have any true complaints. What I do not want is to become a doctor in a world that treats patients like cattle or meaningless puzzles that I only have up to five minutes to provide care for. This is why concierge medicine interests me. I want to be able to provide true health care with my future patients. I want to be emotionally invested in them. Doctors in the system don’t get paid for the half-hour cry they may have with a terminally ill patient. Instead their incentive is a small bonus given to them if their patients blood pressure lowers over a few appointments. The system is broken and nothing will truly be done until it collapses. Until a true health care revision is provided I would rather perform great health care on a fewer amount of patients rather than sloppy care on thousands that could lead to life endangering mistakes.

  34. Mon Ami. You went to a doctor’s office that is a perticipant in a medical specialized program. What did you expect? You aint part of the program. I am – you waste time and others time. Go to urent care and get over it. MM is a great doctor.

    • First, I was told to come back for the appointment, even if I was not yet part of the plan. Second, I am part of a concierge medicine plan, I just chose to not visit Dr. Michael Mall.

      And by the way, by adding content to this post, you only make it more visible. Just letting you know how good you’re doing at helping the doctor, genius.

  35. To write this lenghtly a blog – well quite frankly, are you bored, unemployed, single (I see why, if so) or has the local bingo hall closed. Fifteen minutes of fame?

    • Wow, very defensive over the doctor aren’t you? To answer your question, I do get bores sometimes, I’m doing ok in the employment thing, and I’m in a relationship.

  36. My experience was quite a bit different than Mr. Shull’s. My Dr who I had seen for many years decided to join MDVIP because it would give her the opportunity to practice medicine the way she believed it should be practiced. She is a true medical professional and when she visits with you in the treatment room it is as though you are her only patient in the world. The dollar is not her goal, but the practice and her patients are. MDVIP however decided after only 4 months that she had not brought enough patients into the practice and then decided to terminate her and transfer her patients to the only other MDVIP Dr. in Lexington who is according to certifications less qualified than she. I’m unsure how MDVIP will deal with those of us who do not intend to remain with MDVIP, thinking that we have no other choice. Of course we were promised that we would never be without an MDVIP Dr. because now there would be two in Lexington. Now having terminated my Dr., they did not waive her non-compete clause, making it impossible for her to resume her practice. She, having talked to an attorney, was advised that adjudication was impractical because she could not prevail over Procter and Gamble the deep pockets who own MDVIP. So now at an older age I will accept her reference to another Dr. and hope she will return to practice as soon as possible. A dream unrealized for patient and doctor.

  37. Our family doctor has decided he is going with the. Md VIP plan of $1600.00 per family member. When I called the phone number on letter about setting up a meet and greet session. If you choice not to go along with his arrangement you are no longer his patient.It sounds like extortion to me. Either you can pay installments of one flat fee.I explained that I see him maybe once or twice a year and I will pay the same price of someone who will see him every week. Really doesn’t sound fair to me. Their idea is preventative medicine so in 20 years. I will 68 . I spoke with my insurance company and said this could be his was of not renewing his contract with Aetna. I don’t know why if he was going to get out of his contract a letter should of been sent stating that. All the bells and whistles he is going to add is the same he does now during a regular visit and a co pay of 20 .00 do I really believe he is going to offer up his personal cell and house to reach him personally. Not. He is is close to retirement so just retire then. Maybe his rich patients can afford this service I can’t. I have seen his waiting room and some of them look like they may not be able to afford their visit that day. He also handles workman comp cases. I am just upset.when he did a random survey last month I didn’t know that this was his goal. I feel blind sighted by this. I don’t believe my insurance company will cover this type of service .Do the flexible spending plans cover this?

  38. I’m a patient of Dr. D. DeAtkine, in Birmingham, Alabama. Your experience sounds horrible and I’d have to say that the fault lies with the Doctor you saw. I can say, with complete confidence, that Dr. DeAtkine, nor his staff, would allow me to sit in their waiting room, after they had prescribed a week of treatment, without their completing the treatment.

