It is common around the healthcare industry for patients to wait for weeks and months to get an appointment from doctors and then wait till they get treated. This is the traditional model of healthcare. In the past few years, the healthcare industry has grown to the extent that it has developed different models through which healthcare is delivered and concierge medicine is one of them. With every blessing comes suffering so there are pros and cons of concierge medicine. With a concierge medicine model, the controller is in the patient’s hands now.
What is concierge medicine?
Concierge medicine is a private practice that creates a direct relationship between patients and doctors. The doctors neither work for any insurance company nor any hospital but directly for the patient. This means that the patients get more attention from doctors now than ever before.
It consists of a network of doctors nationally and permits the insurance companies of the patients to directly pay for the services received. There is a range of services in concierge medicine that can be paid on an extra monthly or annual basis to the service directly, excluding insurance. This healthcare practice leaves some patients with extra health insurance coverage while the rest don’t, depending on patients’ choice and the level of affordability regarding the service. Patients can customize their insurance packages based on their disposable income and health status.
Concierge medicine and direct primary care (DPC), what is the difference between the two?
Concierge medicine and DPC models are different from each other because of the following reasons.
- Membership fee
Firstly, there is a difference in the membership fee in both types of healthcare. Concierge medicine comes under annual membership which is paid in full or can split infractions during the year. On the contrary, DPC members pay a monthly bill.
There is a difference in cost between the two types of models. Concierge medicine is expensive and has a higher membership fee while on the contrary, DPC is priced relatively low as younger patients pay less than the aged ones.
- Third-party payers
Concierge medicine bills the patients conventionally and accepts government programs and insurance plans, but DPC physicians do not accept reimbursement by any third party.
- In-network referrals
In concierge medicine, an insurance carrier accepts the referrals from specialists due to affiliation with the insurance network but DPC being an out-of-network provider, does not accept referrals by the insurance carrier.
- Services included
Since concierge medicine is networked services, the patient’s physician can act as an advocate with outside doctors and health care providers. In DPC, there are no networked services hence, the patient cannot enjoy referral relationships.
Pros of concierge medicines
- Personalized attention from the healthcare providers is the most distinguishing benefit of concierge medicine. Every patient looks for such medical care.
- Concierge medicine offers a change from conventional medical models where the patients are allowed to consult under the 15 minutes window.
- With this new model, the patients do not have to wait for weeks and months to get an appointment.
- It offers more extended visits per session and schedules appointments through apps, email, or by direct call to the doctor.
- It offers a vast range of treatments to choose from for its patients which means better long-term health and flexibility in treatments.
- Patients who do not have handsome health insurance packages can seek alternative treatments as per their affordability and can identify health-related
To sum up its benefits, concierge medicine offers a more personalized experience with reduced waiting times and attention to detail visits. Further, it offers a closer relationship between doctors and patients to increase the satisfaction levels of the patients.
Cons of concierge medicines
With pros concierge, medicine has cons as well.
- A high price is the most prominent downside of concierge medicine, and it is more expensive than health
- It might not be very beneficial for the patients who already have pre-existing chronic conditions; rather, it would be expensive for them because concierge medicine does not cover severe chronic disorders and health conditions. It can only be covered by the patients’ health care plan.
There is a notable difference between concierge medicine and traditional healthcare models. Concierge medicines offer personalized and value-added services which are not typically covered by insurance. On the other hand, DPC focuses on keeping the cost low by avoiding insurance. These Pros and cons of concierge medicine and other traditional models distinguish them from each other, hence, offer a ground of facts to perform analysis for making the final decision. However, despite having lots of benefits, concierge medicine is still not as common as DPC.