What is Concierge Medicine?

When you walk into your doctor’s office, it is highly likely you’ll see a waiting room full of patients, listen to a phone ringing off the hook, and see nurses or other staff moving around quickly to move patients from point A to B. Chances are you’ll also spend 10-20 minutes past your original appointment time waiting to actually be seen by the doctor—all for about 15 minutes of face time. How convenient, right?

 

What if you could avoid all the hassles of modern healthcare? Enter concierge medicine.

In the past, many people associated the idea of concierge medicine with something available to only the wealthiest of people. In 2018, it’s reaching a more mainstream status as the US healthcare system continues to evolve. By simplest definition, concierge medicine is a private form of medical practice that requires an annual membership fee. Exactly what is covered in that fee may vary between providers, but this fee often allows for direct access to the physician—patients can call or email their personal physicians directly for their health needs. This direct access could even include house calls during off hours or in cases of injury. The fee may also cover lab tests or prescription medications. These annual membership fees allow concierge doctors to limit their patient loads so that patients can take advantage of same-day appointments, longer visits, and better doctor-patient relationships.

 

Personalized Attention from Your Doctor

Establishing a doctor-patient relationship is becoming increasingly rare. An average patient group for a primary care provider is anywhere between 1,000-2,000 patients. On the opposite side, a concierge practice will typically limit patient load to a number in the hundreds versus the thousands. With the decreased number of patients in a concierge practice, there are more opportunities to personally manage a patient’s ongoing care, and doctors have the time to develop a deeper trust with their patients. This extra time allows the doctor to proactively care for a patient’s overall well-being and provide more well-rounded care. Without needing to rush to the next appointment like in a traditional practice, concierge medicine doctors have more time to communicate face to face with patients and use their skills to the fullest extent.

 

Cost-Effective Medical Care

Thanks to the ongoing hassles of insurance companies and government red tape when it comes to healthcare, people are searching for new ways to get much-needed medical care. Often, becoming a member of a smaller concierge medicine practice is a great alternative. As health insurance costs continue to rise, patients are looking for ways to keep their own medical costs down. In some situations, that means better preventative care to help them get and stay healthy. Members of concierge practices soon discover an ongoing doctor-patient relationship helps them maintain a healthier lifestyle and keeps potential health problems at bay. Also, since many concierge practices do not accept private insurance, patients are able to completely bypass the third-party payer system. Patients can directly pay the doctor for their services and eliminate the middleman. Since there is less administrative work to do, these practices usually employ fewer people so the staff’s time and energy can go into practicing medicine.

Concierge medicine may be new to you, but it’s a growing part of our healthcare system. If you’re looking for a way to keep your healthcare costs down while still receiving quality personalized care, an appointment with Priority Physicians is worth your time. If you’re looking for a family physician or seeking help with a chronic condition, call today and find out what convenient, quality care options we have available.

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