    MDVIP is a ‘conduit’ and the MDVIP doctor is MDVIP’s “calling card”. The MDVIP doctor you saw sounds like a major loser. I wouldn’t “give up” Dr. DeAtkine if I had to pick up aluminum cans, along rural roadways, to pay the yearly fee. I’ve been very happy with MDVIP …… BUT …… I LOVE DR. DeATKINE !!!!!!! He’s such a caring, concerned, hard-working, physician and I (seriously) owe him my life.

    Keep looking for a good physician …….. Dr. Mall AND his staff sound like LOSERS.



  39. Ed,

    I am 63 years old and I realize that you are just a young man from looking at your picture. You don’t seem to know (yet) how important the time of a physician may be once you are passed 50 years of age.

    I have been an MDVIP patient in NC for 2 years. It is a great program….worth every dime.

    Doctors are being squeezed by the medicare system and the insurance companies. People spend more on cable TV, phone, internet access, online communication services than they do for their health services.

    Having a doctor who can take the time to see a patient is very important. I don’t want to wait 1 hour to see my doctor for 20 minutes…I want to wait 20 minutes to see my physician for 1 hour!

    Since I have worked in the insurance business all my life, you are wrong in thinking that a primary doctor makes a lot of money and can pocket loads of cash. Malpractice insurances are extremely expensive today. A physician must buy huge coverage protection for the following: Malpractice, disability, business, and employee insurances. Also, to keep itself aligned with the current government requirements of the HIPAA compliances can be costly.

    One of the selling attribute of MDVIP is their wellness program. This is a Procter and Gamble business…which seem to be knowing what they are doing. The wellness cover exams and checkup which insurance companies don’t want to pay.

    There is a reason preventive medicine isn’t covered under insurance plans…why would you want to pay for preventing health issues? Insurance companies don’t want to invest in you. MDVIP’s program and screen you before issues becomes reality.

    While people think that a doctor is just a doctor, there are people out there who value health. You probably value your car and give it a good wax every once in a while. Your money spent at the car wash is the same that you would spend on you.

    Health Insurance
    In your article, you mentioned that you have a great health insurance policy. How do you know that? How much is your policy’s reimbursement percentage to the physician? Do they pay 100% of the bill? Insurance pay anywhere between 5 to 30 percent above what medicare would pay. Physicians can’t make their business based on medicare because they lose money. So you figure it out yourself and see if your visit pays 50% above medicare reimbursement.
    Health insurance companies are making the money, not the health system.

    There is going to be soon a huge uproar for primary care physicians. There are less and less of them coming out of residency. They are all pursuing specialties…why?…primary care doesn’t pay.

    You will be forced to see a Physician Assistant (PA) for your prostate cancer screening and other important aspect of health issues. A doctor will revise the encounter and monitor the visit. This is like if McDonald would hire people who can’t count and provide them with a cashier’s job. At the end of the day, a manager would review the accounting of the day and see if the charges were done appropriately…you tell me now if you don’t think that spending $1,500.00 to omit this experience is worthwhile?

    • Once again, you need to read the post. I don’t have a problem with concierge medicine, I had a problem with this particular doctor and his staff. As for waiting to see a doctor, I don’t wait, I get right in, because I paid the money. I don’t have a problem with that.

  40. As a doctor, I tried to understand Mr. Shull’s point of view while reading his article, and could partially understand his frustration – until I saw the rudeness in his commentary. Society has been spoiled. Folks like Mr. Shull simply do not understand or do not care that doctors spend their entire youth learning how to care for strangers. And when doctors dare to actually charge a fee worthy of their education, people actually start whining and complaining! Is Mr. Shull at fault here? No. His doctor, Dr. Mall is. Dr. Mall should have charged MDVIP-type rates from Mr. Shull a long time ago. By giving “cheap” care for so many years (and yes, it is cheap – the insurance companies are charging you, not the doctors), individuals like Mr. Shull cry bloody murder when the doctors finally start charging rates worthy of their education. Kudos to Dr. Mall and any other doctor in this country who insists on rates higher than a plumber. And as for Mr. Shull – shame on you. Patients using your type of language and routinely fired from my practices.

    • I am a teacher who was educated for as many years as you were, spending my youth learning how to nourish the minds of strangers. The “rates worthy of their education” argument falls flat. One sees doctors living quite well and teachers struggling to survive. The fact that you routinely fire your patients says it all.

