Behold the 9-hour physical. “When he turned 50, Steven Jackson decided it was time for a complete physical. But instead of going to his usual doctor, he spent $2,000 for a daylong assessment at a cushy health center loaded with amenities.

Jackson said that despite the cost, the concept offered at the Baylor Tom Landry Health & Wellness Center in Dallas appealed to him: having the tests done while spending a day in a luxurious setting.

“They did everything _ started at 7 a.m., ended at 4 p.m.,” said Jackson, an Albuquerque, N.M., real estate developer who is waiting to find out if his insurance will pay for part of the September exam. “I could sit and watch the TV while they came in and prodded me. I thought it was well worth it for me.”

Methinks he will be waiting awhile if he wants insurance to cover most of this exam.

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  • Anonymous

    In the past couple of weeks we’ve had several patients die in our ER waiting room or in a room waiting to be seen, the ER volume has gotten so out of control, and the ER so unmanageable. Now I wait to hear if there’ll be any lawsuits. Can you blame this guy for using concierge medicine?

  • Anonymous

    At least on the surface, it sounds like triage in your ER could stand some improvement.

    Insurance should pick up the cost of some of the testing that would ordinarily be covered, and reimburse its regular rate for a physical examination. But heck, I’d pay the two grand out of pocket to have screening tests and a thorough exam done in one setting, with no rushing and in a comfortable setting.

  • KipEsquire

    I got to do one of those day-long luxury physicals back in the 1990s when my Wall Street employer (briefly) covered them (times have changed of course).

    Fast forward a few years and my traditional plain vanilla internist:

    “You were 32, you don’t have asthma and they gave you a spirometry test ‘just for the heck of it’?!?” He was absolutely livid about that.

    In any case, despite the “opulent” setting, it actually felt like I was being moved through a very impersonal assembly line — but with a complimentary bathrobe, croissants and cable TV.

    I much prefer the boring old “breathe in, breathe out, here’s the bloodwork form for the lab, see you in two years” kind of physical.

  • Anonymous

    I had an all day physical when I was 18 years old and got a ROTC scholarship. It included a finger up the ass and everything. No TV though, but it was free money wise.if you enjoy that kind of thing. Only cost was four years of active duty in the Army.

  • Samson Isberg

    Anonymous 11:21 – I got a better deal than you, it only cost me one year of Army Service (but it was in Northern Norway; perhaps I shouldn’t gloat too much).

    - But to the pont: If anybody really want to spend that kind of money on that kind of nonsense, perhaps he would be better off having his head examined instead of the other end…

  • Anonymous

    Depends on how nonsensical it is to have a bunch of tests you are going to need anyway knocked out in one day without having to set up zillion appointments and chasing all over town for a month to get them done.

    It might also be nice to have a doctor who will take more than five minutes without getting “the Look” in his eye.

    Weren’t some of you guys saying just the other day that patients need to be willing to PAY MORE to have a doctor spend time “communicating” with them?

  • Anonymous

    (and, continuing from above)
    you realize that a ten minute meeting with a physician stretches into a couple (or more) hours for the patient, when you add in travel and waiting room time.

    Time is money and it’s worth it for some folks to get a bunch of things out of the way all at once.

  • Anonymous

    Weren’t some of you guys saying just the other day that patients need to be willing to PAY MORE to have a doctor spend time “communicating” with them?
    Not me… I have no complaints with the amount of time my doctors spends with me. Still, wanting more time with a doctor to discuss problems one does have is not the same as spending time on bunch of useless tests (a chest X-ray for a symptomless guy? a bone density — is it recommended for 50-year old males?) which can potentially lead to other tests, each one more invasive than the next? Thanks much. I’d take $2000 and buy myself a nice vacation. Will do wonders for my health.
    I much prefer the boring old “breathe in, breathe out, here’s the bloodwork form for the lab, see you in two years” kind of physical.
    Same here… But I heard about some surway in which Americans were asked if they’d prefer $1000 or a full body scan and most of them choose the latter. Wish somebody offerend me a $1000 for nothing. I could spend it on some equally useless thing like a couple of diamond earrings.

  • Anonymous

    I find the dismissiveness towards this arrangement to puzzling. Doctors offices are unpleasant–what’s wrong with spending money to make them pleasant?

    After all, it would make people be more likely to go the doctor–and isn’t that good?

    One suspects that doctors’ dismissiveness stems from the realization that such arrangements make them more like the hired help, rather than respected seers.

