What is Concierge Medicine? Introducing the Concept
The concept of concierge medicine was introduced in the last decade of the twentieth century. It emerged when some wealthy segments of the U.S. population chose to take membership of certain concierge practices that provided annual membership providing exclusive perks and privileges for patients. Fundamentally, the idea is that the people, who can afford the membership of these Direct Primary Care (DPC) practices, can take membership to get better healthcare access without medical billing to health insurance companies. This can include urgent care along with unlimited number of visits, health screenings, 24-hour convenient access, vaccinations on a routine basis, and many other services. In traditional medicine, the concept of copay or coinsurance is very similar, but in concierge medicine it is covered in a membership fee outside of any insurance package.
However, this practice was never popular enough in the masses, and it remained limited. This was primarily due to its high costs which were not covered under the health insurance. Therefore, the wider populace along with the medical providers, such as physicians, hesitated to shift towards concierge medicine. Nevertheless, the recent trends are now showing an 8% increase in the number of these practices on an annual basis and there are multiple reasons for it.
Reasons Behind Physicians Switching to Concierge Medicine.
Provision of Better Health Care to Patients
Nearly 9 out of 10 medical providers and physicians claim that the primary reason for their voyage into the concierge domain was due to its capacity for better patient care. This is truly an interesting fact, and tells us a lot about the condition of our health care system in the United States. It is certainly true that patients have to go through paperwork and fulfill many requirements before they can schedule a 7-10 min appointment with the doctor after weeks. On the other hand, concierge medicine enables patients to access health care much more conveniently with effective healthcare solutions.
Establishing the Crucial Patient-Doctor Relationship
With programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, the United States health system has evolved into a system where a disconnect is being witnessed between the doctor and the patients. Physicians have quickly become the busiest practitioners in the states, and not many people are able to fully benefit from their expertise, mainly due to the hectic appointment mechanism and flaws in the medical billing systems as well. However, the concierge medicine has been able to tackle that problem by creating the atmosphere for the patient-doctor relationship to foster again.
Increasing Monetary Rewards for Physicians
Another reason why physicians are turning towards concierge medicine in their practice is because of the instant and better monetary rewards in the form of membership fee. As a result, most physicians find this practice to be much more rewarding and hassle-free as compared to the traditional healthcare systems where medical billing and claim reimbursement is a suffocating process.
Can U.S. Citizens Afford Concierge Medicine?
Current Number of Concierge Practices
Probably, the most important question in all of this discourse is regarding the affordability of concierge medicine. It’s an important aspect that predicts the success of this practice in the near future, and whether it is scalable or not. According to recent estimates, only 300,000 patients are benefitting from around 2,000 concierge practices across the United States. Although there has been a regular increment in the overall concierge physicians, but scaling such a project is a far-fetched task.
Ethical Concerns Surrounding Concierge
As healthcare is considered to be a basic human necessity, it is something that human beings have a basic right to. This is why the healthcare system of the United States covers all citizens regardless of their racial, ethnic, or even financial background. However, an ethical concern arises when physicians start to establish hybrid working patterns. This means that they are focusing more on the concierge patients with a membership rather than the patients covered under the healthcare system. As a result, an ethical problem emerges where discrimination is witnessed, causing harm to the overall credibility of the system.
Additional Fees other than Membership
Once a patient takes the membership of a concierge practice, there are times when that patient has to pay more for additional requirements. Many times+, the normal health insurance is consumed and medical billing or reimbursements are carried out. This increases the overall cost of the health care by many fold, resulting in a highly expensive health care.
What’s the Best Alternative? I-Med Claims LLC
Judging from the above information, it seems as if switching to the concierge practice is not a good idea both for physicians as well as patients. Other than a few who are able to afford it, the wider population is still reliant on the traditional healthcare system and that needs to improve. Therefore, I-Med Claims has looked into all the dynamics in the healthcare system that are slowing down the entire process.
Our Revenue Cycle Management focuses on the goals that provide both physicians and patients with hassle-free healthcare with switching to concierge practice. Now isn’t that a perfect deal for everyone? With our services, you can get the best of both worlds. On one hand, you add efficiency into the system that will decrease claim submission failures and increase your overall revenues. On the other hand, our medical billing services will make sure that patients are cared for by physicians because the reimbursement process is guaranteed to go smoothly.
So what are you waiting for? If you are a physician looking to switch to concierge medicine, try us out first and witness the magic for yourself. We assure you that you will see skyrocketing revenues whilst remaining in the ethical realm of healthcare.