A Mobile Medical Practice -- Dr. Jay Parkinson | Tech Medicine

A Mobile Medical Practice -- Dr. Jay Parkinson

Dr. Jay Parkinson (MD, MPH) runs an unusual type of medical practice in New York City. Like many "concierge" physicians, he accepts no insurances -- the flat rate is $500 a year. He has no office -- he makes housecalls to your home or work. $500 gets you two visits and "unlimited e-visits": email, phone calls, video chat, or instant messaging.

In order for this system of primarily mobile medical care to work, Dr. Parkinson chooses his patients carefully. They must be accessible in Manhattan or Brooklyn, and they must be young (less than 40) and generally healthy.

He runs his practice on a laptop, an electronic medical record system (Life Record), and an iPhone.

Many of his patients don't have insurance and must pay "out of pocket" for their medical care. To make his practice more appealing, Dr. Parkinson has contacted local laboratories, pharmacies, and radiologists to obtain the best prices on their services. Not only does he see patients, but he acts as their personal medical shopper for products.

While there are many potential problems with this model of practice, the reality is that many younger people (who are generally healthy) don't have insurance, are very comfortable with instant messaging and electronic communication, and would prefer this type of online relationship with their doctors.

Some potential problems include HIPAA privacy issues with electronic communications, providing immunizations, the problems with diagnosing patients remotely, patients using electronic communications too frequently, and availability during emergencies. For an interview with Dr. Parkinson and a detailed discussion in the comments section between him and many skeptics and supporters, please see the Wall Street Journal Health Blog.
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Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.