4 Things to Know About Concierge Medicine
March 17, 2016
As concierge medicine becomes more popular, more physicians are considering changing their practice, and more patients are interested in having a concierge doctor. Before making the switch, here are some concierge medicine basics that physicians should know.
Concierge medicine is growing.
Only about 7,000 physicians currently practice concierge medicine, according to the American Academy of Private Physicians, but that number is growing quickly. A survey by Merritt Hawkins for The Physicians Foundation found that more than 20% of physicians either practice or plan to practice concierge medicine. The survey also found that 17% of physicians under 45 would switch to a concierge practice.
Concierge doctors see fewer patients.
While a traditional doctor may have up to 4,000 patients in his or her practice, a concierge doctor may only have 300 - 400 patients. This allows a concierge doctor to spend more time with each patient and get to know the patient and his or her medical issues and history. As we’re sure you know, doctors with more patients can still form that type of relationship, but it will take more time.
Concierge medicine focuses on preventative care.
Because concierge doctors see fewer patients, they have more time to focus on preventive care. The minimum appointment time for many concierge physicians is 30 minutes compared to seven or eight minutes as a traditional practitioner. Concierge physicians also often guarantee its patients same- or next-day appointments that start on time.
Many concierge doctors also email, text, call and even Skype with patients, which can be a great benefit, especially compared to doctors’ offices that patients can only reach during business hours. This allows patients to ask quick, preventive questions and keeps doctors in the loop on all aspects of their patients’ health.
Concierge medicine is less expensive and more profitable than you think.
While some high-end concierge practice charge retainers of $5,000 per year or more, the average fee for basic, preventive care from a concierge doctor ranges from $135 to $150 per month. Concierge medicine is a great fit for patients who truly value their health and have a desire to have greater access to their physician.
Most concierge doctors accept health insurance, and patients may be able to use a health savings account to pay for their annual membership fee. If patients have high-deductible health insurance plans with lower premiums, they can use the money saved on their monthly premiums toward monthly concierge medicine payments.
If you’re considering transitioning your practice to concierge medicine, contact us at 855-493-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more information about the transition.