Alamo Heights Primary Care Physicians Offer Concierge Medicine for 24/7 Doctor Access
Dr. Jay Hoelscher- Alamo Heights Primary Care Physicians
By Rudy Arispe
Dr. Jay Hoelscher always makes the time to help and provide excellent service to the smaller group of patients that he treats. The internal medicine doctor, who is in private practice at Alamo Heights Primary Care Physicians (PCP), offers a personal touch tailored to meet his patients’ urgent and time-pressed needs through the concept of concierge medicine.
Tired of long phone wait times to make an appointment? Dissatisfied over being rushed through your visit? Alamo Heights PCP in the Quarry Market area offers a cure, or rather a solution.
“Concierge medicine is a concept that’s gaining popularity in San Antonio, and it’s certainly popular in other cities,” Dr. Hoelscher said. “The basis behind it is that we recognize we like to spend more time dedicated to each patient instead of a rushed appointment.”
“The idea of concierge medicine is that when you become a member of a smaller group of people who the doctor is focused on, it definitely increases your access to care,” he added, “so you can get an appointment the same day you call. We have the capacity to do that very easily. Instead of a doctor coming in and visiting with you for five minutes, we come in and take our time. We let the patient feel like he can get all of his issues addressed without feeling rushed.”
And just like decades ago, when a family physician made house calls to a patient’s bedside, Dr. Hoelscher can visit a patient in his hospital room to ensure consistency of care.
“Today, a lot of physician practices have become segmented where they are either doing all in-patient work like a hospitalist does or they are confined to only taking patients in a clinic,” he said. “But the problem is there’s always this continuity or transition of care that is difficult or interrupted. So, patients feel like they’re not getting the care of their primary physician if they have to be admitted to a hospital.”
“However, through this concierge medicine program, I’m able to visit my patients in the hospital, especially because I have a smaller group of patients I’m focusing on,” Dr. Hoelscher continued. “I have a variety of hospitals I can go to. I even go to nursing homes. It provides that same sense of what medicine used to be when a doctor had the time to take care of you.”
Alamo Heights PCP’s exclusive membership program comes with other perks including 24/7 access to Dr. Hoelscher via text, email or cell phone, an exclusive concierge only office line to have direct contact with an assistant, coordinating with specialists and ancillary services to expedite your care, and no wait or minimal wait time to see the doctor because they know your time matters. This personalized membership approach eliminates the typical communication obstacles that exist within traditional practices.
Dr. Hoelscher shares the recent example of a female patient who called Alamo Heights PCP, complaining about abdominal pain. He was able to see her within an hour of her call.
“Instead of doing what most offices do and say, ‘We don’t have space available to see you today, so you’ll have to go to the ER,’ we were able to take the time to evaluate her just like we would in an acute care setting or emergency room because I had time to do that,” he said. “We called her the next day to make sure she was doing well. We saved her a lot of time without having to go to the emergency room.”
Another major benefit of the concierge medicine program is being assigned a personal care coordinator to schedule your appointments, and follow up with pharmacies to fill prescriptions, among other services.
“The way it is now for many medical practices is that you have an office or medical assistant helping thousands of patients who are part of their practice,” Dr. Hoelscher said, adding that the average practice has 2,500 patients. “You can imagine how the phone is constantly ringing. That office assistant isn’t dealing with one patient, but with many patients.”
At Alamo Heights PCP, however, you have a direct line to a personal care coordinator and not an answering machine. “You’ll get someone right away who is dedicated to our concierge patients,” Dr. Hoelscher said.
Although Dr. Hoelscher is the only one who sees and treats patients that are part of the concierge program, the office has a family nurse practitioner on staff. The nurse practitioner “helps take care of patients who choose not to be in the concierge model,” he said.
In addition to the concierge medicine model, patients can connect with Dr. Hoelscher remotely if they prefer via smartphone, laptop or tablet through telemedicine. “Telemedicine is a growing and convenient service that we take pride in offering here,” Dr. Hoelscher said. “For example, we can give lab results through telemedicine instead of a patient coming to the office. For older patients, who might have trouble with transportation or mobility, speaking with them face-to-face by computer is a great option. I can see the patient, and he can talk to me just as if he was sitting in my exam room. Of course, there are times when it is necessary to come to the office.”
Meanwhile, in other good news, Alamo Heights PCP will expand its weight-loss program to the public in addition to its current patients who are already under Dr. Hoelscher’s supervision.
The weight-loss program focuses on the HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) diet because of the success many of his patients have had. It is a diet low in calories accompanied by an injection of a small dose of the hormone HCG.
“Based on our experience with our patients, it’s been shown to help metabolize their fat stores as a source of energy while on a low-calorie diet,” Dr. Hoelscher said, “and it helps them metabolize fat stores in the intra-abdominal area which is a difficult area to lose fat.”
He added that the HCG diet “seems to help stimulate the hypothalamus area of the brain which controls weight to metabolize fat stores, so that patients get better body contouring.”
Additionally, Dr. Holescher said research shows an improved amount of muscle mass preservation while a person is losing weight compared to those who were on a weight-loss program and didn’t use HCG hormone.
“There seems to be an interaction between the hypothalamus and the way the body is able to reduce fat percentage and still maintain weight loss,” he said. “This is a well outlined, easy-to-follow diet, and I think that’s why it works for so many people.”
Alamo Heights Primary Care Physicians is a concierge, internal medicine practice located at 250 E. Basse Road, Suite 208, in the Quarry Market. For more information, visit www.alamoheightsprimarycarephysicians.com or call (210) 909-1300.