Following a sleepless night, Dr. Joel Kahn, principal of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity in Bloomfield Township, did the unthinkable. Last September, he signed an affidavit and cut his ties to Medicare.
“I just couldn’t keep doing cardiovascular counseling and everything else a patient needs in the (maximum) 10-minute time frame required by Medicare for a patient visit,” says Kahn, author of two best-selling books, The Whole Heart Solution and Dead Execs Don’t Get Bonuses. “When a doctor visits with 30 to 35 patients a day, it can be very stressful and mentally draining.”
After signing off on Medicare, he launched the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity, where he instituted a direct patient care model that doesn’t involve insurance companies. In other words, patients pay out of pocket for a range of services such as screening for silent arterial damage, reviewing prior coronary and vascular disease, and nutritional and wellness advice.
“After I left Medicare, I invested in equipment and set up my own practice where now I have the time to sit down with a patient (and) really begin to understand what is going on with their body relative to their medical history, lifestyle, stress, and numerous other factors that can impact cardiovascular health,” he says.
With the average adult body containing 60,000 miles of arteries, and with rising cases of obesity and other poor lifestyle choices, Kahn, who is affiliated with Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak and is a medical professor at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester Hills, says the need for a holistic approach to cardiovascular health has never been greater.
“Our nutritional advice includes maintaining a plant-based, Mediterranean diet, getting proper exercise each week, and making smart decisions to reduce stress,” he says. “We don’t want to put a stent in your artery any more than you do.”db