We are strong advocates of concierge medicine because we have seen the benefits for the physician, staff and patients.
What is concierge medicine?
In the USA, it means that patients pay some sort of retainer or fee to be a part of the practice and they get a set of benefits that are above and beyond what they got in fee-for-service models. There are many, many variations and fee structures including some hybrid models. Most concierge practices continue to bill insurance for services—but some have gone to full pay by patients. There is no one-size-fits-all model for concierge medicine.
What is the benefit for the doctor and medical practice?
The biggest benefit is to stop doing “drive-thru” medicine. There are far fewer patients to see—longer appointment times, a chance to get to know each patient and coordinate care with specialists, really dig into the history and health and advocate for each patient. Of course, there is the upside of the revenue from patient fees—although you need to reality-check the total income since fewer patients mean there is likely to be far less insurance money coming in, too. (That’s why we do an analysis for you!)
Remember the good old days when your doctor made house calls? (Okay maybe that was only on TV!) But the idea is that your doctor will be taking the time to get to know you, your own and your family medical history and be able to work pro-actively with you to manage your health and wellness. If you’ve got a complex medical condition or are entering your golden years when you might—then a concierge practice might give you the peace of mind knowing your doctor really knows you and your situation and can advocate for your health.
There are many websites and resources about Concierge Medicine. Here are a few if you are looking for more information.