The primary care system in America has disillusioned legions of doctors who have become inundated in paperwork or burdened by medical school expenses. As a result, many physicians have become engaged in something called concierge medicine.
Concierge medicine is a relationship between a patient and a primary care physician in which the patient pays an annual fee or retainer. It also goes by the names of boutique medicine, retainer-based medicine, and innovative medical practice design.
Concierge medicine is the way of the future and will become particularly attractive when the medical system implodes. These days, doctors are burdened by administrative and insurance costs that force them to focus on paperwork rather than care. Most primary care physicians will see an average of 30 to 50 individuals a day, with scarcely more than 15 minutes to devote to each patient. When quantity supercedes quality, medical care inherently suffers.
Unless Obamacare is repealed, doctors are going to feel the squeeze even more.
Concierge medicine offers them a way to get around all the red tape and practice medicine for the sake of medicine. And while it might be tempting to think that specialists are benefitting the most from concierge medicine, the second most popular specialty in concierge medicine is family doctors. Concierge medicine became particularly popular after the economic collapse in 2009. According to a survey taken in 2010, 59% of concierge physicians said they’d seen an increase in business.
An excellent resource for concierge medicine is the American Academy of Private Physicians, available on the web at www.aapp.org and by phone at 877-746-7301. If you’re a doctor, this site can help advise you on your transition into concierge medicine.
If you’re a patient, it can help you locate a concierge doctor near you. Elite Health provides a database of their concierge physicians for you. They can be reached at www.EliteHealth.com. But you might find it easier to Google the term Concierge Medicine and see what it suggests based on your zip code.