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Bringing back the housecall

Dr. Jay Parkinson M.D. emailed in to tell me about his new medical practice in Williamsburg. He’s got no office (housecalls only), takes appointment requests via SMS, email, or IM, handles some follow-ups over video chat, and specializes in the 18-40 age group without traditional health insurance. The goal, states Parkinson, is to “mix the service of an old-time, small town doctor with the latest technology to keep you and your bank account healthy”.

To give you an idea of how the practice operates, here’s a recap of his first day on the job:

Yesterday went quite well and I was very happy with the amount of money I kept out of the hands of companies that attempt to take advantage of how difficult it is to find prices for medications and healthcare services. For example, the first patient I saw needed a medication that Walgreens offered for $60. I called my tried and true Williamsburg mom-and-pop pharmacy only a few blocks from Walgreens and talked to Arthur the Pharmacist who said he sells it for $15. “Thanks Arthur.” “No thank you Jay.” The way it should be done.

My second patient was getting a certain medication for years every month by mail from Walgreens that costs $63 per month. I knew where she could get the same medication for $42 a month. I just saved her $252 per year. After she made her $200 down payment on my services via PayPal, her monthly fee for my services is now only $17 a month. But I just saved her $21 a month on her monthly mail order medication. She’s essentially getting the rest of the year of my services for free. Not bad.

Sounds fantastic. If only every doctor was this much of an advocate for his patients.

P.S. Parkinson also happens to be a heck of a photographer (@ Flickr). Some photos NSFW. I linked to this interview about his photography between him and Joerg Colberg last May.

Update: The WSJ Health blog has a short interview with Parkinson, followed by a lengthy comment thread.