    • Dr. Sqamar, screw you. You clearly didn’t read the post, or you would have see that I don’t have a problem with concierge medicine. My problem was with Dr. Michael Mall and his staff being inconsistent about the rules. He is the one who told me I didn’t need to worry about signing up before I came back for the follow up. I didn’t assume this, I was told. So yes, I’m pissed when I then need the follow up and I can’t be treated. As for my language, you have no idea what language I may have used, so you’re just talking out your ass.

      I did in fact sign up for a concierge plan, just not with this lousy doctor in his shitty offices. I went and found a better, cleaner office with a considerate staff.

    • Most doctors are interested in three things: (1) making money by running a profitable business; (2) avoiding work; (3) avoiding lawsuits; and (4) rendering proper care to the that order. Most doctors are money-grubbing bastards, not concerned caring humanitarians. MDVIP should be outlawed. What would happen if all doctors decided to join MDVIP? Who would care for ill people unable to afford their outrageous rates? Doctors, permit me to opine, are bigger miscreants than lawyers and used car salesmen.

      • You should learn the truth about doctor compensation before you say that. The average primary care physician makes about $150K per year, which is just about how much debt they typically have when they graduate from medical school. How long would it take you to pay off a year’s salary worth of debt?

        On top of that, a third of the country is covered by Medicare, who is cutting payments to doctors on the order of 40%, while practice costs are still rising.

        Your personal impression simply isn’t supported by the facts, certainly among primary care physicians. The vast majority work hard and are underpaid.

      • I agree that doctors are interested in making money to run a profitable business (after all, it is how they earn a living), avoiding lawsuits, and rendering proper care to their patients. I don’t agree with the statement that they are interested in avoiding work. As the spouse of a primary care doctor who has a nursing background and now pays bills for the practice, I think you are very misinformed about the cost of doing business and the amount of reimbursement from Medicare and insurance. The costs, which have been well outlined by others posting here, are going up, and reimbursement is going down. Not to mention the amount of time spent at the office to look at the patients’ test results and returning phone calls (or having the nurses call patients back), filling out paperwork for insurance companies that don’t want to pay for the medication prescribed, filling out other forms patients want to have filled out, sending information to specialists caring for the patient, etc and not getting paid for any of it. Part of those tests that are done are unfortunately done to cover all the bases to avoid a lawsuit. Got a headache? Better get a CT scan! My spouse switched to MDVIP in the last year, and the amount of paperwork has gone down, just based on the fewer number of patients being seen, and they get better medical care as a result. More time is spent with the patient, although I think my spouse always did spend as much time as needed before the switch. If I were to tell you how much I actually paid my spouse last year, you wouldn’t believe me. My spouse has done other things in the medical field to bring in more money while practicing primary care to make a decent living (not an extravagant one). I don’t get paid at all, since it wouldn’t make sense to only basically be paying more taxes and not increasing the household income.

  41. OK, so I just came across this MD-VIP model and I’m trying to get enough information to truly evaluate this model. A lot of jargon is being tossed around; comprehensive care, preventive services, wellness coaching. Many of these terms seem to be just other ways of stating the type of care & services that one should already be receiving from one’s doctor. One of the quotes from a MD-VIP site stated within this plan the doctor would provide wellness coaching to stop long-term illness’ from happening. I believe most doctors are already counseling their patients regarding smoking, obesity, exercise, stress, nutrition, etc. so what extra benefit is this program referring to? I can also get a same day or a next day appointment for any urgent problem that comes up- usually not with my own doctor, but a colleague in the practice. I have access to my health records on-line as well, and my medical information is available through electronic medical records within the university medical system to which I belong. I certainly cannot reach my doctor 24/7, but is this truly needed/desired by most patients? And what are the effects on a doctor who is available to be reached at virtually any day and time?
    A friend just told me that she was told she needed to pay $350 to hold a spot for her before she even attended the informational meeting. He told her that her doctor only had a certain amount of client slots and might not get one if she waited. This seems to be unethical and a coercive type of behavior.
    MD-VIP leaves me with a negative feel, and seems to be the immersion of an elitist model of delivering medical care that, in reality, should be provided to all patients; not just those willing and able to pay more money.

