Friday, August 7, 2009

Concierge care for all?

Are you considering concierge medicine?

In our recent Great American Physician survey (which will be fully revealed in our October journal issue), we found that 6.7 percent of respondents were considering or already practicing under such a model, where a small number of patients pay an annual fee for extensive access to the docs.

Another 34 percent said it might be worth trying if it makes sense economically, while 42 percent said such a model isn’t right for them, but they don’t mind if others do it.

But a full 17 percent said it was bad for the healthcare system or unethical.

Why? Read more

Perhaps because of the high retainer fee patients pay for such service? The annual fee is often $1,500 or even much more, which puts its out of reach for many patients.

In a blog post this week at Better Health, primary-care physician Alan Dappen explains how his practice is an alternative to the high-cost concierge care. Instead, he says, most of his patients pay closer to $300 a year for the same kind of access and care.

Here’s how:

“Practices like ours expect to be busy, have to take care of many people of all ages and socioeconomic status, maintain active panels of patients approaching 2000, don’t expect to make tons of money while trying our hardest to give you the best service at the best price we can. We love primary care, want the best for our patients, and this is why we do it.”

Dappen says it’s not hard to get affordable, quality primary care once you shed the layers “interfering” with the relationship between doctor and patient.

His model is rare. But is it possible? Can concierge care be available to everyone?

No comments:

Post a Comment