Slowly sipping his fresh-brewed cup of coffee, Chase glanced at the front door.
The ringing doorbell parted the early morning fog swirling around in his head. Walking over, he smiled at Dr. Samuels through the window.
He was smiling because he liked his doctor, but also because of the secret he’d recently unlocked.
Skipping the line and addressing his health from home was worth every penny!
No longer exclusively an option for the well-off, this style of care shows great promise.
Allow me to explain…
What Is Concierge Medicine?
During its early days, concierge medicine offered wealthy patients personalized care. It was an expensive service physicians provided to those who didn’t balk at the price tag.
Not to be confused with direct primary care (DPC), it operated on the fringes of healthcare. But no longer.
Over the past 10 years, trends have shifted. Surely boosted by Covid, this style of treatment has emerged from the shadows into the light.
One major perk is worth noting. Whereas the traditional primary physician handles up to 4,000 patients, concierge doctors normally have 600 or less!
- Increased time with each patient
- Less administrative burden
How much does concierge medicine cost?
Concierge Medicine Today found monthly membership fees in the range of $125-150. Certain services are covered, but typically patients have health insurance for everything else.
I mentioned the direct primary care model earlier. Understanding they do share certain similarities, where do they diverge?
Differences Between Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care
Direct primary care:
- Only offers primary care
- Generation X and Millennials make up the main customer base
- Doesn’t bill insurance for services
- Monthly fees under $100
- Relies exclusively on membership fees
- Offers various specialities
- Baby Boomers make up the main customer base
- Bills insurance for non-covered services
- Monthly fees run between $125 and $150
- Relies on membership fees and insurance + government reimbursement
Direct primary care came into its own during the mid-2000’s. Doctors in favor of the concierge model created it to reach other income levels.
Now that you understand their public appeal, who would benefit most from providing this service? Private medical practices with either one founder, or up to 10.
Without as much red tape to go through and more flexibility, they should embrace it. Sometimes struggling to stand out next to larger systems, this differentiation factor would help!
You may be wondering if healthcare of this nature will benefit you. Wonder no longer.
Concierge Medicine Pros and Cons
People are losing more and more faith in the healthcare system. As the government took “unofficial” control of the national healthcare system in late 2020, it’s rather unsurprising.
My belief is that faith in frontline “heroes” such as nurses and freethinking providers remains strong. Any loss in trust centers mainly around the healthcare system as a whole.
It needs restructuring and less government oversight, not more. But I digress.
With this in mind, is concierge medicine worth it? I’m strongly in the camp of YES.
- Certain medications are discounted and available in-office
- 24/7 access to your doctor, even when traveling
- Regular care is handled at home, virtually, or in-office
- Appointments available same-day or next-day
- Fees increase as you age
- Varying monthly membership fees across practices
- Hospital and specialty referrals still require traditional health insurance
- Extra health fees (monthly fee + insurance premium)
Additional Reasons To Entertain Concierge Medicine
Despite some drawbacks there seem to be more positives. Three major ones?
Concierge medicine helps decrease:
- Physician burnout
- Patient fatigue
- Patient burnout
Smaller patient loads + more time for questions = increased patient satisfaction. And this metric is integral to determining future profitability for a medical practice!
There is some online talk centering around its ethicality. It seems rather unfounded in my opinion, and I’ll tell you why.
In many industries, the presence of a third party creates temptation for ethical lapses.
Studying this model, there isn’t a third party to be found. A reduced conflict of interest results, which is a good thing! Fees for non-covered services are paid directly to the doctor, who acts as their advocate.
Wondering where these providers reside? Let me walk you through an example.
Concierge Medicine Near Me
Deciding to conduct a quick test, I typed “concierge medicine near San Ramon, CA” into Google. Towards the top of the results was a nearby private practice doctor.
Of course I expected this, but one result actually surprised me. A large Northern California healthcare system had a webpage dedicated to this alternative care.
An unknown fact to those outside healthcare is that doctors aren’t employees of a hospital. Instead, they’re closer to “independent contractors.” This benefits them in a number of ways.
One is they can practice medicine both publicly and privately. The aforementioned doctor was associated with a local hospital. But isn’t it nice he can also conduct private business either in-office or at a patient’s home?
A telling statistic I came across presents support for more new doctors going this route.
- The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reported an expected primary care shortage of between 21,400 and 55,200 physicians by 2033
Normally, doctors fresh from residency favor hospitals over private practices. But with Medicare and CMS (third party) determining compensation, the concierge route becomes more appealing.
One final point. Concierge doctors can improve their online presence via a tried and true arrow in the quiver of digital marketing.
Concierge Medicine and Elijah Wordsmith Content Writing
By now, you’ve learned how “on-call” medicine will likely only grow in popularity. Understanding this trend, how can you as a medical provider position yourself to take advantage?
How you show up in an online search plays a significant part! Whether it’s social media, your website, or a blog post, people choose you because you show up first.
Healthcare content writing “verbalizes” the more individualized care current and prospective patients receive from your practice.
With access to modern technology and customer service sharpened while working in busy medical offices, I bring a personable approach to growing your online presence.
Bring the human side back by sharing stories online that impacted you or your staff. And enjoy a boost in patient retention and new referrals for a “practice that truly cares.”
Take the first step towards standing out online and schedule a discovery call today!