Most people have had the experience of going to the doctor. It is not the greatest experience in the world. You go to the doctor, you sit in a waiting room, and you hope that the doctor is going to be able to see you in a timely manner. The reality is that more than likely you are going to be waiting for the doctor for up to an hour from the time your appointment was originally scheduled. The frustration that people have with long waiting times has caused many people to think about getting concierge medicine.
It’s not just the long waiting times that cause frustration. When you visit the doctor’s office, the doctor tells you what time they want you to be there. If something comes up and you need to reschedule your appointment or if an unforeseen occurrence causes you to arrive late, the doctor is going to charge you to make those changes. Of course, you do not get a discount on the cost of your visit if the doctor is late. It is just accepted that you will not mind waiting the extra time to be seen.
Let’s say that you arrived to your appointment on time, your doctor arrives on time, and you are able to have your scheduled visit. There are still other concerns that need to be addressed. All of us know what it’s like having a doctor visit. The quicker they can get you in and get you out, the quicker they can start to bring in more patients. The more patients that they can turn over in a short period of time, the more money they can make. And as much as many doctors say that their primary concern is helping others, it is very clear that for some of them it is a business. You can’t blame these doctors for seeing medicine that way. This is how medicine has been marketed and presented, especially in the United States, for a number of years. Dollars are more important than people.
You are already nervous about visiting the doctor, you had to wait longer than you expected to see them, and now that you are with them you feel as though you don’t have their full attention. None of this is conducive to healing. None of this is conducive to creating an environment where you feel free to discuss your concerns openly with the doctor with the hope of getting the medical care that you need. On average, people are going to spend around nine minutes with their physician. What can you learn about your physician in nine minutes? What can they learn about you? Very little. And this is why the quality of care that people get from traditional sources of medical care are just not there.
This is another reason why people are attracted to concierge medicine. Also referred to as membership medicine, this style of medicine makes it possible for doctors to provide their patients with care 24 hours a day, seven days a week using an on call method. This idea is foreign to most people. Being able to pick up your phone and call your doctor and actually have them pick up the phone and talk to you is almost unimaginable. With traditional medicine, when was the last time you had that happen?
With traditional medicine, when you try to call your doctor, you are going to be routed through a bunch of secretaries or other administrative individuals. You would be lucky if your doctor’s secretary’s secretary responded to your message. Forget about sending your doctor an email. With traditional medicine, that is viewed as an invasion of your doctor’s privacy. However, with membership medicine, it is just par for the course.
One of the problems that doctors have in a traditional setting is the number of patients who they need to treat in order to be profitable. It is not uncommon for a doctor to have thousands of patients on their rosters. Of course, not all of these patients need care simultaneously, but the sheer number of patients that a doctor needs to treat makes it impossible for them to provide the one-on-one care and concern for their patients that is needed.
Conversely, a concierge doctor receives a monthly fee from the individuals who are part of their membership. Concierge doctors have a limited number of patients who they can attend to at any given time. This means that they are able to devote more time to each one of their patients. They are not interested in rushing their patients in and rushing them out. They are actually concerned about taking the time to get to understand and get to know their patients. They visit their patients at home, and this changes the entire way a doctor views the patient. When a doctor is able to see where their patient lives and how their patients live, it makes it possible for them to get a feel for the environment that their patients live in. This makes it easier for them to understand some of the factors that might be affecting their patient’s health and well-being. None of this is possible in a traditional setting where the patient goes to the sterilized environment of a doctor’s office.
More Than Just a Doctor
A concierge doctor is more than just a healthcare professional for a family. They actually become a trusted friend. It is not uncommon for a concierge doctor to be you with their patient from the time they are young adults all the way through them having children, their children growing up, and even beyond.
In some ways, the idea of concierge medicine is new to Western society as it goes against the modality of medical care that people have become accustomed to. However, it’s not really new. In fact, a concierge doctor who makes house calls was the way medicine was handled just a few decades ago.
A person may wonder, but what happens if emergency care is needed that cannot be handled at home? Can a concierge doctor still help? The answer is yes. When there is an emergency and a hospital stay is required, the concierge doctor is still going to be an intricate part of the patient’s overall health care. They are going to carefully monitor the well-being of their patients, they are going to be briefed by specialists, and they are going to be on top of everything with the goal of seeing to it that their patients get the long-term care that they need.
Still, there are a number of people who are convinced that the traditional model of medical care is the best. They say that their job provides them with great insurance and so they feel that their health care needs are best met by visiting the doctor in the hospital. However, what experience shows is that just because a person has health insurance, this does not mean that they actually have access to healthcare. Basically, you find yourself paying a ton of money for something that does not work for you. This is why concierge medicine is becoming so popular. People are realizing that in some cases their out-of-pocket cost is less than when they pay for traditional insurance, yet the quality of care they receive is so much better.
Basic Facts You Should Know About Concierge Medicine
More doctors are attracted to concierge medicine because it allows them to do what they went to medical school to do and that is help people. At the same time, they are able to make money but feel good about how they are doing it.
One of the biggest perks for you that comes from using a concierge doctor is that you can call your physician whenever you want to schedule appointments. In return, you pay annual or monthly fees. The amount you will pay per month or per year is going to vary. For this fee, you have the confidence that comes from knowing that your doctor is only going to see a limited number of patients and so they will be available to help you when you need them.
You will also be able to build a relationship with your doctor. Since you have this relationship with your doctor and since they understand your health history, it is likely that your annual physical will include preventative procedures that insurance plans may not be obligated to cover. These could include extended blood panels and screenings for different diseases that run in your family.
Since a concierge doctor has a limited number of patients, they are able to give each patient a quicker diagnosis. They are able to order tests and get results that would traditionally take weeks in a matter of days. This means that you have less anxiety as you wait for results.
Concierge medicine first grew popular among affluent individuals. Affluent individuals do not want to wait around for anything, especially something as important as healthcare. They know what they want, they know what it costs, and they want to get it right now. Understandably, they appreciate the benefits that a concierge physician provides. Over the years, the model of a concierge doctor has been adjusted so that it can benefit individuals who live in less affluent areas, allowing them to get access to that same high level of care.
Is It Worth It for Me to Use Concierge Medicine?
That is the million-dollar question. Most people who are sick and tired of long waits at the doctor would say yes. Most people who are sick and tired of visiting the doctor, paying a ton of money, and feeling like they are not being listened to or like they are not getting their problems addressed would say that using a concierge physician is more than worth it.
There are rare occasions where people say that they have a strong relationship with their physician. But physicians who take the time to really care about their patients are few and far between. Most people feel like their doctors ignore them, do not listen to them, do not believe them, and simply want to push pharmaceuticals on them. They feel that they are not given the in-depth screenings that are needed in order to help them identify possible infirmities. They feel like their doctors are there not to prevent disease but to help treat symptoms of diseases that could have been avoided if proper preventative care was provided.
There is a reason why millions of individuals around the world are opting for concierge physicians. They understand that the quality of treatment they will receive will likely be better. They understand that thanks to the personal relationship they built with the doctor, they are going to feel more comfortable talking about the challenges that they face. They understand that the medical diagnostics and suggestions made by their doctor are going to be personalized because the doctor will not only understand them as a patient, but they will understand their family background and where they live.
Individuals who turn to concierge medicine are happy because they feel like their concerns are heard and addressed. Would you like to learn more about this personalized form of medical care? If so, meet with our professionals at Four Seasons Medical Concierge in Phoenix, AZ or Dallas, TX. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!