At least one in five adults in the top 1% pay an extra fee for direct access to their primary physician. Imagine skipping the long, dreadful waiting room and instead of receiving round-the-clock physician access, same-day appointments, and personalized comprehensive care. This exclusive type of care is called concierge medicine.
I know mom said the best things in life are free, but there’s a price tag attached to a few of them, including this one.
Is it worth the investment?
Pro: More Time for you, the Patient
Physicians tend to visit with fewer patients and schedule more time for their patients. During this time, you can interact with your doc directly and not communicate with them through other staff. There’s an overall better physician/patient relationship and that leads to better health and overall care for you.
Con: Out of Pocket Costs
Concierge medicine represents out-of-pocket medical expenses that many cannot afford. You’ll more than likely be paying not only a retainer fee but your insurance premium as well. Retainer fees tend to be higher in more expensive areas like NYC. So, while you may be besties with your doctor– it will cost a pretty penny for that connection.
Pro: Preventative Care
Doctors are usually in a rush to treat you and there is not much time spent on your wellness and preventive care. It’s usually reactive or focusing on treating your illness whether than finding the cause of it. The concierge model allows your physician and the team to spend more time with you and find the root of the cause, so you can get back to living a healthier life.
Con: Little to No Coverage
America’s health care system is set up for the wealthy to get better, faster, and more effective care. The country’s health care system is set up in such a way that the wealthy can pay for better and faster care. NPR’s poll found that many citizens say people with higher incomes can get better care — and half of that group said that was very unfair. More and more physicians are switching to this practice, but it is still not widespread. There’s always a shortage of doctors in general, but there are still areas in our country that are very much underserved by the concierge-style model.
Again, is it worth the investment? In my opinion, yes.
Price tag aside, concierge medical practices are awesome. I’d argue and say it’s the future of medicine. Some are fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, on-site specialists, and team members responsible for coordinating care. Many of these practices can help to arrange care, getting tests, prescription management, diet plan, etc. leaving you with nothing to do but enjoy your peace of mind. It’s a package deal.