Office visits are by appointment only. However, you can stop by to say hi and check out the space anytime.
If you want to become a patient of ours, check out the "Join the Family" tab for more info.
Our sincerest apologies if you have submitted contact forms and didn't hear back from us. (Check your junk mail folder to see if communications ended up there.) Please accept this apology and give us a call. We didn't mean to forget about you! I promise!!
Imagine, if you will, coming to an appointment where: -being seen on time is a priority -you can be seen on the same or next day, if needed -you have time to ask ALL your questions -you feel heard and are seen as a real human being -you can ask any question and not feel judged -it is a comfortable setting with easy parking -the people who work there are super nice and amazingly competent -you can call or text your doctor and ask a question 24/7 -you can email a question or concern to your doctor -you're seen by the same doctor every time -your doctor can truly coordinate care by having more time to communicate with your specialists
If this sounds like something that you would not only love, but feel like you deserve...it turns out that dreams do come true. Welcome to Hoffman Family Medicine!!! Click here to see the fees!
The model that we use at Hoffman Family Medicine (HFM) is called Direct Primary Care (DPC). We do not get paid by insurance companies thus allowing us to work for YOU!
You sign up for a membership to the practice, just like joining a gym.
The monthly membership fee gets you the following benefits: -unlimited visits -the doctor's phone number for calling or texting -the doctor's email address -home visits if you're unable to come in (included within a certain distance, extra fee for if you live farther away) -along with all the above awesomeness!!!
Wait!! You don't take my insurance?! What do I do about my insurance?! How can I afford this?!
We know that it sounds like a very radical idea, however by taking insurance out of how we get paid, care can go back to how it used to be. The key to making this work is low overhead.
It's a different idea, but different doesn't mean bad.
You will still use your insurance to pay for labs, imaging, referrals, medications, hospitalizations, etc. If your insurance covers a particular service, then it doesn't matter who orders it. So, as long as your insurance will cover the service, Dr. Hoffman can order it for you. (You can call your insurance to confirm this is true for your specific insurance plan.)
The membership simply pays for your access to our office and any services that we offer here.
Julie Lewis | The Daily StarDoctors Mary Ellen Hoffman, right and Lia Briggs stand in an exam room with exam gowns made from T-shirts by Hoffman at Hoffman Family Medicine on Dietz Street in Oneonta on Tuesday.
Dr. Mary Ellen Hoffman struck out on her own in January of 2016, leaving the security of Bassett Healthcare Network to start a private practice.
Frustrated by the volume-based model of squeezing in as many patients as possible to collect from insurance, she went one step further, largely eliminating the middlemen in favor of direct primary care. Patients pay Hoffman Family Medicine a monthly fee that gives them access to the doctor for office visits, as well as a phone number that they can call or text her at any time.
A year and a half after opening, the practice has about 400 patients and a waiting list, Hoffman said. She has been able to bring in a second physician, Dr. Lia Briggs, who also left a Bassett practice and started a few weeks ago.
Their office at 50 Dietz St. in Oneonta is the opposite of sterile in its décor, with colorful carpeting and a bright yellow exam room. Hoffman’s office is full of art and children’s drawings, the scent of aromatherapy oils and the trickle of a miniature fountain. The cabinets in the adjacent exam room are full of fun T-shirts refashioned into medical gowns that Hoffman made herself.
Briggs said that she was looking to make a friend when she met Hoffman last year. Both women have two children, and Briggs said she was finding it difficult to balance work and family life. Her first month has been busy, but she says she has had much more time to dedicate to individual patients.
“I was thinking the other day that I feel like a real doctor,” she said.
Both women said that the practice harkens back to older days of medicine, when doctors would make house calls and had time to consider patients’ care holistically. About half of their patients followed them to the new practice, they said.
Membership fees are $100 a month, or $30 a month for people under 21. Some patients don’t have insurance; to that Hoffman says that they are at least getting primary care. She helps patients find low-cost generic medications when possible and contacts pharmaceutical companies to ask about discount programs. Getting blood work or X-rays done is more difficult, she said. Patients who do have insurance can still have tests covered at the office.
Hoffman stressed the importance of primary care in addressing ailments before they grow out of control. While the openness of the practice has meant hours of counseling patients on their issues, she says it has only been a boon and that people don’t tend to take advantage.
“They want attention and accessibility,” she said. “We went into primary care because we want to build relationships with people.” Lori Heggenstaller of Sidney said that she didn’t question following Hoffman to her new practice and that she has been attentive and helpful since Heggenstaller injured her spine in 2016.
“It’s a much more intimate relationship with your doctor. She’s with you through it all,” Heggenstaller said. In her case that included a referral to a surgeon and help with a wheelchair and handicap parking. When a post-surgery medication gave her heart palpitations, Hoffman was able to quickly switch her prescription after a few text messages.
“I liked the idea of the direct care model, and I’d had trouble finding a primary care doctor in the area,” said Sarah Miller of Oneonta. She has given birth to a daughter since becoming a patient and said that Hoffman supplemented her postnatal care. As a new parent, she has peace of mind that her baby questions will be answered quickly.
