Healthcare is a very complicated situation with a lot of different options to be had. Both from the standpoint of the user as well as the provider. But one option that is becoming most popular within the country is concierge healthcare.
Why are doctors going to concierge medicine? There are a lot of benefits to this style of medical practice, and in this quick article, we’re going to take a look at them. On top of that, we’re going to discuss what exactly concierge medicine is and the differences between traditional and concierge, as well as give you a look at some advantages and disadvantages.
We hope by looking at these factors, it will be very evident why there are plenty of medical professionals moving from a more traditional practice to a concierge one.
Concierge Medicine: What Is It?
To understand why doctors are moving more towards a concierge medical practice, you have to understand what concierge medicine is. It goes by many different names, including direct primary care, boutique medicine, or retainer-based medicine, just to name a few. This is basically a subscription-style modeled healthcare that allows personalized healthcare with convenience and accessibility as the main benefits.
This means that a patient can pay a flat monthly fee and get unlimited time with doctors and telehealth visits. The truth is there is a lot of appeal for a primary care physician as well as their patients to utilize this model.
Is There A Difference Between Concierge and Traditional Medicine?
There are several differences between a concierge practice and a traditional medical practice. In a standard traditional primary care practice, most new patients will wait up to 24 days before they can even get an appointment. This is because there usually is a backlog and limited resources and time slots for those patients. A traditional primary care physician is used to this and has a standard practice when it comes to the method of onboarding a new patient.
When it comes to concierge medicine, it’s more about the patient experience. Primary care physicians or general doctors utilize this with a limited patient base. This allows them to have more slots open and makes it easier to get an appointment and spend more time with them so that they cultivate a different experience.
Though the practices will be the same because the tests and the actual medical practice will all revolve around the same questions, the only main difference between the two is the patient experience. But a happier patient experience means a better position experience, leading to a happier and healthier relationship.
What are the Advantages? Disadvantages?
OK, so now that we understand the difference between traditional primary care practices and concierge medicine, as well as what exactly concierge medicine is, we can take a look at the advantages and disadvantages which, though not always have solely to do with the primary care physician, does play a part and why they are choosing to move towards concierge medicine.
So here are the main advantages and disadvantages:
- Concierge practitioners see a reduced wait time in both the lobby and exam rooms. On top of that, more appointments are available because they deal with a limited number of patients.
- With the use of not only a subscription-based style when it comes to medical practices but the technological aspect, patients have access to their care providers every day, giving patients better peace of mind. Furthermore, this gives doctors the chance to address issues at the moment and solve the problems as quickly as possible.
- Because of technology and easier patient access, medical providers that utilize concierge medicine can address issues before they get too bad. In other words, they use preventive and personalized care to ensure a better patient experience.
- There is less of a need for the patients to come in person on every visit. The use of telehealth visits makes virtual correspondence a much simpler thing. This is a great way for primary care physicians to be able to check up on their patients anytime they want.
- Because of the way that concierge medical practices are set up, there is much more coordination between multiple physicians. This means it is much easier to handle specialist care than in a traditional medical situation.
- Of course, there are always disadvantages to any system that was put in place. One of the biggest is, of course, the membership fees, which might limit some people from being able to participate in the concierge medical practices.
- Unlike traditional healthcare, there will be additional out-of-pocket costs. This could be covered by subsidized health insurance, including the concierge medical subscription.
- Because this is a relatively new style of medical practice, many insurance providers don’t cooperate with concierge medical physicians as easily.
Why Are Doctors Going to Concierge Medicine?
So why are more primary care physicians moving to become concierge physicians? As you can see from the advantages and disadvantages, there are many reasons why but we’re going to cover the three main ones. Not only is the physician able to offer better preventative care, but concierge doctors have access to being able to give a better all-around patient experience, and that is because of the following reasons.
The truth is most primary care physicians have a patient-centered care practice. They want to help patients without having to deal with insurance companies and the rules and constraints that come with them. This means the care given is often limited because of the patient’s health insurance.
But with a concierge physician, the patient pays someone who is offering services based on a membership-style system. Yes, that means there will be other disadvantages like out-of-pocket costs, but in the end, the physician is more concerned about the patients and not having to deal with the red tape that comes with insurance providers.
When a physician moves to a concierge-style medical practice, there is a more rewarding atmosphere. There are fewer overhead costs than physicians with a traditional practice who have to deal with health insurance, which in turn takes away some of their stress and reduces burnout.
On top of that, they’re able to be in a handy position as opposed to having to maneuver around issues that insurance companies bring with them. A concierge primary care physician uses the patient fees paid during the membership process to invest back into their business, thereby making it a more sustainable and better environment for them and their patients.
It’s a very intimate relationship between a patient and a doctor. But sometimes, when dealing with a traditional primary care physician, it becomes more mechanical than it is one-on-one. Because of the access to their patients 24/7, they can build a relationship unlike any other.
Not only do they get to help with personal care, but they also address preventative care in a way that is more sustainable for both the doctor and the patient. Instead of just being their doctor, they are like partners regarding their patients’ health, which builds a trust that blooms into a wonderful doctor-patient relationship.
It’s easy to see why a traditional medical service might move to become a concierge service. It’s beneficial for both the physicians and the patients, which means everybody can heal and grow together in a happy environment that offers quality care.