Signifying the growing widespread appeal and affordability of concierge medicine, Specialdocs Consultants recently worked with physicians in the heartland of eastern Iowa and a historic town in South Carolina to successfully launch their unique personalized care practices.
“These well-respected doctors were among the first in their communities to recognize the dysfunction of our current healthcare system and find the solution to restoring highest quality primary care with our concierge medicine model,” says Specialdocs CEO Terry Bauer. “It is the only practice model in the U.S. able to achieve the ‘Quadruple Aim’ of healthcare, which includes improving the patient experience and provider well-being.”
The membership-based patient panels that define concierge medicine are kept intentionally small to enable doctors to thrive as independent, primary care practitioners while providing a highly individualized patient experience. The challenges characteristic of health system/physician-employed models – high rates of physician burnout, decreased reimbursements and a focus on volume over value – are eliminated, giving doctors the freedom to practice according to their own personal vision, says Bauer.
Dr. Richard Larew’s decision to introduce concierge internal medicine in Iowa City was prompted by the increased difficulty in caring for patients with complex medical issues in his traditional, volume-based practice.
“I couldn’t give people the attention they need, and thoroughly and promptly address all their questions,” he recalls. “Visits were becoming increasingly rushed and impersonal. Patients deserve better, and it’s a privilege to provide it at my concierge practice.”
Long-time patient Scott F. unhesitatingly enrolled as a member when Larew Internal Medicine opened this summer.
“There’s a real comfort in knowing I can contact Dr. Larew after hours and receive immediate answers,” he says. “The ability to build an even deeper relationship with my trusted physician – without constraints on time – is invaluable.”
An Iowa City employee benefits consultant, Scott believes the concierge model offers an outstanding alternative to traditional care.
“I’m so glad Dr. Larew did this because it provides a clear opportunity to focus holistically on patients,” he says.
For Dr. Mayes DuBose, Sumter, South Carolina’s first concierge physician, the model creates an ideal environment for preventive care, enabling his patients, the majority of whom are over age 50, to enjoy an optimal quality of life.
“Poor health is not an inevitable consequence of aging,” he asserts. “Much of the sickness and disability associated with chronic disease can be avoided through early detection and testing, healthy lifestyle habits and guidance from a physician who has cared for you over time – the cornerstones of my concierge practice. It is my mission to care for each of my patients in this way.”