As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and the needs and wants of patients change, different care models are coming to the forefront of popularity. Concierge medicine is one such model that’s been getting more attention lately. Let’s examine what exactly is involved in this care model and five reasons that some patients are choosing to move in this direction with their care.
What is concierge medicine?
Concierge medicine, sometimes called direct primary care, is a care model that offers accessibility, convenience, and personalized care in exchange for a monthly membership fee. The goal of this care model is to eliminate third parties from the doctor/patient relationship by foregoing insurance and the influence of large, corporate health systems.
Patients in concierge medicine practices have access to unlimited office and telehealth appointments, as well as phone access to their provider for health-related questions. Additionally, bloodwork and simple diagnostic tests are typically offered in the office, and should an issue arise that requires a specialist or hospital care, the doctor coordinates it.
Concierge medicine is becoming increasingly popular with both providers and patients because while patients like the access and convenience, providers like the ability to focus more fully on patient care without having to consider insurance limitations or pack their schedule to meet the expectations of a health system. Generally, the average annual fee for concierge medicine ranges from $1,200 to $2,400, or $100 to $200 monthly.
5 Reasons Patients are Choosing Concierge Medicine
Increasingly, today’s patients have a choice in their healthcare options and more patients are discovering and adopting concierge care. Here are five reasons why that’s so.
- Patients want a seamless experience. With concierge medicine, patients have guaranteed access to care whenever it’s needed with same-day or next-day appointments. Bloodwork and standard diagnostic tests are available in-office, saving both time and money. Because of the membership fee, there are no co-pays or deductibles to worry about when scheduling an appointment. Some practices even dispense a limited selection of medications in-office at a discount. This makes receiving care incredibly seamless and efficient.
- Patients want individualized care. Often, the patients who are choosing concierge medicine are those who are proactive and more deeply involved in their care. They want a provider who is a partner in achieving health, not just someone to alleviate illness when it pops up. Unfortunately, traditional doctors are often too bogged down to fill this role in the way they’d like to, while concierge providers have more freedom to take the time to focus on each individual patient in more detail.
- Patients want more attentive care for chronic conditions. In a traditional practice, a lot of a provider’s day-to-day is governed by the expectations of their health system or the need to schedule enough appointments to receive adequate reimbursement to meet overhead requirements. This can mean long waits to schedule, long waits in office, and rushed appointments. Concierge providers have more control over their time and are able to really dig in with their patients, taking a more thorough, proactive approach to care. This is especially important when dealing with chronic conditions.
- Patients want reduced wait times. Today’s patients are busy, and there are few things that irritate them more than waiting. With concierge medicine, patients are able to see their provider sooner, with same-day or next-day availability, allowing for better management of symptoms and conditions. No more waiting weeks or even months for an appointment improves health outcomes, and of course creates better patient satisfaction as well.
- Patients want more detailed care. It’s an all too familiar experience to wait weeks for an appointment and then when the time comes the doctor is in and out of the room in a matter of minutes, leaving the patient confused as to what just happened. With less rushed visits in concierge care, providers can ask more questions to learn more details about their patients’ health, as well as answer more questions so patients feel confident in their diagnoses and treatment plans. This increase in time also offers the ability to discuss preventive care and overall well-being, taking a more proactive approach to healthcare.
While concierge medicine may not be for everyone, there are many patients who are interested in experiencing the benefits it offers. As a provider, you may be interested in the increased freedom that concierge care offers. At Henry Schein SolutionsHub, we are dedicated to finding solutions that will support your practice whatever care model you use.