Published 11/17/23 on Channel 10, by Eriketa Cost:
On Wednesday, Rochester Regional Health said several physicians resigned to start a retainer-based concierge medicine practice.
The office remains open for business, as RRH works to replace the physicians with other employees in the network. In the statement, RRH says all physicians at the Linden location will continue to see patients through the end of the year.
“We remain true to our mission to provide high-quality, affordable, and accessible care to our patients and the community. During this transition phase, there will be no interruption to anyone seeking care at the Linden Medical Group practice. Our staff is actively contacting all patients to assist them in transitioning to other providers within our 400-member network,” the statement read.
News10NBC has been talking to some other doctors throughout the region, who are leaving the practice to go to concierge medicine. Many are unable to speak out, due to non-disparagement agreements in their contracts.
Head of Monroe County Medical Society Hemant Kalia said the current state of healthcare is contributing to unsustainable rates of burnout. For example, the emergence of two giants, UR Medicine and RRH controlling the market, and the administrative burden that comes with that.
Another contributing factor, he said, is the disparity of reimbursement between private practices and employed physician groups. Kalia said in a recent survey with members of the medical society, more than 50% percent of respondents said they were burned out.
As for why some are choosing concierge medicine? Kalia said there’s probably no specific reason. Concierge medicine is when patients pay a premium, perhaps in the form of annual fees, for increased access to providers and care.
“The main point, the main emphasis is, our physicians are struggling and they’re crying for help,” said Kalia. “We can certainly talk about other innovative models of delivering care, concierge medicine is one of them, but if we don’t address the route cause of the problem, we will continue to see physicians moving out of our region.”
It has patients like Joe Gonzalez wondering, what’s next?
Gonzalez said he was shocked to learn in a letter, that his doctor Dr. Jeffrey Vuillequez is no longer practicing there. He said he and his wife would like to continue seeing him, even if means going somewhere else.
He has an appointment coming up in February, and he’s not sure if he’ll get to connect with him before then. He said the office couldn’t provide a specific end-date. Gonzalez said he called the office to ask some questions, including if he could still be a patient in the future. He says a woman replied, it’s possible he won’t be, if there’s not enough staff. According to the letter Gonzalez got in his MyCare inbox, the office said it will continue to operate with other nurses and staff.
“You really want to be sure that you have somebody you can see if you are sick. They didn’t even give any advice like, if you’re sick after this date go to the hospital,” said Gonzalez. “Starting over with a new doctor, might happen someday. This was a little bit of a surprise and not much warning.”
“This seems like a mass exodus from the practice,” he said. “I understand there is probably a bunch of legal things going on behind the scenes, things they can and can’t say,” he said.
RRH says if you’re a patient at the Linden location, you can still call the office with questions, and make an appointment.
Good morning 7th District & MCMS Members:
I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to discuss a crucial matter that requires our collective attention and immediate action.
As you are aware, the Wrongful Death Bill (aka “Grieving Families Act”) is currently under consideration, and its potential implications for our medical community are concerning. We are asking the Governor to veto this legislation (A.6698) because it would harm patient access to care in our communities by significantly increasing damages awardable in wrongful death actions. If signed into law, this could increase already exorbitantly high physician and hospital liability costs by over 40%. In order to effectively oppose this bill, we will need to join forces with MSSNY to greatly strengthen our efforts.
To that end, a comprehensive strategy, was created, that includes mobilizing our physicians to reach out to the Governor's office through phone calls. MSSNY has provided us with a well-crafted one-page talking points sheet for our physicians to utilize during their conversations (it is attached). This will ensure that you are equipped with the necessary information to express your concerns effectively.
Furthermore, a schedule was prepared that assigns specific days for each district to make their calls. This approach aims to maximize our impact by creating a coordinated and sustained effort across the state.
To fully leverage our partnership, we are asking all physicians, and practice leadership, within every county to actively participate in this advocacy campaign. When you make your calls, it would be immensely valuable if they could also inform the MCMS about the experience by emailing Joanne Rau at email@example.com. This feedback will enable us to gauge the overall response and make any necessary adjustments to our strategy.
