What is Concierge Medicine? Definition, Pros and Cons

Remember the last time you scheduled your appointment with your doctor on the same day? Or maybe you had a quibble over a call when you arrived at the office and then you and your doctor discussed it for initiating your anxiety medicine? 

Perhaps not. 

Standing in queues, waiting for indefinite hours, that too with ongoing illness and still being unsure about fixing your meeting with the doctor, is something really pathetic. 

So the concept of concierge medicine evolved out to be a relieving solution for lots of patients out there in the US. It helps patients to avoid all the above-mentioned hurdles and connect with their doctors anytime anywhere. Get a quick diagnosis of their ailments. 

Concierge medicine helps patients to get treated quickly and fast without getting entangled in the prevailing complicated hospital system. 

So what is concierge medicine? What are the direct primary pros and cons? What are the marketing solutions for concierge medicine? In this blog, we will try to cover all these answers and give you a clear and detailed insight into this emerging trend of concierge healthcare.

Let’s dig in deep. 

What is Concierge Medicine?

“Concierge medicine” is a membership-based healthcare facility that helps you get exclusive, personalized care, with easy accessibility and convenience.

Concierge medicine is also known by different names- concierge care, boutique medicine, retainer-based medicine, platinum practice, direct primary care, and more. All these are basically the synonym to quick primary care that doesn’t need a huge time as it is needed for hospital care.

A monthly fee to the doctors provides you unlimited office and telehealth visits that last long as one needs. Receive direct primary care from your doctor without worrying about the charges and co-pays. In addition to this, you may also gain access to the doctor’s telephone number to reach out to them in time of need. Get hands on simple medical questions and diagnostic or blood tests at the doctors’ office.

In case you have a major health problem, your doctor makes sure to refer you to a specialist or another hospital if needed. There is no insurance or corporate health insurance involved with concierge medicine- only doctors and patients.

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How Does this Concierge Medicine Work?

It works with an annual or monthly flat fee of some amount which acts as a doorway to access to the physicians or doctors for every type of primary care and diagnosis a patient needs. This concierge healthcare model was introduced in the mid-1990s aiming to overcome the drawbacks of the complex healthcare system in the US. 

The Seattle-based company MD2 International launched the  “luxury care model” with an annual fee of $25000 which attracted the rich families to opt for this service. Since then it has gained huge traction as people were able to reach out to a doctor on the same day and get diagnosed without any need to wait and be on stand by. 

The price model that was introduced during its inception is no longer the same now. It has been revised over time and brought to a much more affordable price as compared to what it was before. The intent behind the same was to attract a huge segment of the population and provide them with a better and healthy life.

The price of the same has come down to $1500-$2400 a year or $125-$200 a month. The drastic price revision has helped hundreds and thousands of people to opt for quick and fast direct primary healthcare facilities. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of this system? Let’s have a detailed look at the below section. 

Direct Primary Care Pros and Cons

We are all aware of the fact that no system has ever come with zero drawbacks. Every system has some flaws and even this amazing concierge healthcare model does. Long with a  lot of benefits, it also has some flaws. So what are the benefits and drawbacks of this system? Let’s find out. 

Pros of Concierge Healthcare:

  • No more waiting for appointments
  • Same day appointment 
  • Standard care with blood work, physicals, and preventive screening at the office
  • 24/7 access to care delivers convenience AND peace of mind
  • Virtual correspondence prevents an unneeded trip to the office
  • In-house specialization spares you time
  • No copays for office visits
  • Receive common medicines from the office at a discounted price
  • Coordination of care takes the stress out of specialists

Cons of Concierge Healthcare:

  • Membership fees can be prohibitive
  • Fees increase with age
  • Fees paid with regular insurance premiums can be expensive
  • Some additional out-of-pocket costs remain (but they could be covered through health insurance)
  • Limited insurance cooperation for some
  • The low investment will equal a low return
  • You may not have many concierge doctors in your area

How Much Does Concierge Healthcare Model Cost?

Depending upon your residence place, the practices you join, the membership fee varies. The monthly fees can range from $1200 to $10, 000 a year. Depending upon age, the membership varies.

The membership fees include the initiation fee and then a recurring monthly fee. Some healthcare facilities also offer family or group memberships- of course, calculated based on the age of the individual.

The monthly fee for direct primary care may be an out-of-pocket expense for most. However, depending upon your need, you may incur additional fees or services like executive health assessments or outside labs. Even though some healthcare companies may reimburse these additional charges if the physician is considered as an out-of-network provider.

Concierge care is not an alternative for insurance, you will still need coverage for your specialty referrals and hospitalizations. As routine care is covered by the membership, it would be better to switch to a high-deductible health plan to save money. You may contact your health insurance company to see what can be paid with your HSA or FSA.

The Final thoughts

Concierge medicine has no doubt brought a revolution by helping patients with faster primary care assistance. Along with it, it has some drawbacks attached to it like hidden charges. Limited insurance cooperation, and all the rest ones mentioned above. 

All you need to do is to carefully watch out before you reach out to any concierge doctors and wisely choose the one that comforts your pocket and lifestyle.

If you are looking for the best concierge services or alternative hospitals with the best facilities that help in delivering comfort care services to the patients, do not hesitate to explore our healthcare platform.

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