Whether securing better parking at a baseball game or excellent reservations at our favorite restaurant, we all desire special treatment. Why wouldn’t we want the same exceptional service regarding the most important thing in our lives: health and wellness?
Imagine a scenario where there’s no wait or hassle over copays or deductibles when you step into the doctor’s office. Instead, you and your doctor can engage in a comprehensive discussion covering not only your health but also addressing lifestyle concerns.
Sounds too good to be true? Surprisingly, such an experience is a reality in concierge medicine. Including, Dr. Hubert’s location in Santa Rosa.
Concierge Medicine Explained
Concierge medicine, or as some like to call it—boutique medicine, concierge care, retainer-based medicine, platinum practice, or direct primary care—is like membership to a health club.
Still, instead of treadmills, you get exclusive, personalized care with a touch of luxury, accessibility, and convenience.
You get unlimited office and telehealth visits tailored to your needs for a fixed monthly fee.
This comprehensive package includes direct care from your doctor, eliminating concerns about copays and additional charges.
Furthermore, you enjoy accessing your doctor’s direct phone line for medical inquiries and simple diagnostic and blood tests conducted in their office.
If a significant health issue occurs, your doctor coordinates specialist referrals and/or arranges hospital care as necessary.
How Does It Work?
This model works in various forms. Patients might incur an initiation fee followed by an annual or monthly retainer to improve the quality of care and services.
Although health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts may be applicable, it’s noteworthy that most models don’t accept health insurance or government programs such as Medicare.
At the specified price tag, patients enjoy exclusive services from their primary care physician, including 24/7 access, hassle-free same-day appointments, and personalized, comprehensive care.
What is the Difference Between Traditional Medicine and Concierge Medicine?
In traditional primary care, time with patients is limited due to the high volume of appointments, leading to frustration among patients. The routine involves long appointment waits, basic tests, and delayed results discussion.
Conversely, concierge medicine prioritizes the patient experience, with physicians having smaller patient panels, allowing for more time per patient, immediate appointments, easier access to advanced tests, and in-depth discussions for personalized care plans.
Some may wonder whether adopting this approach is worthwhile. I’d undoubtedly argue, “Yes!”
What’s the Price of Concierge Medicine?
Membership fees and monthly costs vary based on your location and the specific practice you choose, ranging from $1,200 to $10,000 annually.
To provide an example, some patients incur a one-time $60 initiation fee and monthly membership fees ranging from $30 to $125, determined by their age. Family memberships are also included, with monthly fees calculated based on age but capped at $200.
Is Concierge Medicine Covered by Insurance?
The flat monthly fee for basic concierge is an out-of-pocket expense. Additional fees may apply for outside labs or executive health assessments, with potential reimbursement from your health insurance for out-of-network providers.
It’s important to note that concierge care is not a substitute for insurance; coverage for hospitalizations and speciality referrals is still essential. However, switching to a “high-deductible” health plan could be a cost-saving option since membership covers routine care.
Patients crave excellent service, welcoming and pristine spaces, and cutting-edge care, while providers yearn to deliver just that. It’s no wonder that many healthcare professionals are eagerly embracing the concierge business model—it’s the perfect avenue for aligning patient desires with the aspirations of dedicated providers.