In summary, here are the key action steps:
By working together, we can make a substantial impact on this issue and protect the interests of our medical community. MSSNY Leadership is incredibly appreciative for our help in this crucial endeavor.
Thank you for your attention and your commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for our physicians and patients alike.
Lucia Castillejo, MS
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Monroe County Medical Society
200 Canal View Blvd. – Suite 202
Rochester, NY 14623
This morning, August 14, 2023, MCMS and our physician members had breakfast with Senators Samra Brouk and Jeremy Cooney to discuss community health care concerns. Check out our photos of the morning here!
On Saturday, August 12, 2023, MCMS had its first Member Appreciation BBQ since 2019. Members enjoyed the afternoon at Durand Eastman Park with lunch provided by Sticky Lips BBQ. The event was sponsored by our friends at MLMIC, Sellers Insurance, Merrill Lynch and Alliance Advisory Group. Check out the photos here! https://www.mcms.org/page-1075611
This article was published in the June 25th issue of the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY.
Our regional healthcare system relied upon by our patients faces a potential disaster.
The New York State Legislature has again passed legislation (A.6698/S.6636) that would exponentially expand damages awardable in wrongful death lawsuits. This bill is very nearly the same as one that was—thankfully—vetoed by Governor Hochul last January.
The Governor must veto this new version as well.
We have great sympathy for the grieving families this legislation seeks to help. However, any legislation to expand costly lawsuits must be balanced to help to prevent the enormous adverse impact this bill would have on our health care system. Had this bill been signed into law, it would have made it even more difficult for our struggling community hospitals and medical practices to continue to provide needed patient care.
Proponents claim the new bill responds to the Governor’s veto. It most surely does not.
We just completed a State Budget where significant steps were taken to address the stability of our various community health care providers, particularly those providing needed care in our undeserved areas. Yet by imposing staggering new costs this legislation would undermine the positive steps in the State Budget to protect access to care.
Our regional healthcare safety net is already under significant duress even without having to absorb the extraordinary costs this bill would require. I urge the Governor to veto this new legislation, and work with the Legislature to adopt truly balanced legislation that expands the rights of grieving families, while protecting our healthcare safety net. To urge the Governor to veto the bill, please go here.
Dr. Hemant Kalia
President of the Monroe County Medical Society
Check out this article by MCMS President, Dr. Hemant Kalia:
Throughout June, Men’s Health Month aims to encourage boys and men to take charge of their overall health by implementing healthy living decisions.
Update: a short while ago, the NY State Assembly again passed the revised bill by a 132-11 vote. So, our advocacy focus in the next few days must be on the leadership of the New York State Senate
Take Action by:
Contacting the New York State Senate, including to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins at 518-455-2585 and Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris at 518-455-3486.
Send a letter to your Senator, the Senate Majority Leader and the Governor: click here, Oppose Harmful Liability Expansion Bills That Impede Patient Access To Care! Click here to send a letter!
On Monday, May 8, 2023 from 12-1pm Dr. Mathew Devine and Dr. Michael Privitera will be speaking about Physician Burnout and our upcoming Health Symposium on May 17th. You can check them out here!
Is it safe to get healthcare? If yes, why do over a quarter of a million people die each year from medical errors? Do patients really understand the risks, how quality is measured and what each patient needs to do to be safe and keep others safe? What is the National Healthcare Strategy and what are the implications of the mid-term elections and near-term elections?
Join hundreds of local healthcare leaders coming together from 7:30am to 11:30am on Friday, June 9 to network, learn about these topics, and be inspired by some of the smartest, most innovative, provocative National Healthcare Thought Leaders in the nation. The distinguished speakers for this event are:
Tables of 10 or individual seats are available for purchase.
Click here to learn more. Click here to register.
Call Linda Becker at 585-738-7397 for sponsorship opportunities.
Presented by Northstar Network.