FEBRUARY 4, 2011
The more doctors (not office managers, staff or nurses), communicate with patients face-to-face and provide other value-driven options, the more those patients will come back again and again. Up until recently, primary care and health care practices were one of the only segments in the U.S. that rarely listed how much their fees were for their time, services and products.
By Staff Member | Concierge Medicine Today | February 4, 2011
ATLANTA, GA – Like Taco Bell, the creator of the ‘value menu’ concept, a lot of modern health care business centers and physicians from across the U.S. are now actually starting to show their prices to their customers (ie patients) before they see the doctor. Up until recently, primary care and health care practices were one of the only segments in the U.S. that rarely listed how much their fees were for their time, services and products.
The recent evolution of retainer based health care, concierge medical business models and direct primary care practices changed all of that. Concierge medical practices are becoming widely popular among a diverse population of people.
However, there is a population of people, mainly those in the media, who understand these types of medical models offered by visioneering physicians across America (and now growing across the globe) to be exclusive, elusive and let’s say it, flat out wrong.
Having spoken to physicians, interviewed experts and been interviewed myself in the past many years, I’ve found that there is real data now available to the public that shows this type of medical care to be exceptionally high quality and affordable. In fact, I’ve found this dynamic and ever evolving industry to be an all-inclusive, inviting and a win-win for anyone looking for something different from their doctor.
Why Is A Concierge Medical Practice A Win-Win For Patients & Family?
• Decreasing Hospitalizations:
A third-party evaluation of recent data shows that concierge medical patients had over 61 percent fewer hospitalizations when compared with similar patients in commercial insurance plans. Not to mention, 74 percent fewer hospitalizations when compared with Medicare patients of similar gender, age, and disease risk.
Plain and simple, concierge medical patients hospital utilization rates are lower, even when you try matching demographic variables from one age to another. In 2006, many concierge practices had a total average hospitalization rate of less than 120 admissions per one thousand admissions. In non-concierge medical practices, the rate was over 226 per one thousand admissions. On average, a huge population of concierge medical patients had 107 fewer admissions per one thousand than people in standard insurance plans. It’s appropriate to say ‘wow’ at this point. That’s a 47 percent reduction in hospitalizations.
• Concierge Medical Care Prevents and Prevents and Prevents. Here’s Proof:
Data when studying concierge medical practices over the past few years has shown that preventable hospitalizations are lowered by 40% in concierge medical practices. In fact, one source shows that avoidable hospitalization rates average less than 17 admissions per one thousand people. In standard health insurance plans with completely comparable patient populations, the rate is over 28 admits per one thousand patients.
- All We See And Hear In The Media Is That All Concierge Medical Practices Are Exclusive And Really, Really…Expensive. Come on…Really? • Hard Data Analyzed Over Years Shows Almost 60% of Concierge Medical Programs Cost Less Than $136 per month.
This should be a wake up call for all of those critics and cynics in the marketplace thinking this is high-priced, luxury medical care for the rich. Utilizing a blended rate based upon national averages for current fees charged for concierge medical care, an estimated 9,285,714,286 people could be provided concierge medical care with the 13 trillion dollar debt. Carrying this out 928,571,429 people could be provided this care for 10 years.*
So If It’s So Affordable, That Means I Won’t Get Much…Right? Wrong.
Independent analyses show clearly that concierge-models deliver superior clinical outcomes compared to conventional insurance-based practices. Dr. Lee, a practicing concierge physician based in Florida indicates that when you have time to deal with the issues, you do better.
Services typically offered by most concierge medical physicians include:
- physical exams,
- blood work,
- unlimited office visits and other services
(see many of the most common services listed below)
Membership fees typically cover basic services that include preventive care, routine physicals, longer appointments, next-day appointments, 24-hour-a-day phone access and e-mail, house calls, coordination of care when you travel, and a CD with your medical records. If you have health insurance, your concierge doctor may submit claims for treatments that are not covered under your membership. Some of the most common services include: On call 24/7 access; House calls; No waiting; Unlimited appointments for your membership fee; “Executive physical exams” that include a full body scan, screening for over 180 diseases, blood tests for rare conditions and time spent with a physician going over every aspect of your medical history. These comprehensive exams can cost well into the thousands through traditional channels; Lab tests; X-rays; Coordination of care if you become ill while traveling; Mental health services; Well-baby checks; Acute care visits; Online access to medical records; Home delivery of medications; Hospital visits from the doctor; Transportation to appointments; Coordinated care with specialists during travel; Hotel reservations for family during a medical crisis; Wellness, fitness and lifestyle screenings; Weight management; Nutritional counseling; and more.
Concierge Care, Direct Pay and Retainer Based Physician-Patient Practices Are ‘Relationship-Oriented and Experience-Rich’
The more doctors (not office managers, staff or nurses), communicate with patients face-to-face and provide other value-driven options, the more those patients will come back again and again and better yet, tell their friends and family to see you too.
What primary care of family medical practice do you know of today that spends more than forty five to ninety minutes with each patient on every visit? If you would like to read more about these types of physicians or find a doctor near you, you may want to watch this video that talks more in detail about concierge care, retainer or direct pay physicians athttp://www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Each patient should check with their physician to find out what services are included in their individual membership. These are only examples of some of the services. Your physician practice and membership may or may not include some or all of these types of services.
*The figures shown and facts shown here have been analyzed, published and collected internally by information and resources obtained and conducted by Concierge Medicine Today.