Concierge medicine has become an increasingly hot topic in the healthcare industry lately. With providers struggling through burnout and patients dealing with a greater responsibility for their care costs, many in the industry are wondering if there’s another, possibly better, way to operate. Making a more direct connection between providers and patients has been the answer for some practices, and maybe it could be good for yours, too. Read on to learn more.
What is concierge medicine?
Concierge medicine is a membership-based care model in which a patient pays a fee for direct access to their provider, receiving convenient and personalized care. Other names for this model include concierge care, retainer-based medicine, boutique medicine, and platinum practice. Generally speaking, patients pay a flat monthly fee and receive unlimited visits, access to their provider’s direct phone line, and simple blood and diagnostic tests in-office.
This model of care was introduced in the mid-1990s by MD2 International, a Seattle-based company that offered “luxury medical care” at a price tag of up to $25,000 per year, non-inclusive of insurance premiums, hospitalization costs, or fees for consultations with specialists. Today, the average cost of concierge medicine has reduced significantly, to between $125 to $200 per month, or $1,500 to $2,400 per year.
Another model that is similar to concierge medicine, and is often referred to by that name, is direct primary care (DPC). The difference between traditional concierge medicine and DPC is that providers in a DPC practice accept only patient payments, making no claims to insurance whatsoever. A benefit to this model is a greater level of price transparency due to patients bearing the full responsibility for cost. The average monthly cost per patient is $93.26, with a range varying from $26.67 all the way to $562.50.
4 Reasons Concierge Medicine Could Be Right for Your Practice
The concierge medicine model seems to be gaining in popularity, and it does bring certain unique benefits for those practices willing to give it a try.
- The model of a flat-rate, subscription-based practice allows for a predictable flow of revenue which can reduce the stresses associated with submitting claims to insurance for reimbursement. Instead of the complex RCM process involving numerous payers, all with different rules, concierge medicine practices have more of a direct transaction system with their patients, getting them paid faster and more predictably.
- Concierge medicine can support a stronger relationship between providers and their patients, as the patients tend to have greater access to their provider. Additionally, taking the insurance companies out of the equation allows patients and providers to work together on medical decision-making to come up with the best treatment plans without worrying about eligibility or coverage.
- Providers are often able to provide better patient care in a concierge model. This is true for a couple of reasons. Again, there is no concern over what treatments an insurance company will cover, which allows for more straightforward decision-making. Additionally, providers in concierge medicine practice typically have a smaller patient load than other providers, allowing them to spend more time focused on each individual patient.
- Concierge medicine can make practicing medicine more rewarding. With less stress around reimbursement and reduced pressure to see a greater number of patients, concierge medicine can help to reduce provider burnout. Plus, providers are able to invest in creating more of a one-stop shop for their patient’s care, reducing wait times for results and allowing for more streamlined decision-making and a greater feeling of accomplishment.
While it may not be right for every practice, for those who want a greater feeling of control over how they provide patient care, concierge medicine may be the answer. And for those wanting to give it a try, Henry Schein MicroMD is ready to provide you with the tools you need to be successful. Our simple, customizable, and connected MicroMD EMR allows you to seamlessly document while still keeping your focus on your patients, while our MicroMD Practice Management makes scheduling a breeze, offers tools to track payments, and integrated convenience solutions such as online scheduling, two way texting, and digital intake that patients and staff alike will appreciate. Plus, our SolutionsCentral partners offer a variety of fully-vetted solutions that can make your practice more efficient.
If you’re ready to learn more or get started, visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832 today.
About the author,
Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.
Looking for PM or EMR Software?
MicroMD PM and EMR/EHR is flexible and can fit almost any specialty. Let us help you get back to the business of healing.