How easy is it for you to see your doctor? In today’s climate, primary care physicians are overworked, underpaid and busier than ever. It can take up to three months at times for patients to get an appointment. A typical primary care physician is seeing about 2,500 patients per year and is quickly burning out. This is why many are converting to Concierge Medicine, cutting their patient list to 600 or less patients per year.
The first concierge practice opened in the 1990s and since that time, the concept has really taken off, appealing to physicians and patients alike. Concierge medicine offers more personalized and convenient services and allows physicians to spend more time with their patients. The patient pays an annual fee or retainer for personalized and specialized care, as defined by the individual physician. For example, the retainer may cover unlimited office visits without an additional co-payment, easier access to appointments, easier and more direct access to the physician such as phone calls, emails and online visits. Additional services may also include individualized wellness plans and home visits. In the typical concierge practice, a primary-care doctor does still accept insurance for routine services. The average annual fee for membership ranges from 1500 to 2500 dollars per year.
Many of the patients are saying that it involves less stress than a traditional medical practice, is easier to get appointments and they like being able to email and call their doctor on the phone when necessary. Some studies suggest that it results in lower hospitalization rates and healthier patients. If you are interested in concierge medicine, there are several questions that you should ask your perspective concierge physician.
- How much is your fee per patient and per family?
- What services does the fee include?
- Do you take insurance and will you file claims?
- Am I still responsible for my co-payment?
- Do you make house calls?
- Is your fee payable in installments?
- Can I get same-day appointments for urgent issues?
- Can I contact you by email or your cell phone with routine questions?
- Will you coordinate my care if I need to see a specialist?
Be Well Medical Group – Now Accepting New Patients for our Concierge Medicine program. Would you like more personalized and convenient primary care services, including:
- Same Day Appointments
- More time with your physician
- Individualized Wellness Plan
- Access to your Doctor by Email and Phone
- Home Visits
*Mention WOMAN magazine for a reduced annual fee of $1500 (regularly $1800). Offer Available Until 8/31/2016