Have you ever called your doctor with a question about a symptom, but could only get ahold of the front desk? Or worse, you couldn’t get ahold of anyone?
Maybe you leave a message, or you schedule the next available appointment (a week or more out). It’s scenarios like this that make people feel like a number in a sea of faceless patients.
Medicine doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.
This is where concierge medicine comes in, and it’s why so many people today are looking for a concierge doctor near them.
What Is Concierge Medicine?
Concierge medicine is what medicine was in the 1950s. In those days, your doctor saw you, knew you, and cared for you in the personalized way you should be cared for.
In the concierge model of medicine, patients pay a membership fee directly to their doctor for more personalized care. That membership allows patients full access to their doctor, or to another physician in the practice, and same- or next-day appointments as needed. Think of it like having an attorney on retainer, but for your healthcare.
Strictly concierge practices will also accept insurance from patients. However, another type of practice — Direct Primary Care (DPC) practice — doesn’t accept insurance, and patients only pay a membership fee to the practice.
For simplicity, both of these models are often referred to as concierge medicine by the public. Both are designed to maximize the physician-patient relationship and ensure personalized healthcare while minimizing interference from third parties like insurance.
In concierge medicine, the insurance company is no longer the gatekeeper to your medical care. You are.
How Is Concierge Medicine Different From Traditional Medicine?
Traditional primary care physicians typically treat as many as 3,000–5,000 patients per doctor, and sometimes more. Hearing this number, the long wait times and impersonal care make a little more sense.
Because of these high doctor-patient ratios, many patients leave their traditional appointments feeling like just another number in a file. Even worse, they may leave feeling like they weren’t heard or treated at all.
Further, insurance companies have a lot of power in traditional medical care. Based on statistics and algorithms, for example, they can demand doctors practice or prescribe a certain way, or else refuse coverage.
In traditional primary care, a lot of care gets lost between the patient, the doctor, and the insurance company. There’s not much room for a genuine relationship to grow.
Concierge medicine is changing that by allowing doctors to give patients the time and care they deserve. At Priority Physicians, we’re a DPC practice that doesn’t accept insurance. This means we, the physicians, get to make all the decisions with you, the patient, without any opinions from an insurance company.
Here are a few highlights about how the concierge doctor near you differs from a typical primary care practice.
Low Ratios for Relationship-Building
At Priority Physicians, we keep our patient population to 250 per physician. Other practices may have slightly higher ratios, but they’re all a far cry from 3,000 to one.
These low ratios mean we have the time to develop direct relationships with our patients. We go beyond the chart to learn your lifestyle, your concerns, and your personality. It’s like having a doctor in the family.
Unparalleled Access to Your Doctor
With concierge medicine, you have direct access to your doctor. You can email, call, or text with questions or concerns any time you need to. No more waiting on hold to hear from a nurse or having to schedule an appointment weeks in the future.
Your health doesn’t take weekends off and a half day on Friday. When you have a worrisome symptom, you need to be able to ask questions right away.
All physicians should be advocates for their patients, but with patient loads in the thousands, that’s not often possible. However, concierge medicine ensures that you have someone who knows you and understands your unique health needs to coordinate your care.
If you need to visit a specialist, for example, concierge doctors can do more than arrange the appointment; they can stay in active communication with specialists to ensure they understand your case and you get the care you need.
Concierge medicine is about thoughtful, proactive medical care. We aim to prevent illness, not merely react once an illness develops. Unfortunately, that’s something traditional medicine has lost sight of.
Concierge medicine provides the relationships that make preventive care possible. Relationships allow us to think ahead for each individual and consider how to prevent sickness, serious illness, and injury based on their unique lifestyle, history, and needs.
How To Choose a Concierge Doctor Near Me
Choosing a doctor is just as important as choosing someone to do your taxes or manage your finances — except instead of managing your money, they’ll be managing your body. Below are some qualities to look for when choosing a concierge doctor near you.
Since you don’t have to select from an insurance company’s list of pre-approved physicians, you have more freedom in selecting a concierge doctor near you that you like. Look for a doctor whose personality and communication style mesh well with your own.
Remember, this won’t be a once-a-year, 10-minute check-in. This will be the person you might text from the pharmacy with a question about which cold medicine to buy. You’re going to develop a relationship with your doctor, so make sure you trust them and feel comfortable talking with them.
This is a valuable relationship, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more time finding the concierge doctor who’s right for you. It will be worth it.
To get the most out of your concierge membership, look for a practice with lower patient-doctor ratios. A concierge doctor with a lower patient load will have more time to devote to each patient. This means they can get to know you better, provide greater access, and develop a relationship more fully.
Depending on your needs, location may or may not be important. Do you want to take advantage of same-day or next-day appointments? Then be sure to choose a concierge doctor near you.
But maybe in-person appointments aren’t as important to you as finding the right doctor for you, regardless of location. That opens you up to more options, as long as you can come in for an annual executive physical.
Priority Physicians has members locally in Indianapolis, but we also have members in Illinois and even New York who we can see virtually (outside of their yearly physical).
Priority Physicians Provides a Concierge Doctor Near You
Priority Physicians is serving patients in Indianapolis and the surrounding cities. Many of our patients come from these areas:
- North Indianapolis — Williams Creek, Meridian Hills, Broad Ripple
- Northeast Indianapolis — Geist, Fall Creek
- Central Indianapolis — Mass Ave, Downtown
- Western Indianapolis — Eagle Creek
- North — Carmel, Westfield
- Northwest — Zionsville
- Northeast — Fishers, Noblesville, McCordsville, Anderson, Muncie
- West — Brownsburg and Avon
- South — Greenwood
- West Lafayette
If you’re looking for a concierge doctor near you in the Indianapolis area, stop in to visit one of our locations or give us a call to find out more.