Concierge Medicine

Concierge medicine—also known as concierge care, boutique medicine, retainer-based medicine, platinum practice and direct primary care—is membership-based healthcare that pairs exclusive, personalized care with accessibility and convenience.

For a flat monthly fee, you get unlimited office and telehealth visits that last as long as you need, as well as direct care from a doctor without worrying about copays and other charges. You also gain access to your doctor’s direct phone line for medical questions and simple diagnostic and blood tests in their office. And if you have a major health problem, your doctor coordinates specialist referrals and/or hospital care as needed. With concierge medicine, there’s no insurance or corporate health system interference—just doctors and patients.

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A new patient in a large metropolitan area waits an average of 24 days to get an appointment with a traditional primary care physician. Why? Because a traditional primary care physician can have a patient panel of up to 4,000 people and see up to 40 patients a day for no more than 15 minutes at a time.

The traditional primary care physician routine is a familiar one—after waiting weeks for an appointment, you have some basic tests and screenings and wait days or weeks for the results to be uploaded to an online portal. If you’re lucky, you get to discuss your results with a nurse over the phone.

The concierge medicine model, on the other hand, is more about the patient experience. Physicians who participate in concierge or direct primary care typically have a patient panel of no more than 600 people. They see six to 10 patients a day and spend at least 30 minutes with each of them. Patients can get same-day or next-day appointments, access advanced tests and screenings more easily, and spend the time it takes to discuss results and develop a personalized care plan with their doctor.

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