September 10

Concierge Medicine Pros and Cons

If you do not want to wait for medical care and can afford it, concierge medicine may be for you. Concierge medicine is a medical practice where you have direct access to a primary care physician. These doctors are typically available for a fee (sometimes for a bit of a higher fee) provided by the patient, either at a monthly, bi-annual, or annual rate. Traditionally, this form of care has been reserved for the wealthy, as they were the ones who could afford it. However, in recent years the costs have come down, so the average person has more of a chance to access MD concierge services.  


What Does a Concierge Doctor Do?  

A concierge doctor is often someone who has formed a private practice and does not usually use insurance to bill patients. A direct primary care physician is still a doctor in every sense, as they attend medical school and acquire all the necessary licensing of a primary care doctor. These private doctors still offer services such as annual physicals, bloodwork, prescriptions, etc. Anything more complex though, like surgery, would still need to be done at a hospital. They are also able to schedule visits on the same day or relatively soon, unlike most practices. Most practitioners are easily available to reach through text, phone call, email, and some will even make house calls. Concierge doctors are no longer just for the wealthy and you might want to consider looking into concierge medicine today.   


What are the Benefits of a Concierge Doctor? 

There are many benefits of concierge medicine, especially in this time of rising healthcare costs:  

  • It reduces wait times in trying to get an appointment. Unfortunately for many patients, it is taking longer and longer to be able to schedule an appointment with physicians. Some appointments are even being booked as far out as months in advance (especially for new patients). It is much more likely that a private doctor can be called to attend to you on the same day that you contact them. Since they own their own practices, they have more flexibility in how many patients they see throughout the days and, therefore, have better schedules.  
  • This is a possible alternative if you do not have insurance or access to getting health insurance. Part-time workers, self-employed, freelancers, etc. generally are unable to get health insurance through their forms of employment. Paying a monthly fee for a private doctor can allow people to get that same, if not greater, quality of care that they would receive at a practice that is part of a healthcare system.    
  • You can see the doctor more often and have a more personal level of care. Typically, primary care doctors have to charge per visit, as set by the healthcare system that doctor belongs to. When you pay a fee that covers you for the month or year, then you can contact the doctor as much as you need to and it does not feel like you are being penalized for seeing the doctor. A doctor can also get to know you on a much more personal level, as they generally see fewer people, and get a better sense of the treatment you need.  

Problems with Concierge Medicine

As with all things, there are some cons to concierge medicine that are just as important to consider:  

  • You may struggle to find a concierge doctor. There are only about 12,000 doctors, according to Concierge Medicine Today, who provide such services, compared to the roughly 1 million practicing physicians in the United States. If you live in a more rural area, there may not be a concierge doctor anywhere near you.  
  • Lower-income individuals and families still may not be able to get care. While you are being charged a monthly fee, rather than paying out to health insurance every paycheck, it can still be rather expensive. Fees can range up into the thousands. It just depends on the doctor, as they have complete control over how much they charge since they own their practice.   
  • Concierge doctors have the ability to pick and choose who they treat. For example, if a doctor does not feel comfortable treating a certain condition, they can refuse treatment. So even if you are able to find a doctor and pay their fees, you can still be turned away for whatever reason they might have.  


Want Access to Concierge Medical Services? 
 

If you want to learn more about concierge medicine and/or are interested in receiving medical treatments from a concierge doctor, call Shakthi Health and Wellness Center today! Dr. Jyothi Rao is a highly skilled and experienced physician who can effectively evaluate your symptoms and optimize your body’s vitality. Call (301) 703 – 5067 and speak to our concierge staff to schedule your appointment today.  


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