Do you want your visits to your doctor to be more personal? Would you like to be able to reach your doctor, not a telephone answering service, by telephone? No, these are not ideas from the past generation of medicine. These are the new ways that some doctors and some clinics are doing business, for their patients that can afford these luxuries.
Yes, it is always about the money. But in the case of these new medical services (that is being labeled as some as ’boutique medicine’) the luxury may be worth the extra cost, providing you can afford it.
First, what does boutique medicine offer a patient?
Patients can make a phone call and get medical advice.
Patients can make same day appointments
Patients can see the doctor immediately, no time wasted in the waiting room.
Patients are given more preventative care.
How can doctors manage to afford these luxuries to their patients? The simple matter is that they cut down on the number of patients they see. The average doctor sees 2,000 to 4,000 patients. That means the average doctor does not have the time or the luxury of spending much time with each patient. When a doctor provides this luxury style care he/she sees about 400 to 600 patients.
Sounds good, right? What about the cost of these services? Just how expensive are they?
The price of course will range from doctor to doctor. On average a patient will pay a fee of $90 to $200 a month or an annual fee to be classified as one of the doctor’s elite patients. This is just the cost of the service (which of course no insurance will pay). The patient will still have to pay for all other medical expenses.
Despite the cost, this special ‘concierge’ treatment is being offered nationwide. About 200 of the estimated 295,000 primary care physicians have begun offering this service. The numbers are rising yearly.
One reason patients like the service is that they feel they have more power in their medical treatment. They have more say and they are getting more attention. When you are sick you don’t want to wait days before you can see a doctor and you don’t want to be kept waiting for hours in the waiting room when you finally do get an appointment.
Do people who elect to sign up for this service like it? According to MDVIP, a Florida based company that helps doctors go concierge they do. They cite that about 95% of the patients who tries this luxury service resign the following year.
If you want to find out more about these services or if you would like to see if there is any concierge medical services in your area you can check out the MDVIP site at mdvip.com