Concierge medicine (boutique medicine) is a professional relationship that is contracted between a patient and a primary care physician. What this means is that you have more time in developing a professional relationship with your provider and they have more time to understand and deal with your physical needs which translates into you taking their medical recommendations more seriously.
Education and Training
Concierge doctors receive the same training and license to practice medicine like a doctor you would see in your health insurance network.
Quality Time with Your Provider
In most medical practices, physicians spend 15 minutes or less with each patient. This drive-by approach does not allow time to discuss your overall health, necessary measures you need to take to improve your overall health, bad habits, etc. Most patients, especially senior citizens, find this highly frustrating and often leave their doctor feeling neglected, forget what they were told, or angry.
In addition, physicians can spend more time with you providing you with the best preventative care measures in an effort to help prevent medical conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure.
Many physician practices offer state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment including X-rays, EKGs, a laboratory to perform blood work, and urinalysis that can generate quicker results. They will refer you to other medical specialists should you require specialized care or surgery.
Best yet, you have access to your doctor by mobile phone and email!
Typical contracts run for a period of one year. In exchange, the physician agrees to provide total care, (24/7 direct access) giving you immediate access to his schedule.
Concierge Medicine Physician Benefits
More and more physicians are moving their practices in this direction for the following reasons:
1. They receive an upfront yearly payment
2. Reduces office and administrative paperwork
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advises retainers may be deductive, or a legitimate expense for a health savings account, depending on what you get for your money.
Most people correct what is called a Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) where you can set aside designated earnings into a fund for qualified medical expenses. Always seek the advice of an accountant for clarification on how to set them up.
Selecting the Right Doctor
It is always best to research a doctor you are considering handling your primary care. Ask other family members or friends if they have a recommendation. Set up an appointment to meet the doctor you are considering and remember to ask all the necessary questions as outlined in this article to see if they are right for you.
Concierge medicine can be a rewarding experience – for patients and doctors, and as we are facing many more challenges within our healthcare system, including a shortage of primary care doctors, it might be the right time to move your care in this direction with the help of proper financial planning.