Concierge Medicine & Doctor – Meaning, Responsibilities, Education, and Benefits

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The concept of medical care is transforming the standards and demands of the medical world. Be it prescribing a new set of medicines or enhancing the type of treatments; there are a lot of changes seen with concierge medicines and doctors. 

Primary medical care is changing the necessities and results of the medicinal world for betterment. When talking about primary care, many people tend to leave this idea due to financial reasons. For instance, primary care doctors’ ability to develop lost-lasting relationships with their patients is excessively difficult, rather impossible. This is triggering a dramatic change in the way people have started to think about accessing primary medical care services. 

In this context, Daniel Carlin, Author of ‘The World of Concierge Medicine’ and CEO of World Clinic, says, 

“Just about every year, more and more doctors leave conventional practices, either selling them to larger medical groups or hospitals, or they choose to become concierge medical practitioners. With the strong and persistent rise in concierge healthcare, a lot of the best primary care physicians are no longer accessible to most patients. Patients need to get proactive, and employers need to look to connected concierge medicine to keep their workforces healthier as the healthcare system in the U.S. likely worsens.”

What is Concierge medicine?

It is often referred to as retainer medicine. This medicine type considers it a relationship between the patient and primary care physician or practitioner. The patient pays an annual or monthly fee for reliable healthcare services availed in the past year. The overall amount of fee may vary depending on the physician’s fee structure and the number of health checks and other services availed. 

In the world of medicine and healthcare, professionals often denote it as retainer medicine, cash-only practice, direct care, and membership medicine. So far, the exact estimate of the U.S. doctors practicing concierge medicine services varies between 800 to 5000. With time, this number is expanding at an accelerating speed, making it a highly successful medical world practice. 

Concierge medicine is turning out to be a rigid solution for a growing number of health issues. As a result, this trend is likely to intensify in the forthcoming years. 

Who is a concierge practitioner?

The concierge practitioners offer an array of healthcare services to their patients directly in exchange for cash (preferably upfront payment), which is often paid monthly or annually. The Concierge Doctor has to alter the treatment type based on the patient’s body type, age, gender, immune system, etc.; it is also considered a personalized medical service providing process. Earlier, the services of a concierge practitioner used to be a common affair among the wealthy class, but since it has started to culminate in a number of health checkups, commoners are finding it easy to associate with a concierge practitioner. 

Generally, such doctors charge an amount of $1500 to 20000 a year. When talking about the exact amount, it varies from practitioner to practitioner. 

What are the basic responsibilities of a concierge practitioner?

Most concierge practitioners offer personalized healthcare services and direct access to specialized treatments. They practice a form of private healthcare practice for a limited number of patients on a monthly or annual basis. They tend to handle a smaller number of patients as compared to the traditional doctors who may treat hundreds of patients in a day. This is important for them to minimize the hassle of paperwork usually associated with the health insurance payouts. 

Talking about the most common responsibilities of a concierge practitioner, they contribute to diagnostic screening, stitches, minor skin-related issues, administrating the lab tests, conducting the annual physical exam of an individual, and much more. 

Educational background of a concierge doctor – 

There is no major difference between a concierge and a traditional doctor when it comes to educational requirements. The concierge doctors get the same training and licensing as others do. One requires to spend around 11 years in medical education after completing high school to build a career in this stream. Generally, it includes – 

  1. Four-year medical college degree 
  2. Three to eight years of graduate medical education followed by an internship 
  3. Four years in medical school to learn the basics of the medical world 
  4. One-year fellowship after residency. Although it is treated as an optional option, one can go for it, as it offers you the opportunity to specialize in a specific medical field. Plus, one can attain CAQs (Certificates of Added Qualifications).

Why see a concierge doctor?

If you think you can afford to pay a monthly fee for a concierge practitioner, you can go for concierge medicine to ensure the best primary health care services for yourself. These services help to tenfold the insurance network benefits for you. 

Some of the perks of collaborating with a concierge practitioner are – 

Shorter wait times – Generally, you are supposed to wait for your turn in the clinic or hospitals when you go for a traditional doctor. But that’s not the case with a concierge practitioner. You can book an appointment for the same day and get the treatment based on your preferred time slot. This keeps you away from the hassle of waiting in long queues while hampering your health. 

Unlimited services – You don’t have to pay the concierge practitioner every time you get a new treatment or healthcare service type. Here, the doctor raises a bill monthly or annually, covering up the cost of most treatments you would need at a certain time duration. Plus, most practitioners prefer to have the upfront payment done to keep you away from the hassle of getting worried about the expenses. By paying once, you can avail the services as many as times. 

The last line – 

Concierge medicine is something that is earning everyone’s attention for real. Be it a regular checkup or a medical test; concierge medicine is turning out to be the solution to most of the primary health checkup needs. This has accelerated the demand for concierge doctors in the healthcare world extensively.