My Concierge Story – Judi Stull

Back in June of 1996, our family moved back to the United States after having lived in England for the previous 8 years. We needed a pediatrician for our four sons and chose a doctor who had been recommended by a friend who was a nurse. After getting the kids set up, we needed to find a Primary Care Doctor for my husband and myself.

As it turned out, the pediatrician had another doctor named Dr. Jeffrey R. Kaplan recently share his office space who was an Internal Medicine specialist, so we started seeing him. We enjoyed coming to see him and felt he was a good doctor, so, for 22 years now we’ve been seeing Dr. Kaplan.

One of the things I’ve always loved about him is that he listens to us and he cares about what’s happening with our family. In those 22 years, he has become the primary care doctor for all four of our sons until they’ve moved away and also my brother-in-law, plus several friends. One of the reasons we like Dr. Kaplan is that he takes the time to speak with each patient, but that was about to have to change.

He was being pressured to spend only 15 minutes with each client, no matter what was happening with them. That would mean no longer asking questions other than the main reason for being there. Appointments were closer together and more often I had to wait a longer time in the waiting room for my appointment. Dr. Kaplan expressed his frustration to me several times about how he didn’t want to change the way he treated patients but the insurance companies were making it impossible for him to continue doing business as he liked.

That’s one of the reasons that he decided to change to the Paragon Private Health Concierge model. Spending time with a patient helps him understand more about their whole wellness, not just the one thing that brought them to the office that day. At one time several years ago, I was dealing with depression and didn’t realize that was the problem. As I explained all of the things going on in my life, Dr. Kaplan smiled and took out a diagnosis sheet for depression. He asked me to read through it and answer the questions. As I did, I realized that I could answer most of the questions to show that I was indeed dealing with depression. We were able to address it quickly and efficiently with a prescription.

But what would have happened if I’d come to the doctor’s office complaining of just the stomach issues that were the reason I’d come in that day? No one at an urgent care or an office following a traditional insurance model would have caught that, because they didn’t know me or understand what was going on in my life. But because Dr. Kaplan had taken the time with each visit over the years to know who I am, he was able to quickly see the problem.

Working with the Paragon Concierge model, Dr. Kaplan can continue to spend time with patients, understanding their whole physical wellness, and sometimes the mental ones as well. It’s a complete paradigm shift from traditional insurance companies, which are forcing doctors to treat patients quickly, assembly line order. Sore throat? Here’s a prescription. Vomiting? Here’s a prescription.

With traditional insurance formats, doctors are unable to have a true relationship with their patients. That’s what we have with Dr. Kaplan. He is a trusted friend who has helped me through 22 years of being a wife, a mother and a whole person. He has helped me get through surgeries, health scares, and even through times when my husband was out of work and we didn’t have insurance. He has been there for me. If Dr. Kaplan hadn’t switched to the Paragon Concierge model, that would have stopped. You can’t have a relationship with a patient that goes beyond simple, obvious treatment plans in 15 minutes. And when I expressed concern about the charges, he was able to help me figure out a way to pay for it. That is what a doctor should be. That is what a treatment plan should be like. So, for me, the Paragon Private Health Concierge model helps me stay with a doctor with whom I want to stay and allows me the time to find out what is really happening with my body. If I wanted the impersonal quick visit of a Minute Clinic, then I’d go there, but that’s not what I want.

Being able to stay with a doctor who knows me and who can take the time to really listen, plus who now is available to me by phone or email is a true gift.