Few people in America today would report being very satisfied with their experiences at the doctor’s office. Scheduling an appointment at a convenient time can be difficult, as many practices fill their schedules with as many as possible. Once they arrive, patients can spend long periods of time waiting to be seen only to be rushed through their visits with the physician. What time they do spend actually discussing their symptoms or care with a professional often is with nurses, with one-on-one conversations with doctors being much too short. The resulting experience is a frustrating, impersonal one.
However, this has less to do with the dedication of their providers as it does with the model under which they operate. To maximize the revenue, they need to keep their practices solvent, physicians have to play by insurers’ rules. This means taking on as many customers as possible to ensure that delayed or refused claims won’t cut into their operating cash flow. Fortunately, there is an alternative that avoids many of the worst elements of modern health care. What is a concierge medicine practice? Read on to learn more.
What does concierge medicine mean?
The concierge model is one in which doctors are paid for their services directly by the patient, instead of relying entirely on health insurance to reimburse them. Typically, this means patients pay a monthly or yearly membership fee rather than filing a claim every time they come in for an office visit.
How does concierge medicine work for patients and doctors?
Because concierge practices can count on a stable flow of revenue from their members, they don’t need to take on so many patients. This means patients can often make an appointment the same day, rather than having to wait for an open slot. It also means they have the latitude to choose a time that fits their schedule best, rather than trying to alter their routine or risk missing their chance for an office visit.
For health care providers, the amount of paperwork and red tape they have to work with is reduced substantially by cutting out insurance from the equation. This means they can keep their overhead low and spend far less time on tasks that have nothing to do with caring for patients.
What are the other benefits to the concierge model?
In addition to the convenience it provides practices and their members, the concierge model also offers a higher quality of care. Without the requirement to fill their schedules completely to stay in business, doctors have more time to spend one-on-one with their patients. This enables them to form a stronger rapport and provide more comprehensive care. Thanks to this, providers can focus more attention on preventive care instead of offering help only when patients have an illness or injury. Because they don’t need to worry about an insurance company rejecting a potential treatment, physicians under this framework also have more latitude in determining an appropriate course of action for each individual.
What is included in concierge medicine?
Members of concierge practices have access to all the services typically found under the traditional model. This includes regular exams and checkups as well as urgent medical attention for illnesses or injuries. Concierge physicians also refer patients to specialists for help with specific medical issues, although these providers may not operate under the model themselves.
Specialdocs Consultants is a leader in helping practices convert to the concierge model and start offering their patients all the benefits it has to offer. To learn more about how our experts can guide your practice to a successful conversion, reach out and speak with one of our representatives today.