Medical workers have been stretched then over the summer as coronavirus continues to claim lives across the country and while some hospitals have reported a decline in cases, family medicine physicians are treating patients with new cases of COVID and those with lingering conditions after battling the virus.
News 6 morning anchor Kirstin O’Connor spoke with Dr. Jason Littleon about his work to help patients with one-on-one care. He is a board-certified family medicine physician who treats patients from his concierge practice in Altamonte Springs.
Below is an edited version of the interview:
O’Connor: Can you explain what concierge medicine is?
Littleton: So first of all concierge medicine is private medicine, it’s membership-based medicine. Unlike insurance-based medicine that most of the population is used to, concierge medicine is where a person pays an annual fee and they have direct access with their doctor.
O’Connor: Do you have the same credentials as any other family medicine physician?
Littleton: Exactly, right. I’m a board-certified family medicine physician, I’m an M.D., and in fact, I’ve served as chairman of family medicine, I’ve served as a mentor to medical students. Basically, all the credentials as someone who is insurance-based. In fact, I use to practice that type of medicine.
O’Connor: Can you talk about your experience during the pandemic with some of our hospitals nearing capacity?
Littleton: You know, it’s been very busy right now during the pandemic, where we have the most dominant variant in terms of the Delta variant as far as coronavirus. People have flooded the hospitals. There have been in some institutions, really downgrading of elective surgeries, meaning that they’re not doing elective surgeries in some respect. Really trying to focus on emergent and urgent care.
O’Connor: Are you encouraging your patients to get vaccinated? Or to seek monoclonal antibody treatment if they do contract the virus?
Littleton: Great question, you know in private practice I have patients that are on both sides of that fence and so one of the things I try to do, I always educate people about the risk and benefits, and I want them to have peace with their decision. You know a lot of times people ask, “Hey Dr. Littleton, what would you do? What would your family member do?” and I stay away from that question because I want people to make a decision not based on what Dr. Littleton does, I need them to make a decision on what’s right for them.
Littleton said typical annual price ranges for concierge practices can range from $2,500 to $10,000 annually.