January-February 2012 | THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW

Dr. Steve Vernon (left),  Dr. Gerri Goertzen  and Dr. Walt Gianelle



The three clinics of Your Doc’s In fill an important healthcare gap here on the Eastern Shore

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Stephen Cherry

Some 15 years ago, Drs. Walt Gianelle, Steve Vernon and Gerri Goertzen noticed a hole in the blanket of healthcare that today’s people need. They started with the premise that all of us experience health issues unexpectedly from time to time. They also knew that getting in to see a private-practice physician wasn’t always an expedient process and that often, that practice didn’t accept the kind of insurance the patient had.
That always leaves the local emergency room, but ERs not only can be very expensive, they are often already taxed to the hilt with emerging cases that need immediate medical attention, leaving you to wait hours before it’s your turn. Besides, would you honestly want to be treated by someone whom you feared might be rushing through the process because they are overworked, understaffed and may have a long line of patients waiting for them?
That’s why in 2005 the three emergency-medicine specialists founded Your Doc’s In, so that finally there would be a local, friendly place people could go to get a full roster of treatment, promptly and affordably, when unexpected health issues arise.
Recently, Coastal Style submitted a list of questions to Your Doc’s In to understand more fully the key role they serve in our community.
When, where and why was Your Doc’s In created?  
YDI was conceived back in 1997, when it became clear that a significant number of our community in the near future would have only the emergency room as an alternative for any unscheduled illness or injury that did not truly require an ER visit. Between 1993 and now, the length of time to be seen in an Eastern Shore ER has only increased. Secondly, with the constant turnover of internal medicine and family practice physicians, the Shore has yet to develop a stable primary care presence. As the area population continues to grow, in conjunction with the fluctuation in primary care, it was inevitable that the problem of managing care here was only going to exacerbate. With physician-to-patient ratios projected to get significantly worse in our region in the next 10 years, YDI is a logical solution to this looming problem, whereby we, in essence, partner with all providers to help them in times of need.
What are the advantages of YDI versus traditional hospital ERs and private physicians’ offices?   
The advantage is that your quality care is provided in a rapid manner, so you can go about your daily business. Our services are broader than that of a physician’s office, encompassing 80% of the care available in a local emergency room. Secondly, the cost is about one-third of a typical ER visit, and we are in network with nearly all carriers. Also, some emergency rooms are non-participating with most carriers and can charge up to six times more than we do for the same service.
What kinds of situations is YDI equipped to treat?  
To do business in Maryland, we must be able to handle any situation that might present itself to our clinic.
What is the average wait time in a Your Doc’s In clinic before being seen? 
Our goal is to provide rapid evaluation and treatments in less than one hour. Most clients are discharged in 30 minutes.
Does Your Doc’s In work with many insurance plans and carriers?   
We have made everyeffort to be in-participation with all carriers, whether they are commercial, private or federal.
What kinds of medical professionals are included among your staff? 
Our company is owned by doctors who are certified in emergency medicine. We also have a number of physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners on our staff.
Do you offer services targeted to corporations? 
We offer a host of testing services for corporations to assess employees and new hires.
What is your “Back in Action” program?  
This refers to the Occupational Health arm of our business. We treat most job-related illnesses and injuries, making every possible effort to get employees back to work quickly and safely. Dr. Paula Rose, who is a certified Occupational Health Medicine provider and a well-known and respected member of the medical community, has been leading this aspect of our business. We also provide regulatory exams and tests that help employers identify potential risks and prevent problems before they occur. This includes DOT physicals, audiometry, spirometry and ECG, some of which can even be performed at your business.
Do you work with schools for things such as flu shots and inoculations? 
We work with the schools in providing discount sports physicals and are involved in the concussion programs to protect the athletes in our community. We provide seasonal flu shots in our office to the carriers who cover that immunization.
How competitive is your rate/fee schedule with a hospital ER for those services you have in common?
I can say without reservation that we save the insurance industry and local families millions of dollars each year by reducing the cost of nonemergent-care services.

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