    • I hear what you’re saying, but this really comes down to a personal choice. I have been a bit spoiled by my concierge medicine plan. How my first experience with Dr. Mall was awful, I found a doctor I truly like and treats me very well. I never have to wait in the office, and I have never had a problem getting an appointment, even when it was same day.

      I personally think this program is worth the money. $1,500 per year is not much for me, especially considering I have both my son and I on the plan. If you can afford it, and you think you would see the value in not having to wait for a doctor when you need one, and having a good amount of time to be walked through issues and concerns, I think this is well worth it.

  42. Any doctor who joins MDVIP is more interested in money than in serving humanity. What if all doctors decided to become MDVIP physicians? Who would care for the less fortunate, people unable to pay exorbitant fees to well-off doctors and corporate giants like Proctor Gamble? The public subsidized these doctors’ medical educations. The government should either outlaw MDVIP or force the doctors who participate to reimburse the taxpayer the (large) part of their education covered by tax dollars.

    • The public does not subsidize their education. The average MD pays off his school loans at the age of 52 and that is an old statistic…it is worse now. We have a doctor shortage. The docs want more time with the patient, less patients to see in a day ( not to see one every 7 minutes to pay their overhead expenses and insurance) and have a life. I am a nurse, not a doctor. Read up on how Medicare affected hospital costs and insurance rates to go up for all since the government was not paying the COST of Medicare services to the hospitals.

    • You have no idea how much it costs to run a medical practice: by the time the doctor pays his malpractice insurance, the payroll & employee benefits for all the employees he needs just to stay on top of the insurances, billing and other requirements, pays the rent, the utilities, medical supplies, office supplies, commercial insurance, dues, licenses, claims fees, EHR systems, tech support, equipment, vaccines, all of which can easily costs a small practice close to $300,000 or $400,000 per year, how do you think a doctor can “make it” these days when insurances are paying maybe $30 a visit? Doctors are going bankrupt left and right, and to complain about a $1500 annual fee to get attention (note that a doctor must see many many patients just to cover expenses), it perhaps is that cost of coffee you buy at Starbucks everyday. Get real. In ten years, there won’t be any primary care doctors left. They’ll all be bankrupt.

        • Nurse Practitioners WILL become the Primary Care Providers of the future within the next five years and they will provide excellent care and patients will love them as they are trained to listen to the patient and to spend more time with them than the average MD so for those that are not able to afford to join MDVIP (and if you can join you should as there is true value in the program as long as you recognize that it is not your physician you are making rich, rather the staff of MDVIP) you will be very lucky to find a great Nurse Practitioner to assume your care as your PCP. Don’t discount this option.

      • What you mentioned above was known 20 years ago, when HMO’s began their thrust into the medical business. In this country, students become doctors to make money first; patient care is secondary. Perhaps, before going to Med school, prospective applicants should research the “highest” paying specialties and pursue those. Most insurance companies pay more than $30 per visit; in fact most co-pays run that–in addition to the Insurance reimbursement. I’ve know many doctors that do not take insurance at all–or are selective in which Companies they accept–and if their bill is $150–that’s what the patient pays. These “Concierge” companies siphon $500 off the $1,500-$1,700 fee, and the patient gets absolutely nothing for it. Can’t physicians bypass MDVIP and reduce this fee to $1,000? There must be other creative measures that PCP’s can pursue to benefit both themselves and their patients. Did someone just say do Liposuction or cosmetic surgery on the side? Big bucks in that…right?

  43. Doctor Mickel Mall. Is the same doctor who is doing botox injections in las vegas.oh man such a monemoney hunger! He left the job undone to force you payay more . Be aware of him.

  44. I only have a few comments. First, my 88 year old mother is being pushed into MDVIP. Her physician, who is wonderful, has joined MDVIP. She should not have to make the choice to pay a retainer for a physician, but at her age, she must. If she doesn’t, then who knows what will happen to her in the transition to another doctor. Because he is an excellent doctor, I can hardly complain, but there is one other thing that is bothering me.

