From our founding physician…
I wanted to take just a moment to say “thank you” for the many years you have allowed me to serve you as your physician. I greatly value the relationships I have with my patients, and am grateful for the opportunity to serve you well for many years to come.
I am particularly excited today, as our practice has undergone a significant change in the past few years. This change is one that I strongly feel has allowed my patients to receive superb care, while affording me and my staff the opportunity to make our services more organized, personal, and on-time.
Changes in managed care and health insurance, as well as in Medicare, have greatly changed the climate of primary care medicine over the years. Doctors like myself find themselves in the position of seeing an increasing number of patients each day, and patients find themselves spending far more time in a waiting room than they do with their physician. Eventually, the quality of the care that is received suffers, and that is something that we are committed to not happening here.
Though I have practiced here in Tampa for more than 35 years, I still believe that the opportunity exists for my patients to receive improved care every time they return to my office. Personal care is superior care and that is why our practice, in 2014, transitioned to what I call “membership medicine.” You may have heard of “concierge medicine,” where an individual pays a fee to remain a “member” of a practice. These fees often vary from $1,500 per year to $5,000 per year – sometimes even higher. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that fees like this severely limit people’s access to the physicians they trust and the care they need. Moreover, practices begin to make the majority of their income from the collection of a fee, not from providing medical care.
In our practice, we believe membership can benefit both the patient and the staff. Our fee, when paid annually, is only $300, with a slightly greater cost if you choose to pay quarterly. Our once 7,000-plus patient practice is now much smaller, but the fee allows for the practice to continue to operate with the same number of staff, and with the same quality of care to which our patients have grown accustomed.
What this means for the patient is that my staff and I are able to make commitments to members that we haven’t been able to make before. Guaranteed same-day appointments. On-time appointments. Direct contact with me via email and text. Organizational visits where your care is regularly reviewed and plans are made for preventive treatment.
I understand that for some of you, even $300 is a fee that could limit your access to care. For that reason, fee waivers are available in cases of financial hardship. Simply contact my office to find out more.
I’m sure you have questions about what all of this will mean. We certainly hope that all of those questions will be answered, either by our staff, or by reading through our website. Here, you will find answers to frequently asked questions, such as:
– Does insurance/Medicare cover the membership fee?
– Will you continue to bill my insurance/Medicare?
– Will I still see Dr. Corral?
– What are “organizational” visits and why do I need them?
On this page, you will also find some video of me speaking about the issues I’ve addressed here. I would encourage you to consider joining us in this next phase of our practice. I truly feel that this is a positive step towards providing my patients with even better, more personal care than ever before. Thank you, again for entrusting me with your care for the last 33 years. I hope to continue doing so for years to come.
Kent R. Corral, M.D. Internal Medicine Physician