Concierge medicine is an on-demand service that allows patients to get the care or advice they require when they need it.
For a monthly retaining fee, you can get direct access to your primary care physician or specialist sans hurdles like time constraints and appointments. This is because concierge doctors only handle a limited number of patients, enabling them to give their retainers the attention and personalized care they deserve.
How it started
Concierge medicine is believed to have started around the 1990s. It shares, more or less, the same mission as today’s method: to remove obstacles that are common in traditional health care, making medical care more accessible.
One of concierge medicine’s off-shoots is the direct primary care model or DPC. It was pushed by physicians who wanted to provide immediate access to patients who needed primary care back in the 2000s. As its name states, DPC doctors only provide primary care, while concierge medicine can offer a variety of medical services depending on the skill and specialization of the doctor or concierge medical provider.
According to Concierge Medicine Today, there are now approximately 12,000 concierge or DPC medical providers across the United States.
The difference between traditional
care and concierge medicine
There are two main things that separate concierge medicine in Palm Beach from traditional primary care.
Ease of access
Long wait times are virtually non-existent with concierge medicine. Since concierge doctors have smaller patient panels, you can schedule same-day appointments or teleconsultation when the need arises. Patients are also often given direct lines of communication to their concierge doctor, eliminating more barriers between doctor and patient.
Mode of payment
Unlike traditional primary care, concierge medicine is retainer-based. Patients pay a monthly fee that typically includes an unlimited number of in-person and virtual consultations within a specific timeframe. Furthermore, concierge medicine is an out-of-pocket expense not covered by healthcare insurance providers. Copayments and deductibles are taken out of the equation everytime you come in for a consultation.
Concierge medicine makes it easier for patients to seek more advanced and specialized care as well. Since they can connect to their concierge doctors easily, further advice and referrals are given as soon as possible. You can start the treatments you need without waiting for months on end.