FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What is "Private Medicine"?

“Private” medicine (also known as “membership medicine” or “concierge medicine”) is a form of medical practice that emphasizes wellness and disease prevention.  Patients have direct contact to the physician via email and cell phone communication to allow for expedited and enhanced communication.  This also allows for many problems to be addressed on the phone and can often decrease the need for office visits and possibly prevent hospitalizations. The physician sees fewer patients and can therefore concentrate more fully on the issues of each individual patient.  Private medicine restores the direct connection and relationship between the physician and their patient.

How is this different from traditional medicine?

In a typical primary care practice, the doctor has a patient panel of well over a thousand patients.  This translates into long wait times and shorter office visits for patients.  Dr. Sujansky has also noticed that the new emphasis on electronic medical records systems places even more demands on the physician and even less time is left for directly caring for the patient. Time and reimbursement pressures have therefore eroded the physician/ patient relationship.  In retainer medicine, on the other hand, all of these external pressures have been stripped away and we are back to the way medicine was meant to be practiced.  Dr. Sujansky is free to spend as much time with a patient as she may need.

What does the Membership Program include?

  • Easy direct communication with Dr. Sujansky via her personal cell phone after hours as well as same day/ next day email communication

  • Limited practice size, which allows you to have more time with the doctor

  • Expedited call-backs and same day/ next day appointment availability

  • Physician-level communication with your other consulting specialists that will allow a timely resolutions of any concerns or issues you may have

  • Enhanced communication with hospital physicians and staff will help ensure that you have a seamless transition between the hospital and your outpatient care

  • Home visits for those who live within a 10 mile radius and who are unable to travel to the office

  • Longer and more flexible appointments where all of your health education issues and concerns are addressed

  • A routine annual executive physical including a thorough review of your personal and family history, physical exam, and screening tests data.  Follow-up communications that often helps guide health care decisions 

  • Biannual state-of-the art evaluation of body composition with analysis of muscle vs fat mass in trunk and individual limbs. This allows for more individualized dietary and exercise counseling

How do I become a member?

Please call our office and ask for the Patient Membership Agreement. Then complete and sign the Agreement and send it on to our office

34 North San Mateo Drive, Suite #1 San Mateo, CA 94401

How much does the program cost?

The cost is $200 per person per month or $2,280 per person per year if paid annually.  Couples can join for $375 per month or $4,275 per year if paid in full.  Medical care for children of members aged 18 to 25 is free.  You can pay annually or quarterly.  A 5% discount is given for those patients who pay annually. You will no longer be asked to pay anything at the time of your office visit.  (Note that some few services, such as acupuncture, are not included in Dr. Sujansky’s Private Medicine practice and will be billed separately.)

Will my private insurance reimburse my annual concierge fee?

It is unlikely that the annual fee will be reimbursable. Please consult your tax advisors or human resources representative at your place of employment.

Are you a Participating Provider for Medicare? 

Yes, Dr. Sujansky is a Participating Provider with Medicare and will bill Medicare on your behalf, as required by law.

Do you bill Medicare for the annual concierge fee?

The annual concierge fee only includes services that are not covered by Medicare and, as such, cannot be paid for or reimbursed by Medicare.  Dr. Sujansky will bill Medicare for your sick visits and for any additional services performed at her practice that ARE covered by Medicare. 

Do I need to have health insurance?

Yes.  Private Medical Practices do not take the place of general health insurance coverage.  The overall goal is for our Private Medicine practice to improve and maintain your health, and for your insurance plan to cover necessary and more complex medical intervention when needed.  By providing you with extraordinary and connected primary care, your plan utilization can often be reduced.

What about lab, x-ray, specialists’ fees and hospitalization? 

Procedures and services not performed in our office are usually covered by your insurance.

What if I need to see a specialist or a surgeon? 

Dr. Sujansky is available to help you decide what specialists to see and to coordinate such consultations. In this way the most appropriate resource is used, the earliest arrangements are made, and your applicable medical information is sent in advance of your specialist visit.

What if I need to be hospitalized?

Dr. Sujansky has privileges at Mills-Peninsula Hospital.  If you are hospitalized there, Dr. Sujansky will visit you, be your advocate in treatment decisions, and help better coordinate care with the hospital physicians.  The hospital physicians will continue to be the primary physicians on site to handle your hospitalization.

Will I still benefit from this Membership Program if I don’t need frequent medical attention?

Yes.  Our practice focuses on wellness and disease prevention, which are important factors throughout your life.  In addition, the small practice size will assure that calls will be answered quickly, you will be seen when you want to be seen, and you will have more time during your office visits.  Moreover, as you can easily reach Dr. Sujansky directly via phone or email, you may often get your questions answered easily and without the need for coming into the office.  Oftentimes, even trips to the emergency department can be prevented by getting in touch with Dr. Sujansky in an easy and timely fashion!

How do I get in touch with Dr. Sujansky?

Once you join our Membership Practice, you will be given Dr. Sujansky’s email and personal cell phone number.  Our office is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.  During office hours we ask that you call the office first.  Our staff will relay the message to Dr. Sujansky and she will personally return your call.  After hours, Dr. Sujansky answers calls or returns calls promptly.  You can also email with non-urgent questions any time and Dr. Sujansky will respond within one day.

What happens when Dr. Sujansky is on vacation?

On the infrequent occasions when Dr. Sujansky is out of town or otherwise unavailable, she will have another quality physician cover for her. Even while out of town, she will often be available by phone to you and to covering physicians.

What if I have more questions?

Please call our office at 650 393-5851 to speak with our staff.  Shawna, our office manager and Private Medicine coordinator, can discuss details of our new practice concept with you. Also, Dr. Sujansky would also be happy to talk to you personally on the phone if you have questions.