Hope for a new generation of physicians and patients

Bill Crounse 2007 05 Did you ever wonder why you can do almost everything on-line these days except "see" your doctor?  Wouldn't it be great if healthcare professionals, hospitals, and clinics were as net-savvy as other service industries?  Well friends, there is hope.

I want to share an interview I did a few weeks ago with someone who I believe is setting the bar for a new generation of healthcare professionals and the patients they care for.  Someone who isn't afraid to buck the system. Someone who says, "why not?" instead of "why?".  Someone who just plain understands how to leverage the power of the Net in healthcare.  He's not the only one out there.  He may not have perfected the business model.  But he is doing exactly what needs to be done to better serve his patients.  He is leading by example, and I have nothing but admiration for what he is doing.

Meet Dr. Jay Parkinson.  He and I had exchanged a few e-mails, but we had never met.  So, when I found out he was attending a conference in Washington, DC, where I was delivering a keynote, I just had to interview him so I could share his story with all of you.  I sat down in front of a camera provided by my good friends at ScribeMedia (thank you Peter Cervieri), and asked Jay to tell me more about his practice and his patients.  What follows below is the introduction to the program written up by ScribeMedia.  I think you'll enjoy the show.  Just click HERE to view the program

Bill Crounse, MD    Senior Director, Worldwide Health    Microsoft Corporation



Jay Parkinson, MD, started a new practice that services patients entirely through the Internet and house calls. Jay has no office of his own. He targets young urban professionals, artists and freelancers within NYC. Most of these people are web savvy and uninsured.

A form on the web site guides patients towards trying to make a diagnosis so that when Jay leaves for a house call he can have the appropriate tools and medicine with him. Because his costs are so low, Jay can pass on the savings to his patients. Essentially, Jay acts as a first line of defense for the health care industry to help guide patients towards a healthy resolution to what ails them. Jay often guides patients towards other providers within the health care system.

Most of Jay’s patients are uninsured. Jay acts, on their behalf, as a patient advocate and health financial consultant. He spends a lot of time finding the best value for a variety of services a patient might need beyond his core services. Jay can then refer patients to those providers that offer good service for a good price. For example, in Manhattan the price of a chest x-ray ranges from $50 to $350. Most patients are unaware of this discrepancy. Without Jay’s help, many would be paying more than what they need to pay for a variety of services.

Comments (10)
  1. Phil says:

    Another clinician who has been using the web in their practice for very many years is Dr. J Prendergast, an endocrinologist based in California. For many year I, as a diabetic, have been a subscriber to many of the services that his group provide. I would recommend a review.

  2. Doug says:

    Those of us that closely monitor health and web developments sometimes wonder weather Dr. Jay Parkinson actually treats patients or just talks about his aspirations.

  3. hlthblog says:

    Doug and Phil,

    Thanks for sharing your comments.  As I said in my interview introduction, Jay is certainly just one of many progessive physicians who are using the Net to extend care and services to their patients.  As for Jay specifically, I cannot comment on how many patients he treats, although he told me that he was capturing about two new patients a day into his practice.  The point of profiling Jay was to get more physicians thinking about progressive business models and new services utilizing Net-based communication and collaboration.

    Bill Crounse, MD

  4. We appreciate the interest in the area of physician housecalls.  The national non-profit organization of those of us who have been at for two decades or more is at http://www.aahcp.org. New legislation is about to be introduced which will cause this field to explode.  It is called the Independence at Home Act.

    C. Gresham Bayne MD

    Past President, American Academy of Home Care Physicians

  5. Guest says:

    This blog entry is yet another proof that main point of healthcare in the US is money making. I will never come for any advice to a doctor who is concerned with making a profit. Screw you!

  6. hlthblog says:


    I’m tempted to remove your comment, but I will let it stand for now.  However, it is absurd to say that the main point of healthcare in the US is money making.  Physicians must earn a living like anybody else.  Sometimes they are employed, sometimes they are in busienss for themseves on a fee for servcie basis (and both models exist even in socialist systems where healthcare is a public service financed by taxes).  If anything, what physicians like Dr. Parkinson are doing will help lower the cost of care.  He is helping his patients, most of whom are uninsured or underinsured, find the best services at the lowest cost.  Why would you argue against that?

    Bill Crounse, MD

  7. Well done Jay! Just wanted to add my support on your efforts. This is not just about physician housecalls or one level of care. What you have managed to do (essentially single-handedly) is maximise effective communication and come up with a solution for a population that has been isolated and under-served from the current system.

    Just imagine what can be done when a multi-professional team adopts your practices…and then a community of professional teams…

    Jessica Gabin, MD

    Medical Officer for the Norwegian Centre for Informatics in Health and Social Care

  8. HealthBlog says:

    The headline may have brought you here, but please read on. Regular HealthBlog readers know I’m passionate

  9. sully says:

    This is kind of scary.  Although you can do a lot with the internet, there’s always a benefit to being in person when diagnosing a patient.

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