Doctor’s offices are getting over crowded and unable to accommodate patients in a timely manner. The doctors are forced to see more patients to keep the doors open and are overworked. Patients are getting sicker, on more medications and having more chronic diseases. This is a result of a health care system that is broken—it basically pays physicians based on the diseases that they diagnose-there is no reward for true preventive care, the insurance companies dictate what the doctors can do and what they get paid, and many patients expect insurance companies to pay for everything and not to pay a penny out of pocket. This is not a good way for the public or doctors to be healthy. Concierge medicine addresses these issues. In a concierge practice the doctor limits his/her practice to a few hundred patients instead of having 1500-2000 patients-seeing 8-12 patients per day instead of 25-30.
Each concierge patient has direct access to the doctor 24/7 if needed. Office visits are typically a half hour instead of 10 minutes and the patient can get in the same day for urgent issues and within a few days to a week for non urgent issues. Annual physicals are about an hour and a half between in office testing and doctor face to face time. The focus is on optimizing your health–not just putting out fires and waiting for catastrophes to happen, which is all a traditional practice has time to do.
In order to offer this type of we quality time intensive service the patient takes on some financial responsibility. You can no longer rely on insurance to cover everything. Your insurance is used for lab work, radiology studies, office visits, and hospitalizations. To get the services of a concierge doctor you pay a small annual fee to the doctor that equates to about $5 per day. This fee allows the doctor to treat you fully as stated above because the annual fee that you pay offsets the poor reimbursements from insurance companies. This is a win win–the doctor is not over worked and the patient gets personalized care.