Myths About
Concierge Medicine

MYTH: Concierge Medicine Is Only For The Rich and it's elitist.

Truth: Concierge medical programs for patients have actually been proven to save individuals and families money. According to Concierge Medicine Today (CMT), more than 60% of concierge medicine programs cost less than $135.-- per month, per person. Furthermore, a recent in The New York Times supports this belief. The paper reports that the state of Indiana has a high-deductible plan and another that's a traditional HMO. People in the high-deductible plan spend thousands less than those in the HMO.

"The average expense in 2009 for patients on one of these [high-deductible] plans was $6,393," the paper writes, "compared with $8,570 for patients enrolled in a more traditional health maintenance organization plan."

It's also a little known fact that nearly 60% of concierge medical programs across the U.S. cost an individual less than $135 per month. (Source: ConciergeMedicineToday.com, December 2010).

Some programs cost as little as $10 per month for children. A practice in Wichita, KS offers flat monthly fees ranging from $10 per month for kids and $50 ,$75 or even $100 per month for adults based upon age. Members of that concierge medical practice receive unlimited access to the doctor at their home, work or the doctor's office along with unlimited "technology visits" like cell phone, web cam, email and texting. Furthermore, many concierge physicians offer access to wholesale pricing on prescriptions, lab tests, imaging services and medical supplies for pennies on the dollar.

CMT recently submitted data stating that: 'Utilizing a blended rate based upon national averages for current fees charged for concierge medical care, an estimated 9,285,714,286 people could be provided concierge medical care with the 13 trillion dollar debt. Carrying this out 928,571,429 people could be provided this care for 10 years. These figures are based upon information obtained through average pricing surveys conducted from 2009-2010 by The Concierge Medicine Research Collective.'

Here's the upshot: When you combine high-deductible health plan policies with a concierge medical program, you empower people and families to make better decisions about their health care, they in turn receive more comprehensive medical care and then the savings happen and stronger relationships occur between the physician and their patients. One California concierge physician recently made the statement that truly encompasses this fact when she says her patients can say 'I no longer have a doctor who needs to look at my chart to know my name.'

MYTH: Concierge medicine isn't that popular and patients are not seeking it.

Truth: Demand For Concierge Medical Care Currently Outweighs Supply of Physicians Across U.S., according to The Concierge Medicine Research Collective, May 2010 thru May 2011 survey.

They have been studying the demand for concierge, direct care, cash only and retainer-based medical models by consumers for the past two years. They've found that the number of patients who are seeking concierge medical care is far greater than the actual number of primary care and family practice doctors available to serve them. It's extremely difficult to find a physician for those seeking concierge physician services in very rural areas like Idaho, North and South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi and others. Often times, we have found that there are less than half-a-dozen practitioners to serve an entire state.

But, there are currently four states that have a huge lead in the amount of active concierge physicians in practice and consumers seeking their care. Florida, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia each have a significant number of people (most over age 50) seeking out concierge doctors and there is, fortunately, a sizeable number of concierge physicians to serve them.

While the number of physicians entering concierge medical practices needs to increase, more transparent pricing among doctors is also needed. Unfortunately, our nation's new health care reform law does little in this respect.

 

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