Concierge medicine is a different and unique approach to healthcare that has gained steam in the last few years. People across the entire spectrum of wealth are joining concierge medical programs for a wide array of reasons. More and more, these reasons are compelling.
While most physicians are dedicated to the welfare of their patients, the current bureaucratic healthcare system can become an impediment to achieving it. With the problems plaguing the mainstream healthcare system, concierge medicine is proving to be a preferred option for many.
Concierge medicine can provide many advantages over traditional practices. Concierge medicine is a term broadly used to describe highly personalized, individualized health care built on a direct physician-patient relationship. Below we’ll break down 3 reasons why healthy people, as well as people with complex medical issues, join concierge medical practices.
1. Direct Relationship with Your Doctor
Concierge medicine means you have a direct relationship with your doctor. People with medical issues have recognized the significant limitations of the primary healthcare system, and they want to make sure they can get to a physician whenever the need arises.
Concierge care physicians bring old school, one-on-one physician-patient relationships back to modern medicine. Through this approach, they can consistently deliver healthcare at a level of competence, concern, and service not found at typical primary care practices.
Unlike many medical systems where the doctor works for the hospital system or an insurance company, a concierge doctor is typically in private practice and works for the patient directly. That means you’ll receive more face-to-face time with the physician.
Healthier patients are attracted to the convenience and personal attention they can receive from a concierge medical practice. No more booking appointments months in advance, and you can spend more time with your doctor, who can get a better understanding of your medical history. Concierge care physicians spend more time with you because they have fewer patients and have eliminated the time and administrative cost of dealing with insurance. A typical primary care practice will have 2,000 or more patients, while a concierge practice will average 500 people. Spending more time with your doctor when you’re not feeling well or need help managing chronic issues could prevent more costly problems and bigger health issues down the road.
2. Longer Visits and More Personalized Attention
Concierge medicine offers a much-needed change from the traditional medical model of fifteen minutes with the doctor (if you’re lucky) and rare same or next-day appointment availability. That system sends many people to urgent care or the ER and can leave patients with their symptoms for days or even months.
Concierge medical clinics offer timely access to care, dramatically shorter wait times ( or no waiting ) in the office, and longer visit times with the provider, in which the patient’s true health care needs are more fully met and treated. Concierge medicine uses a patient-centered model and limits the number of patients enrolled. This helps ensure that each patient is provided with comprehensive, highly attentive, and personalized care at the doctor’s office, during home or workplace visits, and even when patients are hospitalized. Moreover, the fact that concierge care physicians know their patients extremely well makes taking action easier and faster.
A University of Wisconsin report found that almost half of primary physicians devote less than fifteen minutes to each patient visit, which happens roughly 1.6 times a year for a typical patient. Contrast that with concierge physicians who spend much more time and are more accessible.
Concierge patients tend to be more satisfied overall. A recent survey found that roughly 90% of concierge patients are happy with their care, compared with about 67% in traditional health care. And almost 97% think their doctors take a personal interest in their health care, more than one-third higher than those in a regular practice.
A Concierge Choice Physicians survey shows that patient satisfaction is high within concierge medicine: 98% of participants state that communication and immediate contact with healthcare providers has improved. Additionally, 98% of respondents were satisfied with office staff and their ability to answer questions while 97% would recommend the services to their friends.
3. Access, Access, Access
With the traditional healthcare system under pressure, patients can lose out having to wait to see primary care physicians as well as specialists. Many of the concierge medical practices eliminate this obstacle providing quick access to high-quality healthcare.
Concierge medicine allows you to have more choice over the treatments and tests administered, and, for some, this can translate into better health long-term. Many people don’t have adequate insurance coverage or access to medical providers and information. Therefore, they may lack the knowledge to identify health problems and prevent major disease. Concierge medicine allows doctors and patients to have a closer relationship and ready access to knowledge and experience. This can help prevent illness by identifying and treating it early. Ultimately, having quick access to a high-caliber physician for timely diagnosis and immediate treatment saves lives and prevents acute problems from becoming critical.
Adding concierge medicine on top of their regular insurance can be a good idea for those with existing health conditions. Unique practices will also accept patients without insurance, the best of which have pre-negotiated lower rates from key laboratories and diagnostic centers on behalf of their uninsured clientele. Concierge medicine is particularly beneficial for those who have complex medical conditions, travel frequently, or have otherwise busy schedules. Depending upon the practice, telemedicine and housecalls may be available.
Another aspect of access is the ability to be admitted to leading medical centers and become patients of leading healthcare specialists. When specialists need to be consulted, the ability to connect with leading authorities and medical centers where they work can be lifesaving. Having knowledge of and access to these experts is an essential component of many concierge medical practices. Access to the best specialists is especially important if a patient is a candidate for an emerging therapy.
Concierge medicine is about the patient experience as much as it is about patient care. Patients today demand excellent care, but they also expect and deserve, the highest quality customer service. At the end of the day, concierge medical practices deliver on both fronts giving you a much more personalized, intimate encounter with your concierge care physician.
If you have any questions about concierge medicine or need more information, please feel free to contact us.