The “Why” Behind Concierge Medicine Growth

While they make up a small percentage of the industry, concierge medical practices are growing in influence and popularity. Although experts say the exact figures are difficult to discern, most put the current number of concierge physicians at roughly 12,000, with some sources estimating more than twice that amount.

The fact that there is no national registry or centralized database of these doctors makes the exact count nearly impossible. However, the one thing observers can agree on is that the market for these services is growing.

So, what is driving the growth of concierge medicine? Read on to learn some of the many factors that are contributing to the rising popularity of this business model.

The Advantages for Physicians

One of the biggest drivers of concierge medicine growth is what it does for doctors. Because it utilizes a subscription model in which patients pay annual or monthly fees for care, medical professionals and their staff don’t have to wrangle with extensive insurance paperwork. In addition, the steady revenue stream from membership fees means they don’t have to see as many patients on a given day. The result is less burnout and more time spent directly caring for each patient.

Benefits for Patients

Concierge practices also offer numerous benefits for patients. First and foremost, the model allows doctors to spend more time with them face-to-face, resulting in higher-quality, more personalized care. Additionally, concierge patients typically don’t need to wait as long for an appointment as they would under the traditional model. With concierge practices generally having hundreds of patients as opposed to thousands, it’s often possible for a patient to make an office visit on the same day as the initial contact with a concierge physician.

Fee Structure

Another aspect of concierge medicine that appeals to many people is the fact that patients have choices when it comes to costs. On average, many primary care physicians who operate under the concierge medicine framework charge between $1,500 and $1,700 per year per patient. Monthly retainers tend to be around $135, according to some sources. This covers office visits, home or hospital visits and any procedures performed in the office.

Insurance coverage may still be necessary for hospitalizations, visits with specialists and tests or procedures performed outside of the office. Many people appreciate the simplicity of this payment structure.

Quality of Care

The effect the concierge model has on the quality of care that patients receive can be significant. Because doctors can spend more time with the people they treat, there’s a greater chance of developing the strong relationship needed to keep patient engagement high. When people pay more attention to what their doctors advise, they achieve better outcomes.

Another factor is that concierge physicians aren’t necessarily restricted to treatments or procedures that are approved by insurance providers. Without relying on reimbursements from claims, they have the latitude to explore all treatment options available.

Joining the Movement

The concierge movement has been gaining momentum over the last several years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated that trend. As health concerns become more urgent, many people gain peace of mind knowing that they can connect with their personal physician practically any time. Combined with the advantages detailed above, it’s clear that this business model will continue its upward swing in the years to come.

If you’re considering switching your practice to concierge medicine, Specialdocs Consultants can help you through every step of your journey. Our experts can guide you, your staff and your patient panel to a successful conversion that benefits everyone.

To learn more about what we can do, please reach out and speak with us today.

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