    The dismissiveness could also stem from a fascist dislike of capitalist expressiveness–Dr. Isberg’s comments wreak of this. Perhaps that’s because he’s Norwegian–and so many Norwegians were Nazi sympathizers and collaborators . . . .

  • Anonymous

    Wow! When you anonymice are challenged and can’t debate the facts, you sure are willing to turn personal. And ugly personal, too.

    CJD

  • Anonymous

    Yay, I call Godwin’s law! This thread has gone silly.

    Am I right that the scorn for this kind of visit is based upon an idea that useless tests will be performed, not that there are bunchy robes, snacks and TV.

    However, it’s true that its difficult to get a doctors undivided attention these days, even for the few minutes they are willing to alot you in the schedule. (I personally have felt resented en at times for failing to present with one “easy” acute problem that is clinically obvious). There’s no room for zebras on the regular playing field.

    I’m not surprised people are willing to pay for a scan that might reveal occult problems, because they fear a doctor is going to dimiss any vague complaints or subtle signs.

    Time is a precious commodity, and I wouldn’t put down people who pay to get it from a physician.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m not surprised people are willing to pay for a scan that might reveal occult problems, because they fear a doctor is going to dimiss any vague complaints or subtle signs.”

    Occult “problems” these days create exponential fishing expeditions for problems that are not dangerous. (ie the 40 year old male with the prostate calcification seen on whole Body MRI). Every time you go searching for the “needle in the haystack” cause lawyers say we can’t miss anything, you cause complications, side effects of your search (How many cases of cancer have I caused by irradiating children for CYA CT scans)and cost the system billions of dollars. But hell, if you’re one of the lucky ones in line who get in the door to see the doctor (I work in the ER where patients are dying in the waiting room cause it’s so busy) what the hell do I care, I’ll order 5 million dollars worth of useless tests, it’s not my money or my bod that’s getting cancer from getting irradiated.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t you just as soon, then, have folks who can afford it pay for extra attention elsewhere?

    It’s actually quite a rational fear, with today’s rushed visits to be afraid your doctor will only be looking for the very obvious, and will gloss over or dismiss the subtle.

  • Anonymous

    ‘Occult “problems” these days create exponential fishing expeditions for problems that are not dangerous.’

    How do you know the ‘problems’ are not ‘dangerous’ if you never acknowledge symptoms and never evaluate the the patient’s complaints? Wouldnya think the scientific method would start with symptoms and proceed to the diagnosis instead of just starting with the diagnosis without regard to the symptoms? Really.

  • Anonymous

    anon 2:40

    Occult means NO symptoms. We are talking about useless screening when it is not indicated and there are NO symptoms. A doctor has training in evaluating symptoms and the best way to proceed from there.

  • Anonymous

    It’s actually quite a rational fear, with today’s rushed visits to be afraid your doctor will only be looking for the very obvious, and will gloss over or dismiss the subtle.
    The problem is that the tests to rule out something that appeared “abnormal” on one of these scans can be invasive and can have risks. You can have infection during some biopsy, something can be damaged. Sure the risk is small, but so is the probability of benefit. If you have 1 in 1000 risk of life-threatening complication from some invasive test you better be sure that your chance of benefit is greater; otherwise the test is harmful. If the desease is rare at your age; if early detection only helps in small percentage of cases, having harm from the test is more likely than benefitting from it.
    It seems that some people are not able to do simple math and are unable to think logically.

  • Anonymous

    “It seems that some people are not able to do simple math and are unable to think logically.”

    And might I add it seems that an unfortunate number of MDs are unable to have any humane respect for or understanding of their patients, and thereby fail as physicians. What an arrogant snob you show yourself to be. Why is it more fun to you to put people down than to deal with the issue on the table?

  • Anonymous

    anon 335

    You need help. This is not an exam room, clinic, or dear Abby column. Chill out.

  • Anonymous

    You just proved my point, doc.

  • Anonymous

    And might I add it seems that an unfortunate number of MDs are unable to have any humane respect for or understanding of their patients, and thereby fail as physicians. What an arrogant snob you show yourself to be. Why is it more fun to you to put people down than to deal with the issue on the table?
    I am a patient not a doctor… Just happen to know math.

  • Anonymous

    And just to add to my comment at 6:27: my comment about people not knowing math/not thinking logically included some physicians as well as some patients: lots of doctors don’t understand the same simple math as well.

  • Anonymous

    How ecumenical of you to look down on so many. It’s not really for you to say whether other people should spend their money and take a risk having a physical YOU see no indication for. It’s a free country. Personal choice.

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