Is Concierge Medicine Worth The Cost?

Over the years, we have found that there are elements of your life that are more important than money. These elements – Physical Health, Relationship Health, Inner Health and Career Health – cannot be delegated. We hope that you find this article to be of value in improving the quality of your life.

The concept of “concierge medicine” has been around since the 1990s, but is gaining substantial momentum in recent years, due in part to the growth of consumer demand for the service, and also doctors themselves (especially the younger generation of doctors) showing interest in adopting the model as medical practitioners. The basic approach of concierge medicine is that it’s a private form of Medicare care, where physicians charge patients an out-of-pocket retainer fee in exchange for full and immediate access to their services (and in the process, doctors then maintain a much smaller pool of patients, typically ranging from 500 to 1,000, as contrasted with sometimes several thousand patients in a traditional practice). And while the perception historically was that concierge medicine was only for “wealthy patrons”, the rising cost of healthcare itself is beginning to close the price gap between concierge plans and more traditional health insurance. Still, though, the primary driver of concierge medicine is a driver for “more personal care”, with a focus on preventative care (as opposed to sick care), and the opportunity when a health event does occur to get faster diagnoses and treatment from a doctor with fewer patients who can spend more time/attention on the ones they do have (with common options like next-day appointments, longer appointment times, in-home visits, fast emergency care, and a wider range of preventative screenings and tests not always offered by traditional insurance plans). For expenses not covered by the concierge model, concierge doctors typically still coordinate with traditional insurance providers and networks. Still, though, that means that most who purchase concierge medicine services still need to have some level of traditional insurance as well, for the potential needs and procedures that aren’t covered by the retainer fee (which means in practice it’s usually a concierge medicine retainer fee and health insurance, not instead of the insurance), and the retainer fees themselves typically are not covered by insurance (which means a separate entire out-of-pocket-fee). For those that do want to explore further, organizations like the American Academy of Private Physicians have created “Find A Physician” tool to identify concierge medicine providers by geographic area or specialty.

Used with permission (by Jessica Sommerfield, MoneyNing)
Did you find this information interesting? If so, please share it!