Concierge medicine is an umbrella term used to describe a fee arrangement in which the patient pays their doctor a yearly retainer fee. This retainer fee may be in addition to other charges for services delivered.
Concierge medicine is gaining popularity. There are more than 6,000 concierge practices in the country. A study estimates that more than 20 percent of adults in the top one percent of the population pay a concierge fee to gain direct and unhindered access to their primary care doctor.
The Concierge Care Model: An Introduction
The concierge care model was introduced in the mid-1990s by Seattle-based MD International. The model was named luxury medical care and many practices used to charge as high as $25,000 for the boutique healthcare experience. This fee was exclusive of annual insurance premiums and did not cover hospitalization costs or specialist consultations.
Since then, the average concierge fee has gone down. Today, most patients pay between $1,500 and $2,400 per annum for membership in a concierge practice.
The last five years have seen the rise of Direct Primary Care practices. The DPC arrangement has introduced multiple affordable models of subscription-based, on-demand care. Like the concierge model, the direct primary care model charges the patient a flat, retainer fee for highly personalized primary care.
There is, however, a major difference between the concierge care model and the DPC model. Unlike concierge practices, DPCs do not accept insurance payments or participate in government programs. Patient membership fees can be as low as $100 per month for unlimited doctor visits.
Reasons to Choose Concierge Medicine
Here are some benefits of choosing a concierge doctor near you for your medical needs.
Unrestricted and Immediate Access
A study found that around 80 percent of physicians across all specialties are overburdened. You may have to wait for days, even weeks, to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The concierge medicine model can cut down patient wait times to less than an hour.
You will have 24/7 access to your doctor and can get in touch with them through mail or on the phone. Immediate access improves patient satisfaction and patients are able to better manage their condition, which improves outcomes.
Primary care physicians see many patients everyday. It is not possible for them to discuss with every patient their problems in detail. Concierge physicians usually do not see more than 10 patients a day and are able to give enough time to every patient.
Coordination With Specialists
When treating patients with multiple or complicated health issues, a concierge doctor can consult different specialists. Many physicians accompany their patients during visits to specialists. Their clinic provides facilities for some lab tests.
Are you looking for a concierge doctor near you? Look no further than Dr. GuyDelorefice. Known for delivering quality health services, Dr. Guy follows best practices for improving patient outcomes. To consult, call (707) 938-1255.