Concierge Care. What is it?
For so many people, the concept of concierge (or) boutique medical practices seems off-putting, foreign, and elitist. Understanding how modern concierge medical plans can work beautifully with existing insurance plans unlocks the resistance to a better path for doctor-patient relationships and is far less expensive than many people imagine.
What is Concierge Medicine?
Concierge medicine, which some refer to as a private pay practice model, has doctors contract directly with patients for delivery of medical services. SignatureMD works with the very best physicians in each city, converting practices from insurance paper mills to streamlined and profitable businesses, saving time and money for both the doctor and the patient.
For example: a SignatureMD physician charges an annual fee for 24/7 access to his/her medical care. Many of our doctors continue to bill insurance for procedures they normally would. Some concierge doctors opt out of insurance billing altogether, and rely on the fee for all of their revenue.
In these practices, patients keep their insurance policies, which still cover prescriptions, radiological studies and hospitalizations. A typical concierge patient receives longer appointment times, same-day or next-day appointments and more personalized medical care.
Why does it work?
Concierge care doctors can limit the size of their practices, typically no more than 600 patients. Patients currently squeezed into traditional primary care practices that are often saddled with 3,000 patients or more can have a much more direct and personal relationship with their doctor and not worry about long wait times to be seen.
Doctors can offer longer appointment times, same-day or next-day appointments and more personalized medical care. Many concierge doctors feel they can spend more time on preventive care and patient education. Wellness plans are a big part of SignatureMD’s concierge makeover, supplying the best in diagnostic tests available to their physicians.
The concierge model can cover all kinds of doctors, from cardiology and pediatric practices to primary care doctors.
The Quality of Care
Concierge physicians all agree the quality of their patient relationships matters to them. Family doctors can enjoy knowing their patients and their families, keeping them well. In the current system, there is the looming Medicare cuts (January 2012) that will stress overburdened doctors even more. Already the increasing demand for services, decline in doctors available, declining reimbursement and increased government pressure for regulation have caused enormous headaches for doctors who just want to practice medicine and heal.
Personalized care family doctors have the time to talk to each patient, and develop a personal relationship with each patient.
The SignatureMD plans give both doctors and patients choices. There is even bill in play in Washington DC that would make all concierge fees allowable medical expenses in HSA plans. If this happens, employers could possibly offer this type of care as a benefit.
SignatureMD’s plans also appeal to many aspiring doctors looking to careers in primary care, as there is a huge need for them, and now a way to guarantee a financially sound practice. The more you know about personalized (or) concierge care plans, like SignatureMD, the better the future looks for managing healthcare.
With offices in Los Angeles, California and Richmond, Virginia, SignatureMD (signaturemd.com) is one of the nation’s largest firms providing initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians. SignatureMD currently partners with more than 160 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 31 states, and its network is rapidly expanding.