To my Patients,
I have decided to restart Sage Medicine in much the same form as before. The new clinic is open as of May 15.
The previous Sage Medicine failed, not because we didn’t have enough patients, but because the insurance companies do not pay primary care physicians enough for us to support all of the staff required to provide quality healthcare. I was working 80+ hours / week for seven years but due to ever increasing workloads and additional staff requirements, we were slowly losing money.
To be successful this time around, for those with private insurance (NOT Medicare/Tricare) I will be charging a small membership fee. The details of this will be spelled out in the future. I anticipate the fee to be between $20-$30/month in the first year. I am very sorry to have to do this, but the lack of value placed on quality care by the insurance companies has forced this upon me. Presumably, participation in Medicare plans might provide financial bonuses if in ACO organization which does not impact your care, just requires additional reporting for me and delayed incentive payment that is not guaranteed. Medicare enrollment will therefore be limited to 500 patients which about my current number.
Financially nothing else will change. The majority of our pay will still come from insurance and by contract I will still be required to collect a copay.
I anticipate that a number of you will decide that you would like to seek out other care. I understand if you find this necessary. I am unable to recommend another primary care physician that can give the quality of care of Sage that doesn’t charge a substantially higher fee. There are resources such as the Bexar County Medical Society (www.bcms.org) that can help you find a quality physician.
This transition away from Sage to UT and back has been stressful for you and me both. I apologize for what we have been through. I believed that I was making the right move for me, my staff, and my patients. I hope that you follow me to the new Sage 2.0!
Thank you again for your patience. I have developed bonds of friendship as we go through life’s struggles together and having known many of you for years, I really hope to continue our relationship and if not, I genuinely wish the best for your future emotionally, physically and spiritually.
With warm regards,
Carmen Cawley, M.D.