Concierge medicine has traditionally been a practice model associated primarily with the wealthy. Concierge patients pay a membership fee, generally in the range of $150-200 per month, in addition to their health insurance premiums. In return, they receive personal service, often including house calls and unlimited communication with their physician. The concept of concierge medicine, however, is shifting and is becoming more popular among patients as well as primary care physicians.
A Forbes contributor, Russ Alan Prince, recently wrote about a survey conducted of 114 primary care physicians who had converted their practices to the concierge model. The research found a number of reasons for the switch.
Almost 90% of the survey respondents said they made the switch to concierge medicine because the practice model enabled them to provide that patient-focused service, “without being constrained by bureaucratic or insurance-related obstacles.” Although concierge practices do accept insurance payments in addition to patient membership fees, it is the membership fees that truly keep the practice solvent.
Those financial considerations were the second-ranked reason given by the primary care physicians who switched to the concierge medicine model in their practice. The patient membership fees are often used as a reinvestment in the practice. Using membership fees to support the practice alleviates the challenges often faced when dealing with insurance companies and waiting for reimbursement.
Patient engagement, however, is the main focus of the concierge medicine model. Primary care physicians who want to be able to give their patients more attention than their paperwork are increasingly moving toward non-traditional practice models, such as concierge medicine.
Elation Health’s goal is also to help independent primary care providers focus on their patients. To that end, we are committed to our mission of strengthening the relationship between patients and physicians and enabling phenomenal care for everyone.
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