You might be asking why concierge medicine comes with a fee and why you should pay that fee in addition to your insurance premium. To answer that question let’s look at traditional insurance based medicine (100% insurance based). This is where you may pay a copay or not, and your office visits are billed to the insurances. Your visits may fall under a deductible that you must pay but otherwise you do not pay the doctor anything else.
100% insurance based medicine (PPO/Medicare):
Doctors are paid a set amount ,of money for several different levels of visits. These levels are based on the number of illness diagnosis that you have. If you are not sick and do not come in, they are not paid. If they spend extra time with you they are not paid extra. The incentive is to have you come in often and deal with only a few issues at a time. If they do not do this then they will be out of business. The majority of doctors do care about you, they just need to keep the lights on. The system is broken and is based on disease rather than being well. It causes doctors to take on several thousand patients and to utilize mid level providers (physician assistants or nurse practitioners) to survive financially. Patients end up waiting weeks for a routine appointment and then see a doctor or mid level provider who hardly knows them.
Concierge medicine: patients pay an annual fee which enables the doctor to be able to greatly limit his/her practice to a few hundred patients. The doctor is no longer solely dependent on what the insurance companies pay them. You are one of a few hundred patients instead of a few thousand. This allows the doctor to know you personally and give you his/her personal cell phone and e mail. Your concierge doctor is available 24/7. Often he/she can address questions by phone (text or voice) or e mail, saving you time and money. Your office visits are still billed to your insurance but these visits are longer and more involved than what insurance would pay for. Many patients with an HMO insurance use concierge medicine too, paying a minimal office visit when they do come into the office. (Saving their HMO for hospitalizations and medication). With concierge medicine you get a comprehensive physical yearly included in the price. This is generally an hour and a half including testing. Unlike the 15 minute insurance covered physical, your concierge medicine physical encompasses a comprehensive wellness plan for you. In addition, treatments such as bio-identical hormones can be addressed at your physical and at other visits. This is typically a separate privately PSID service. Basically concierge medicine is health care tailored to you.
The question to ask yourself is this: is $5 per day worth it for personalized, comprehensive wellness care? Naturally people who want to live long and vibrantly answer yes. Act now because the concierge doctors fill up quick and there are not a lot if them!!