    I take offense to the gentleman who complained about all the hardships of becoming a doctor. I am a teacher, and also spent a good deal of my youth training to care for the children of others, and be entrusted with those who will eventually be making decisions for this country. I have to continually take classes to stay up to date on current theory. I risk every day going to school and be blamed for the woes of the world, trouble shoot all the logistical nightmares of giving individualized care and instruction to 25 children at once. I also risk being struck by students, being verbally abused by students, or just suffering high blood pressure from the stress. I do this, I take all these risks, work for a salary of $44,000.00 a year, because I want to help, because I care about my students. I would suggest that these are the choices that we make and we should accept the consequences of our choices. For me, it means that I will never own anything, and that I will forever be paying off my sons’ college loans. For physicians, it should be the same. Unless, of course, they became physicians for the money.

  45. I’m sorry to hear of your experience at the office. I have been a patient of Dr. Michael Mall for a little over 20 years. I love him, he is by far the best physician and patient advocate around. My experience with MDVIP on the other hand lands flat. He is now with a different company which seems alot more patient/user friendly. As far as to the afluence of his patients, this made you sound like a snob sir. Dr. Mall and his staff care about the patient and put their resources to patient care not oppulant patient waiting rooms. To all who read this you will not find a better doctor than Michael Mall. It is my previlage to be his patient.

  46. MDVIP is all hype. My doctor was just “average” which was fine because I never really got sick. I switched to MDVIP over 2 yrs ago. The “wellness” management is all hype; the “physical” as all hype (they still charge your private healthcare insurance). The wait times went down because most of his patients left him in the face of a $1500/yr membership fee. Basically, if you are wealthy, you are paying for less wait time (maybe). So, divide you number of doctor visits into $1500/yr and figure out if it is worth it. My wife and I (double income) finally decided this was a waste of money. The website (the provide email to your doctor on the MDVIP website) is abominable! I mean, absolutely terrible and virtually unusable.

    So it is about wait time and money.

  47. I have been feeling very fatigued now for 12 years. I told my regular doc and he said I exercise too much and I am old and everyone is fatigued. So…fast forward. I wanted to know why I am so tired so I joined MDVIP. I am 61 and doc said I am the healthiest patient he has. I went away to the UK to look after my mum. I felt depressed, no energy, anxiety and panic attacks, lost 15lb (I only weighed 110lb usually). I was in pain. phoned from the UK to get his first appointment when I got back to USA. Was told I was depressed. Given antidepressant and anti anxiety meds. He said I would feel better in 6 weeks. 6 weeks came and went. I still felt very ill …instead of doing any blood test he told me I needed counseling. Went to my husband’s gp. He did a blood test. Liver enzymes elevated…not badly but not the norm for me so he did a hep c test. And yes, I was positive with Grade 2 fibrosis and Grade 3 inflammation. I had a blood transfusion 27 years ago. I did not know what Hep C was. So I am thoroughly pissed off at the MDVIP doc for virtually wiping he hands of me and thinking I am some hysterical depressed, menopausal female.

  48. Ed – Trashy FLORIDA people? Please – California is ground-zero for “trashy-types”. And who in their right mind would want to live in that rotting, festering hellhole of a state you live in, that is on the verge of bankruptcy and levies some of the highest taxes anywhere in the USA ?

    As a 20 year professional who moved from NY to FL, myself and the 1000’s of other hard working professionals who live, work and play in Boca Raton are truly offended by your callous, untrue and downright unfair protrayal of legitimate businesses located in the Sunshine State.

    ps: Let’s not forgot where the most of the scammers, liers and scumbags who started (and were most responsible for) the mortgage meltdown, and our current economic crisis were located : LA

  49. my husband and I are lucky to have an MDVIP physician in Greenwich, CT. My husband’s chronic cardiac condition is well managed. Our physical exams and impromptu visits are handled well. It’s easy to get our medications prescribed. When we were on a family vacation in the bahamas, one of the grandchildren ate some pills and got sick–there was only a nurse at the resort. I called my MD on her cell phone and she picked up (during the Xmas holiday) and researched a solution for us. we are lucky we can afford this and lucky to have the peace of mind.

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