Physicians

Concierge Medicine From A Doctor’s Perspective – David R. Donnersberger, MD, JD

Call it boutique medicine. Retainer medicine. Platinum care. Evoking the pastoral image of a sturdy black doctor’s bag and spectacles, concierge medicine is a small but growing trend among over-worked and over-booked physicians. The practice essentially offers a limited number of patients the opportunity to pay a fixed annual fee in exchange for premium services and attention. Fees can range anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000. Concierge medicine has been dubiously received while transition necessitates limiting a physician’s patient base significantly. Imagine receiving a letter from your doctor of 30 years demanding an annual fee on top of the cost of your normal visits. Hurry your check, and you may be one of the lucky ten percent the practice will keep. Thousands of patients have been outraged to receive just this kind of letter from their family doctor.

I believe concierge medicine can indeed offer significant advantages if mixed with a dose of good, old-fashioned business practice. There exists a happy medium that allows physicians to spend increased time with patients without alienating long-term clients. In our practice, we demand no annual fee. We ask that Medicare patients pay out of pocket for their wellness visit; such payment is only covered when the patient turns 65. The patient can in turn be reimbursed on the insurance provider’s schedule.

If the patient is unable to pay, we will still provide the visit. In
considering a concierge practice, physicians should continue to accept
patients with Medicare or other third-party payers, but may ask for
payment directly before the patient files their own claim. The benefits
of a direct payment structure to physicians means a less bureaucratic
or “quota”-driven practice. The benefits to patients include same-day
appointments, complete and continuous physician access via cell phone,
on-site laboratories in clinics, and no anonymous hospitalists in the
event of a stay. Increased attention for patients leads to a much
higher rate of satisfaction and comfort.

Concierge medicine, from a doctor’s perspective, is a more
gratifying and fulfilling way to practice medicine. Today’s doctors
take on patient loads of up to 2,500 to 3,500 patients annually. Longer
appointments with concierge physicians means a thorough discussion of
patient questions and concerns. More time also translates into a real
ability to monitor wellness screens such as mammograms and
colonoscopies.

There exists the fear that concierge care will result in a
two-tiered medical system based upon economics. In the beginning, this
may have in fact been true. But as the practice has evolved over the
past decade, so have individualized billing plans. Ideally, physicians
should maintain long-standing relationships with patients regardless of
their ability to pay out of pocket. About 250 concierge physicians
exist in the United States today. Participating physicians report more
time to devote to patient care and advocacy, as well as continuing
medical education and family life. The result is a revolution in
preventative care and a return to a more personal relationship between
doctor and patient.

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หนังโป๊kate killebrewTrueNorthS. AndersonInfoMark Recent comment authors
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หนังโป๊
Guest

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I
find this topic to be really something which I think
I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

TrueNorth
Guest
TrueNorth

As a patient, I’ve encountered both a FFS and the beginnings of a concierge practice within the last month. I have to say the quality of care at both was excellent. My pain management physician accepts no insurance so I submitted myself. The potential lesson I saw with this model is that the patient sees the amount of discounting the physician has to endure for their time and effort. It is the start of the general public understanding what healthcare actually costs. I saw how much my benefit plan wanted to squeeze out of the comprehensive hands-on care it received.… Read more »

S. Anderson
Guest
S. Anderson

I’m tired of hearing about everyone’s concern they won’t earn enough money. Every profession in this country has to give. The end of the age of opulence is over. Let’s all get together and help one another. That’s what the Golden Rule is all about.

InfoMark
Guest
InfoMark

Having had the experience of belonging to an excellent PCP’s concierge like practice for two years in New Mexico I can without hesitation say I recieved the best comprehensive healthcare of my life for that time. In my life I’ve had many good, and some not so good primary care relationships. However, the time and breath of perspective my practitioner in New Mexico was able to give to our clinical encounters, and overall relationship, truely changed all aspects of my life for the better. But I don’t think all, of even some of the excellent PCPs I’ve had before or… Read more »

kate killebrew
Guest
kate killebrew

InfoMark, I am looking for a concierge physician in New Mexico. I live in albuquerque and am a physician myself.

Please contact me if you see this and are willing to share the information. Otherwise, I have found no one.

kk2840@earthlink.net

Butch
Guest

Absolutely right, JP. In fact concierge medicine can be part of the solution by bringing costs down. Combining a concierge/direct care fee with prescription and hospitalization insurance would in many cases be cheaper than traditional insurance.
We’re doing just that – helping doctors better serve their patients with this innovative model. http://bit.ly/aAShDH

JP Saleeby, MD
Guest

American still has a fee market economy last time I checked. Concierge medicine is just another model and I believe strongly it should be explored as an alternative to socialized medicine to help the healthcare crisis we are in. If this model is implemented in a reasonable and ethical fashion with market correct fees, there should be no ethical qualms. Physicians should have just the same opportunities as any other industry business person to explore ways to make a living. After all healthcare is NOT a right, but a privilege of living in the USA. I do my part to… Read more »

Elite Health
Guest

Concierge Medicine in Demand, Even in Difficult Times Healthcare is a top priority for Americans, even in continually difficult economic times. With people all around the country cutting back on everything from eating out regularly to family vacations, it seemed only a matter of time before reductions on healthcare spending began. But that just isn’t so. Take concierge medicine for example, an avenue within the healthcare industry in which you can find personalized, quality care. Concierge medicine has barely been touched by the recession. Studies show that Americans value their high quality healthcare and are not eager to give up… Read more »

concierge services
Guest

Concierge services has become quite popular these days. Hotel employed concierge services
attract many potential hotel guests and bring in good business. Corporate concierge services
have gained popularity and are also demanded in the market.

Alex
Guest
Alex

There is no difference is quality of care between doctors who are participants in health care plans, and doctors who don’t take insurance.
It would be nice if the patient could at least get quality health care by paying cash, but the doctors are just as rushed, negligent, rude as plan participants.
Concierge medicine is just another rip-off gimmick by this increasingly detestable profession.

Marilyn
Guest

In concierge medical care, patients are not paying for the usual care, they are paying for a health advocates who will navigate the health care system for them. Waiting times for physician is nil. Respect for the patient is paramount.
I recently joined Enhanced Medical Care with Mark Costa, M.D. in Newton, MA, what a transformational experience.

nasimeh yazdani
Guest
nasimeh yazdani

I’m a physician practicing in Southern California and looking to start a new internal medicine practice. The concept of concierge model of providing care really appeals to me due to a number of reasons, some of which have been mentioned by previous writers: enhanced doctor patient relationship, improved standard of care, compassion, accountability and availability. The only fear I have is the bureaucratic jungle I’ll be facing with insurance carriers and government programs like Medicare. If anyone knows of ways of getting around this problem, please write back.

Ben Gonzalez
Guest
Ben Gonzalez

Mike, I am looking for a partner in a concierge practice in the WashingtonD.C/Baltimore area. Our clinic is already in existance as a Medical Spa. We plan on formally opening our Wellness Center in Jan/Feb timeframe. We have been transistioning our clinic to a concierge model. contact me through our website at http://www.atlantismedispa.com. We are currently redesigning/configuring our website to reflect our future practice.

Stacey
Guest
Stacey

Mike, our practice is looking to hire two already established physicians to operate in a new concierge location. Look at http://www.letssimplify.com

Mike
Guest
Mike

Does anyone know of any concierge physicians interested in hiring another physician to join their practice?

Conciant
Guest

This day and age more and more people are using a personal concierge to “buy back” their precious time. A personal concierge works on the most basic of premise: people want things done and just don’t have the time to do them.