Physicians, are you just beginning your search for an alternative practice model that matches your vision of how you want to practice medicine? Or are you already familiar with concierge medicine and considering a transition to this type of practice in the near future? In this post, we explore the current healthcare needs of physicians and patients and how concierge care can effectively address both.
The Changing Healthcare Environment
The shifting healthcare landscape is leading to a different type of medical practice that allows little time for personalized care, prevention and treatment of the whole patient.
This in turn has spurred more changes, as patients want to become more active participants in their own healthcare and physicians seek autonomy and a return to practicing medicine the way it used to be. The result is increased interest in and demand for alternative practice models such as concierge medicine.
Numerous studies provide evidence that physician burnout is on the rise. Back-to-back patient appointments, mandated use of electronic medical records and declining insurance reimbursements are key factors contributing to this disturbing trend.
Consider the detailed findings provided in the Medscape survey, shown at left, which depicts physician burnout by specialty.
A significant 46 percent of all physicians reported burnout. Importantly, 50 percent of family and internal medicine physician respondents expressed that same sentiment.
Our Chief Medical Advisor, J. Patrick Tokarz, MD, transitioned to a concierge medical practice several years ago. Approaching burnout brought on by a dysfunctional healthcare system, he made the change to concierge medicine, which proved to be a transformative experience for him and his patients.
As Dr. Tokarz recognized, a concierge medicine practice becomes patient-centered, not insurance-centered. Having more time enables deeper physician-patient relationships and an emphasis on services such as comprehensive health risk assessments and development of personal wellness plans.
The Value of Concierge Care
When physicians transition to concierge medicine, the benefits of the model quickly become apparent on every level. Their income is not driven by volume and they have more time to treat patients for an entire range of complex issues.
Short-term, concierge physicians benefit from reduced costs, improved outcomes and higher levels of patient satisfaction. In the long-term, concierge medicine could be the key to attracting more students to primary care…the best hope for independent primary care to survive and thrive.
This blog post is the first in a series focused on how concierge medicine addresses the independent physician’s most essential desires with a model that offers sustainability and autonomy…and restores the joy of practicing medicine. We would love to hear from you and address any questions you may have about concierge medicine. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.