…Paul Levy has been president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one of the big boys, since 2002. Before that he was executive dean for administration at Harvard Med.
…Now he is putting up a website dealing with medical issues and hospital administration—from the other side of the exam table—and it’s worth a daily gander.
…Go to http://runningahospital.blogspot.com.
…In one entry, he quotes a colleague, Harold Solomon, MD, on Solomon’s decision to quit his Beth Israel practice and become a “concierge” physician.
…Four years ago, Solomon joined a national assn of physicians called MDVIP (why would HA wish that was PTVIP?). This group charges patients an annual fee of $1,500 to get access to the doctor along with a wellness plan. He does take insurance, HMOs, and Medicare (presumably in addition).
…He was surprised that more middle class people joined than he predicted. (Has this guy been to a doctor lately, if he can get in to a doctor?)
…Another surprise. Fewer rich people signed up than he predicted. He said this is because they already know how to get superior care—they donate wings to hospitals. At Beth Israel, he noted, there is a concierge floor, with special treatment.
…His theory is that quality medicine will flow downward. Downward to people with $1,500 a year in addition to their insurance, HA guesses.
…Solomon says he has no problem with two-tiered medicine (those who pay the extra bump for Dr Welby) and those who struggle along. He says we have had a multi-tiered system all along, which certainly can be argued. Out here in Arizona, those on Medicaid get a wider choice of doctors than most people with paid insurance. They have a tier now.
…Can you get into Mayo Clinic on your insurance?
…Levy also recommends a humor book on breast cancer called, “The courage muscle, a chicken’s guide to living with breast cancer,” by Monique Doyle Spencer. Call (617) 667-1899. Proceeds go to Beth Israel’s nonprofit oncology shop.