If you see Lyndell Scoles, a physician who practices internal medicine, he might prescribe you a book to read. He might drop by for a house call, or use an app to find you low-priced medicine. He might even trim your toenails.
And with an innovative, comprehensive model of medicine, Scoles has time for it — time to respond to the two phone calls, four texts, two photographs and one online message he received from his patients this weekend.
Welcome to Scoles’ world of personalized preventive care, popularly known as concierge, retainer or boutique medicine.
It’s like Amazon Prime or Netflix — but instead of free two-day shipping or “Stranger Things,” you get a doctor.
Originally “it was one of those things that I felt was too good to be true,” Scoles said of his initial response to personalized preventive care. “What’s the magic potion?”
Patients in this membership-based medical model pay an annual fee for something that a one-time trip to the hospital can’t give: affordability, accountability — and permission to text your doctor on nights and weekends.
Amid the ever-changing landscape of health care in America, Columbia’s concierge scene has grown since 2014 to include three internists, including Scoles, who’ve joined Medical Doctor Value in Prevention, a national network of personalized preventive care doctors.
In this model, patients pay an annual fee between $1,650 and $1,800 — which comes down to between $4 and $5 a day (about the price of a pumpkin spice latte). The fee takes care of services not typically covered by insurance companies, as well as one-on-one counseling with your doctor and no-wait waiting rooms.
Physicians under the MDVIP model accept insurance and Medicare, unlike many direct primary care practices like Liberty Family Medicine and Big Tree Medical Home.
Although words like “concierge” and “boutique” can connote wealth, the local clientele spans many income levels and walks of life.
“I have school teachers, bus drivers, truck drivers, business owners, the elderly, (students),” Scoles said.
Before Scoles switched to this model of medicine, his practice served close to 5,000 patients. Now, he said he takes care of around 800.
In this model, doctors like Scoles have “more time, tools, and availability to invest” in their patients’ care, CEO of MDVIP Bret Jorgensen said.
Before he became a personalized preventive care physician, Scoles only had time to, while taking care of his many patients, fulfill his continuing education units required for doctors in the…