Concierge doctor, VIP Doctor, Home Doctor, On Call Doctor, these are terms you may have heard before.
If you haven’t, chances are you soon will. Concierge medicine, is a growing segment of healthcare with the goal of providing higher quality care at reasonable prices without the hassle of dealing with insurance companies or crowded lobbies.
A doctor who practices concierge medicine may charge patients a monthly or annual fee in exchange for the ability to schedule same-day appointments, tests and lab results. This exclusivity allows doctors to spend more time with their patients. In return for receiving the annual or monthly payments, the doctor often chooses to limit his or her practice to a set number of patients. Different practices may also choose to bill some insurance or charge a set co-pay regardless of the service provided. This flexibility is attracting new and experienced medical practitioners to the concierge medicine industry.
CONCIERGE DOCTOR SERVICE IS GROWING
At one point concierge medicine was considered a luxury and out of reach for most people. In recent years, the trend has shifted to a more affordable concierge medicine model. According to Concierge Medicine Today, there are approximately 5,500 concierge medical practices across the nation. Three years ago, about 49% of those practices charged less than $150 a month. Today, the number of practices charging $150 or less has jumped to nearly two-thirds!
This shift has made concierge medicine a real alternative to the traditional brick and mortar medical practices we are used to.
FINDING A CONCIERGE PRACTICE
The average number of patients seen per day at most concierge practices is six to eight. Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and California currently have the most concierge practices in operation, but it’s estimated there is at least one concierge practice in every state. If you’re looking for a concierge practice, the American Academy of Private Physicians can provide assistance online to locate a practice near you.
If you’re like most people, you probably feel like doctors are unable to devote as much attention to their patients as they wish they could. You might also feel like insurance companies spend more of their time pushing paperwork than paying for claims. If that’s the case, the concierge medical model may just suit you perfectly. To find the right one for you, do a little homework and ask questions, each concierge service provides different levels of benefits and has its own features.