Direct Care Rheumatology

A few days ago, I posted on tele-urology. I highlighted a urologist who was advertising her telemedicine services directly to patients, offering to treat a large variety of urological problems from the comfort of home. At the time, I wondered out loud what other specialties could go the “direct care” route. Here’s today’s answer to that question. Dr. Girnita, pictured above, now offers her expertise as a rheumatologist directly to patients through her website, Rheumatologist OnCall

And the concept of “direct specialty care” in rheumatology is not a solution in search of a problem. The good doctor has it right. At least on Hilton Head Island, SC, an appointment with a rheumatologist is often six months and a two-hour drive away. If a patient is acutely suffering, e.g., from an autoimmune disease, that can be forever.

An important note here. This is “direct care.” The “direct” part means that the patient pays, directly, for their care. There’s even a society now that is attempting to organize physicians who are establishing specialty practices based on this model.

Bottom Line. This is clearly an important trend for us to keep an eye on. If it picks up a head of steam, we are going to have an entirely new segment of physicians to promote to. Doctors that don’t go to offices to see their patients. So, we can’t go to their offices to see them. 

Think about it!

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