What Is Concierge Medicine?
A new report from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and NPR found that more than 20 percent of adults in the top 1 percent pay additional fees for direct access to primary care. The care delivery model referenced in these statistics is called concierge medicine and comes with perks like personalized care, same-day appointments, and round-the-clock access to your physician. Below, we review Philadelphia concierge medicine and its benefits to your health.
How Does It Work?
Concierge medicine or concierge care is a relatively new care delivery model that cuts out insurance companies and involves the payment of direct fees to a healthcare provider. It is sometimes called personalized medical service because it allows your physician to spend more time with you, offering personalized care. Some features include:
- Extended exam times.
- Round-the-clock phone and email access to your physician.
- Same-day appointments.
- Home delivery of prescribed medications.
- Home visits.
For many patients, this approach allows them more time with their doctor and saves them from the headache of waiting too long for an appointment.
History of Concierge Medicine Costs
The concierge medicine system began in the mid-1990s and was very pricey then. Patients would pay up to $25,000 a year for the services plus the regular health insurance premiums. Even then, these costs would not cover expenses like consultations and hospitalization.
Today, some patients still pay such amounts for their care, but the average membership fee lies between $1,500 and $2,400 a year— a great reduction. This makes concierge care a lot more affordable than it was when it was first launched.
Improved Doctor-Patient Contact
The healthcare industry is facing a revolution in how it offers services to its members. Physicians are leaving behind payment models like the fee-for-service and adopting more value-based approaches. In turn, more and more doctors hail concierge medicine for improving the quality of their doctor-patient relationships and giving them more time with their patients.
Concierge medicine models often reduce patient numbers, with one doctor having 20 or so patients. This allows them to extend their appointment times to as long as an hour, depending on what a patient needs. Overall, the result is more value for the patient and satisfaction for the doctor.
Additionally, concierge medicine eliminates scheduling conflicts and administration pressure, allowing doctors to provide the highest value of care to their patients.
Benefits of Concierge Medicine to Your Health
The focus on concierge medicine is preventing medical emergencies by identifying and addressing disease risk factors and health problems in the early stages. Due to your doctor spending quality time on your care, they are aware of your health conditions and can keep you from developing conditions that could cause you distress.
If you are at risk for heart problems, this healthcare delivery system allows you to receive care that helps you avoid cardiac complications like heart attacks. You don’t have to drive to the hospital or find someone to take you; your doctor will come to you.
The concierge medicine model is a fresh and innovative approach to healthcare that gives you increased access to your physician. Sanul Corrielus, MD, MBA, FACC, is a board-certified cardiologist that, along with his Corrielus Cardiology, provides concierge medicine services. To learn more, contact the center today or book a consultation online.