When it comes to your health, you don’t want to take a backseat. A concierge doctor can put you on the fast track to excellent and lasting health for the rest of your life. You may be wondering: Is a concierge doctor right for you? For those who want their health to be at the forefront of their doctor’s mind, then the answer is yes. A concierge doctor can offer preventative as well as tailored services specific to your wants and needs. If you’ve never heard of this kind of doctor before, then you might be missing out on the benefits that they can provide. Discover how this type of doctor can have a great impact on your life.
What is a Concierge Doctor?
This is a doctor who is essentially placed on a retainer for you. Depending on the terms that you agree to with the doctor, they are paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually a specified fee. This fee ensures that they are available for you whenever you need them.
A concierge doctor is different from a standard primary doctor because they don’t typically take on a long list of patients. Instead, they limit themselves to a certain number of patients. Some may take on even less to ensure that they are able to give their patients the full brunt of their focus and attention. This allows you to have access to your doctor whenever you need them. By paying them that fee, they are essentially obligated to return your calls and texts, set up appointments with you, and perform other functions whenever you need them to.
They are not different from a doctor in any other sense. They’re still certified and went through medical school. They have all the experience and knowledge that other primary care physicians have. They simply focus on you rather than having a large network of patients.
What Kind of Payment Plans Do These Doctors Accept?
For those interested in a concierge doctor, it’s important to know what your doctor will and won’t accept. There are three many types of payment plans. The first is one that is paid directly from your pocket. Again, this can be paid during intervals of the year. If you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not cover a concierge doctor, then you may have to pay them directly. The flat fee that you pay for your doctor monthly, quarterly, or annually may not cover certain service fees from other parts of your treatment like bloodwork. So you may need to pay an additional fee for those costs.
Another method is through insurance. Many concierge doctors accept Medicaid/Medicare and other types of insurance plans. You may need to speak with your insurance company directly in order to hammer out the details of how much they need to cover and send to the doctor. Some of the services may not be covered by insurance. Services like lab work and prescriptions are something that you may have to pay out of pocket for. You should also take note of your insurance’s plan for copays and deductibles.
One last method is a hybrid. Your insurance will cover what it can and you pay whatever is left. Clearly, having a concierge doctor can be affordable depending on your insurance plan and how willing you are to pay for their services.
How is a Concierge Doctor Different from a Primary Care Doctor?
If you have a primary care doctor already, then you might wonder what the point of a concierge doctor is. While the doctors themselves are not too different in their scope of treatment and methods, their models are. A primary care doctor is someone who sees a lot of patients. Unless you happen to have a chronic condition, you likely don’t see your primary care doctor a lot. Many typically only visit their primary care doctor once a year.
Because of this, a primary care doctor doesn’t always know you all that well. They have hundreds, if not more, of patients coming in and out of their office in a month alone. While they do offer the same flat rate to all of their patients, you basically get what you pay for — the same treatment as everyone else.
A concierge doctor is someone who is placed on a retainer just for you. They only take on a set number of patients so that they can be ready to serve them when they are needed. The smaller patient pool means that the doctor can get to know their patients a lot better than a primary care doctor.
They also place a lot of focus on preventative care. Because you have easy and guaranteed access to that doctor, you are able to work with them closely on instituting preventative measures for your health. Unlike a primary care doctor who basically only offers treatment when something is wrong, a concierge doctor wants to help you ensure that you don’t develop those problems or conditions to begin with.
Some of the tests and preventative care that you want may not be covered by your insurance plan that you would typically use to see your primary care doctor. A concierge doctor will give you that care. More importantly, because they get to know you, they also get to know your health and habits quite well. This allows them a more insightful diagnosis when treating you than a primary care doctor. A primary care doctor will have to treat you according to a textbook. This is because they don’t know you, as an individual, all that well.
What are the Benefits That This Kind of Doctor Provides?
Clearly, there are many differences between a concierge doctor and a primary care doctor. Those differences are typically beneficial for you. Perhaps the most obvious benefit that a concierge doctor provides is that they remove the waiting list. Too often, you have to wait in order to see your primary care doctor. They have a long list of patients. With universal healthcare on the horizon, that patient list will likely grow longer. A concierge doctor is always ready to see you.
A lot of diseases and conditions can be avoided through preventative care. One aspect that the United States suffers from is bolstering preventative care. You can take care of yourself by utilizing the services of a concierge doctor. They place an emphasis on preventative care because you have direct access to them whenever you need it. You can visit them more frequently without additional cost because of the flat fee that you pay them throughout the year. Your health essentially becomes your priority with this kind of doctor. By placing an emphasis on preventative care, you can live longer and healthier and thrive instead of just survive.
Some of these doctors even make house calls. Provided that you live within a reasonable distance from them or your fee covers it, your doctor can come to you rather than the other way around. This can be a huge benefit for those who are too busy to make it to the doctor’s office themselves. Or if you’re made uncomfortable by hospitals or clinics, then you can have the doctor visit you in the comfort of your own home. Again, this level of comfort can make you more willing to see your doctor frequently. With a consistent check-up on your health, you can continue to live a healthy life.
Another advantage that these doctors have is their availability for texting or calling. When was the last time you were able to call or text your doctor a question about something? Worse, perhaps you had to take to the internet to find an answer and were met with conflicting answers. If you have a health question that needs an answer sooner rather than later and is authentic, then you need a concierge doctor.
You can also benefit from this type of doctor by developing a personal relationship with them. Your doctor might just end up becoming a new friend of the family. This personal relationship also benefits your health, however. It equips your doctor with an intimate knowledge of your health habits. If something seems to be negatively impacting you, then they can recognize it and help you curb that habit. You also become further accountable for your own health and the decisions you make that impact your health. By seeing your doctor regularly, you take charge of your health and are motivated to keep making healthy decisions for your betterment.
Ultimately, you receive far more care with a concierge doctor. Depending on how much you choose to pay and what doctor you select, you can typically receive a lot more care than the standard primary care doctor can offer. With more services comes a greater ability to improve your health and ensure it stays improved.
What Services Can I Expect?
While all concierge doctors offer different services, some of their care can be expected. Primary care is wholly expected from this kind of doctor. They’ll perform physicals, check your blood pressure, ensure that your blood sugar is healthy, and essentially give you a full check-up and then some.
However, they also offer other services to ensure that there aren’t any lurking dangers like cancer. For example, they’ll keep you up to date on whether or not you should have a certain type of test performed. A concierge doctor can do a whole lot better than a primary care doctor. Even something as simple as a check-up is made easier and more effective with a doctor who is able to keep close tabs on you.
Clearly, a concierge doctor is different from other traditional methods of medicine. If you are someone who wants rapid and easy access to your doctor, then this may be the perfect solution for you. To get started, reach out to the team at Four Seasons Medical Concierge, located in Dallas and Phoenix. Contact us today to arrange a consultation!