Guest: Dr. Joseph Barry
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Barry received his medical degree from the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. He is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He believes you must treat the whole person and not just the presenting problem. He believes there is a real and important connection between your brain, your body and your spiritual self.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Dr. Joseph Barry, MD discusses studies that indicate that patients under highly personalized preventive care achieve far better outcomes and less hospitalizations.
Health Professional radio – Personalized Care Benefits
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. Thank you so much for listening with us today. Our guest in studio today is Dr. Joseph T. Barry, certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, received his medical degree from the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn New York. And Dr. Barry believes that you should treat the entire person and not just the presenting problem. His interest includes chess, reading, old movies, hiking as well as a longstanding interest in the martial arts, and he also writes a column for Table Hopping each and every month. He is here today to talk with us about some of the studies that indicate how much better highly personalized preventative care is in achieving much better overall outcomes and less hospitalizations. How are you doing today Dr. Barry?
Dr. Joseph Barry: I’m doing fantastic.
N: Thank you so much for joining us today. When it comes to traditional medicine as opposed to personalized care or some might call it “concierge medicine.” You’ve been a practitioner of this type of medicine for a short time now, what type of response have you received from your patients as you transition from a traditional practitioner to a personalized caregiver?
B: Well the ones that have chosen to make this transition with me love it. Because instead of 10 or 15 minutes with my face half paced with the laptop, we have time to sit down, discuss their illness whatever that might be, discussing their health issues. And then we move on to work an ongoing basis on their wellness – what are they doing with their lifestyle? Which to me is the most important thing a doctor can work on – “lifestyle.”
B: Because it stumps all the medicine there are.
N: If other healthcare professionals who are listening to this program today are considering such a jump or even maybe the same jump – what would you say to them as far as the pros and cons? You said that those patients who choose to make that jump of that leap of faith with you – what were some of the opposing points to your transition?
B: Well the people that decided that spending extra money on their health wasn’t worth it were mad at me because I was, I didn’t abandon them, I do my practice with SignatureMD. My concierge consult was such and I tell people I’m never gonna abandon you, but I’m now gonna have my nurse practitioner do most of your care and I’m gonna be involved as “I’m needed.” Instead of working alongside the nurse practitioner, I’m gonna be supervising her so that I know what she’s doing cut I’m not spending as much time with the patients.
B: So there was some resentments by the patients there didn’t sign up and I understand that, and I work with them to say “I will still be here and when you need me I will be there for you. But were not gonna have the luxury of a half hour or an hour visit to discuss what you’re doing wrong and right with your diet, with your exercise program, with the stress in your life.”
N: Now I’m sure that this is something that you decided to do on a limb or overnight as it were. Let our listeners know some of the information that you reviewed before making such a decision.
B: Well I knew that I needed a new challenge and that medicine was becoming mundane to me. I’m not boring, it’s just that I was on top of my game and I was looking for something to go to the next level. And that’s when I said let me look in to this concierge business. And I think that most physicians are just afraid of making the leap where they say to people “Listen, I’m gonna ask you to pay me extra.”
N: Uh huh.
B: “And when you do that you’re going to get extra services, you’re gonna have same day or next day appointments. You’re going to not have to wait a month to get seen by the doctor. You’re not gonna wait an hour in the exam room, you’re not going to get a call that by a nurse, if there’s a problem, there’s an issue, but you call me you’re gonna be hear that from me. You need to speak to me at night, you’re gonna have my cellphone number.” So it’s a collaboration, but we have more time with them. And I think they feel better and know that someone’s watching their back, someone they’ve got someone in their corner professionally, medically, just making sure that’s everything right.
N: Now what are the odds or the possibilities of the relationship between you and the insurance company, and you and the pharmaceutical companies, and well you and some of the patients becoming adversarial as far as paying extra money? Isn’t that taking away from the insurance companies?
B: No, the insurance is the same, is that I’ve billed to the insurance companies that over and over because I’m a personalized care doctor, I have saved them money.
B: If you call your doctor up and you tell him your having chest pain, your doctors is almost certainly gonna say “Go to the ER.” You call your doctor up and say on the day you want to be seen, you’re having abdominal pain, they’re gonna say “Go to the ER.” You call your cardiologist and say you’re having complications he’s gonna say “Go to the ER.” You call your urologist and say you think you’re passing a kidney stone, they’re gonna say “Go to the ER.” I’m going to say “No, no, no, come to me. Let me be the first one to evaluate this.”
N: Uh huh.
B: I can do much of the same tests as in the ER for a fraction of the cost.
B: And I can determine where you should go and I how you should get there. I will call the doctor for you so it will be doctor level to doctor level. And I’ll make sure you get the follow up to me. Other people that have kept out of the hospitals both have said “Okay you have pneumonia but we don’t have to put you into hospital, and said back in 2 or 3 days and then 2 or 3 days after that, and they can come back, just don’t have the schedule, they can do that.
N: And most of us are used to just seeing our doctor for a very few minutes. We’re getting a prescription, a couple of instructions from the pharmacist when we pick up that prescription and basically being on our own until the situation clears up or gets worse.
B: Well doctors have been trained for years now, find a pill. Do a test, find a pill. Do a test, find the pill. Look at diabetics, they go on one medicine and wait a couple of months, a couple of years they go onto a second medicine, a couple of more years a third medicine. And all that time, what did doctor told about diet and exercise? Some will ask the line like “You should exercise more. You should watch what you eat.”
B: If you want to see someone because he has depression, “Oh here’s a pill, come back in 3 months.” No one’s gonna have the depression periodically by taking some white pill and come back 3 months – you need more time with the doctor. And sometimes the answer isn’t a pill. A little white pill isn’t gonna save your marriage, a little white pill isn’t goanna make the boss that makes you … a little white pill isn’t gonna deal with the chronic anxieties you’ve had since childhood.
B: Those require more work. And if you have time, you can do some of that work.
N: Now as we wrap up Dr. Barry in view of the Affordable Healthcare Act everybody has to keep their insurance regardless as to whether or not you’re giving better care than they would receive from a doctor who’s being paid by the insurance company in just spending 8 or 10 minutes with a patient per visit. How does it affect individuals as they’re looking around for healthcare, considering their options when it comes to insurance? Are there certain plans that are more insurance friendly or is insurance friendly even a factor?
B: For what I do for the personalized medical care for the SignatureMD program, insurance isn’t a factor. If you’re a cash payer, if you’ve got Medicare, if you’ve got Bluecross, Blueshield, it doesn’t matter. I want to bill those insurances as I always do for all routine visits. And then the extra money that I charge to directly, that’s what we do with the counseling at talking about your diet, and your exercise, and your weight, and your anxiety, and your insomnia.
N: Alright, great. Now let our listeners know where they can get more information about SignatureMD.
B: Well they can go to Signaturemd.com or they can go to my website Dr. Joe Barry on Facebook and they’ll have the link of SignatureMD from there.
N: Thank you so much. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio today talking with Dr. Joseph Barry, he is a certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. And he believes that you must treat the entire person and not just the presenting problem. He also believes that there is a very real and important connection between your brain, your body, and your spiritual self. And we’ve been here talking about some of the reasons that highly personalized, preventative care, achieves much better outcomes, and less hospitalizations for those patients who choose to take a look at this personalized care, or as some call it concierge healthcare. It’s been great talking with you today Dr. Barry.
B: Thank you very much, I appreciate the opportunity.
N: Transcript and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.com and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.