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When Entrepreneurship and Medicine Converge 

September 26, 2017

Dr. Michael O’Neal is a pioneer and a physician. We want to know that our doctors are experts in their medical specialty and know the respective knowledge base much better than the backs of their own hands. When that medical expertise is coupled with business savvy and a want to improve access to quality medical care, patients reap the benefits. Dr. O’Neal, who introduced the Tampa Bay area to concierge medicine, has helped families in our region get the quality care they both need and deserve in ways only possible through membership medicine.

Recognized nationally for his medical and business achievements, Dr. O’Neal opened CooperativeMed in 2002. Specialty trained in the discipline of Family Medicine and Board Certified, Dr. O’Neal knows that his fellow primary care physicians do their best to effectively treat patients. There are systemic issues, however, acting as barriers to preventive care in the traditional family practice setting. For example, due to the large numbers of patients each family physician in the traditional setting cares for, scheduling appointments can be difficult, wait times lengthy, and face to face time with the physician brief. These factors, parts of a massive, strained medical system, promote the pervasive problem of reactive care. Because a practice like CooperativeMed takes a limited number of members, the physician’s schedule is never so swollen that physician access or time with patients is compromised. It is the more manageable environment that enables a collaborative relationship with the patients. Preventive, collaborative care is a cornerstone of membership medicine.

CooperativeMed may very well help free up time in your schedule. Rather than scheduling appointments with and traveling to a number of different physicians for each family member, you, your children, and even aging parents can be seen and treated by Dr. O’Neal. One physician. One location. One thorough visit. Dr. O’Neal will even travel to you. Since the preventive, personalized approach to care is markedly different than reacting to a condition, the number of doctor visits declines. The comprehensive care that is part of a CooperativeMed membership also means less time missed from work or school due to illness, fewer ER visits, and fewer hospital admissions.

Of course, words like concierge, membership only, and boutique connote images of too many dollar signs. However, membership with CooperativeMed is not reserved for the bay area’s wealthiest residents. It is financially feasible and, considering fewer visits to the emergency department and walk in clinics are likely benefits, a CooperativeMed membership may actually save your family money. The collaborative approach within the low volume setting lends to fewer referrals, diagnostic tests, and medications. Although there is an annual membership fee, CooperativeMed does accept a number of commercial insurance plans and Medicare.

Dr. O’Neal founded CooperativeMed in order to provide bay area patients with the high quality, personalized care needed to support continuing, optimal health. His entrepreneurial efforts helped fill a gap in medicine—while emphasizing the physician patient relationship. Limiting the number of members at CooperativeMed makes it possible to cultivate a partnership with patients, the key ingredient to this unique medical practice.

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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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