Hoffman said that keeping overhead costs low has been essential under her new model, and that the office employs one nurse and a receptionist. She commented on the current tension in American health care between traditional fee-for-service and value-based care. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has introduced programs to gauge and pay providers based on quality, hospitals and physicians still rely on the old model.
“How do you make that transition?” she asked. Erin Jerome, staff writer, may be reached at (607) 441-7221, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @DS_ErinJ .
Area doctor offers new model for health care
From the Daily Star
By Jessica Reynolds Staff Writer
Dec 3, 2015
A local physician is about to embark on a new adventure, one that will lead her away from the typical health care model and toward an increasingly popular and innovative type of care. As of Jan. 1, Dr. Mary Ellen Hoffman, of Oneonta, will no longer be seeing patients at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital's Oneonta Family Practice, where she has worked since 2010, she said Thursday. Instead, she will be opening a private practice at 50 Dietz St. called Hoffman Family Medicine.
Hoffman Family Medicine will make use of so-called primary care, a health care model that's gaining traction in the medical world. In this model, the patient pays a monthly fee to the physician instead of sending claims to insurance providers. That fee — $50 a month for individuals ages 20 and older* and $15 a month for anyone younger than 20 — will give patients unlimited primary care office visits, including check-ups, annual physicals, sick visits and chronic care management, according to Hoffman. It will also give them access to Hoffman's email address and phone number, which they can call or text 24/7 with concerns or questions, she said.
Hoffman said she heard about the unique model while on a recent retreat in Oregon with 50 or so other doctors who are looking to make the switch. She's hoping to open her practice, which will also employ a nurse/receptionist, in January, she said. More and more physicians around the country are embracing direct primary care to increase patient access, improve value and reduce costs, according to the national Direct Primary Care Coalition. The model has been discussed in various media outlets, including Time, Forbes and The New York Times.
Visits to Hoffman Family Medicine will last between 30 and 60 minutes, and appointments will be on time and not rushed, Hoffman said. Hours will be flexible, she said, and she will also make home visits if needed. “It's kind of like joining a gym with a monthly membership fee,” Hoffman said. “I want to give patients a different option. And the experience and support I have had while at Oneonta Family Practice has given me the confidence to give this next chapter a try." Medications, some lab tests, imaging and referrals will not be covered by membership fees, she said, so patients may need insurance for these. Hoffman will still be affiliated with A.O. Fox, with the ability to use its labs, imaging and patient records and admit patients. "We wish Dr. Mary Ellen Hoffman success in her new primary care practice model," said John Remillard, president and chief executive officer of A.O. Fox Hospital. "Dr. Hoffman will continue to be a member of the Fox Hospital medical staff, allowing her to refer patients to the hospital for care."
With more than 1,000 patients, costly documentation demands and administrative intrusions, Hoffman began to feel the pressure in recent years at FoxCare Center because she wasn't able to spend the appropriate amount of time with patients and felt rushed, she said. When a practice uses insurance for payment, it becomes "all about seeing a certain volume of patients," she added. By avoiding the obligations to insurance companies, Direct Primary Care physicians are “free to spend that time listening to and treating patients,” Hoffman said.
“The most important thing to me is building trust and relationships with the patients,” Hoffman said. “That's how you get to the bottom of their health issues. And that takes time. Honestly, it will allow me more time to build relationships, and I believe it's these relationships that do the real healing work.”
With a husband and two children, Hoffman felt pinched for time in her personal life, as well, she said. “When you're trying to see more patients, it sometimes ends up affecting your home life and you miss out on your family. I thought about cutting back my hours and even considered quitting medicine altogether,” Hoffman said. “But I feel like I still have a lot to offer so I didn't want to do that. Hoffman Family Medicine will allow me to keep the all-important balance between my work and my family. I needed to make some changes so I can live the authentic life I'm always encouraging my patients to live."
If a patient chooses to stay at Oneonta Family Practice, his or her care will be transitioned to one of the available nurse practitioners or physician assistants, according to Hoffman.
Two of Hoffman's patients, Jennifer Tesiero and Marge O'Mara, both of Oneonta, said they heard about Hoffman from friends who gave "amazing reviews" and have been impressed with her quality of care. They both plan on following her to the new practice, they said.
"The thing that attracted me to her is that she's talking to you about your whole body and mind to get to the root of what's going on," Tesiero said. "She takes a lot of time, she's not looking at her watch. She's trying to really understand what's going and come to a conclusion rather than throwing a pill at you. Everyone I talk to just loves speaking with her."
O'Mara said she feels that Hoffman cares about her personally. "I don't feel like I'm just another person," O'Mara said. "She's really willing to listen and follow through."
Right now, Hoffman is putting the finishing touches on her website, which will have final details and information on how to sign up, she said. Until then, anyone interested can send an email to email@example.com or visit the Facebook page for Hoffman Family Medicine, where several patients have left positive reviews.
"There is never any question whether Doc. Hoffman genuinely cares about her patients," wrote Julee Miller, of Oneonta. "She is willing to discuss and try new approaches with an open mind and heart. She listens without judgment, counsels gently, and ultimately makes you feel like you have a true ally.
Hoffman Family Medicine, PLLC 50 Dietz Street, Suite M Oneonta, NY 13820 Phone/Text: 607/643-4045 Fax: 844/280-3063 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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