August 2020

At Your Service: Thomas P. Lenns, M.D., Internal Medicine

Author: Amy Bartlett

Concierge medicine might not be a household phrase, but choosing concierge as a healthcare solution has proven extensively more beneficial for both patient and household. Once considered luxury medical care or boutique, concierge medicine has become more accessible and cost-effective considering the services available to individual members, paired with the rising costs and limitations of traditional healthcare. Your concierge membership connects you with a physician and team that extends 24/7 direct availability and a personal knowledge of your life and individual needs.

Unfinished business
When originally establishing his concierge practice, Dr. Thomas Lenns was motivated by the range of improvements he wanted to be able to bring to patients and their care. Describing former conditions where traditional primary care doctors spend an average seven minutes per patient, Lenns stated with concern, “I knew I was walking out of the room with unfinished business.” He also described that natural (or knee-jerk) reactions in those settings lead to cookie-cutter treatments without addressing root issues. “It is surprising how often an extra five minutes leads to skipping the prescription—sometimes not skipping, but not stopping there, going the extra step to find the cause.”

Lenns celebrates the ability now to get to know a patient and their families. “There’s an amazing life connection to illness and ultimately to health,” he said. He built his concierge practice knowing that, in doing so, he would lose some patients when transitioning away from the overbooked nature of general medicine. Limiting quantity, he knew, would enable unlimited quality of care, providing greater proactive (rather than reactive) preventative medicine.

In the 20 years since the first concierge practice was established in Florida, countless studies have shown the advanced health of concierge patients who, (1) go to the hospital less; (2) recover from illness faster; and (3) encounter fewer mistakes, primarily in medications. The doctor is able to know patients better, see them faster, and maintain involvement in all aspects of their life experiences, eliminating the likelihood of duplicated medicines or conflict between prescriptions.

A team effort
Beyond the benefits of one-on-one connection to a physician like Lenns is the handpicked healthcare team that comprises the practice. “You have a team of support committed to your health and personally connected to you—capable, committed people who have invested years and built a shared knowledge where they can know you like they know me.” Lenns’ wife Carol is the business side of the practice, along with in-house manager Monika Belka, medical assistant Stacey Tindall, and nurse Cheryl Thomas, who has practiced with Lenns for 20 years.

Among the variety of ways this team runs a tight ship are the added safeguards against coronavirus and related concerns patients understandably face. “The practice has implemented sterile measures in accordance with the CDC guidelines regarding the separation of patients and added sanitary practices. With this in place, we’ve encountered almost zero cases of coronavirus in-house, which is a testimony to how rigidly specific we have been in making sure our patients have no need to worry,” Lenns said. Assuring those whose concerns might keep them from coming in, he added, “Ultimately, you’re more likely to be exposed to coronavirus in the supermarket than our offices, and not being seen when there’s a need is more detrimental to your health.”

At every turn, the decision to transition to concierge care as well as daily decisions by Dr. Lenns and team, are all able to be made with the individual patient in mind. “Bottom line,” Lenns said, “concierge medicine is good for the patients. There’s simply no substitute for a doctor who knows you.” 

Dr. Lenns’ office is located at 89 Main Street, Hilton Head Island. For more information, visit drlenns.com or call (843) 681-5305.

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