Concierge medicine: What Is It and Why Do I Need It?

Most people know what a concierge care physician is and how to find one. However, understanding what concierge medicine is, is a different story. The idea is relatively new, different, and likely confusing at times.

You may find yourself wondering:

“What is and how does it work?”

“Does it work with health insurance?”

“Do I need a membership plan?”

Read on to learn more about the membership options, and the benefits of this healthcare model.

Understanding Concierge Medicine

This healthcare model differs from your typical fee-for-service and insurance billing type of medical practice. 

Instead, CM operates like a subscription service. You join as a member and, as such, you are entitled to certain perks, medical services, and discounted pricing. It is a financial arrangement between the doctor and patient.

Similar to Direct Primary Care, concierge medicine is a type of medical business model that entered the scene in the 90s. It has grown in popularity since then. With the rising costs of medical care and health insurance, some physicians decided to cut out the middleman (the insurance company) and switched to this subscription or membership-based model.

The result is better access to more affordable medical care.

Concierge medicine

How It Works

Consider your Netflix plan. Each month you pay a flat fee and are given access to a specific set of TV shows, documentaries, and movies.

With your Village Doctor subscription or membership, you pay your doctor a yearly fee. That fee gives you access to specific medical services, laboratory services, and patient care. The exact coverage varies from doctor to doctor or practice to practice. 

However, the bottom line is that you have upfront, transparent pricing for your health care. 

Your fee may guarantee you a certain number of visits and clinical services, easy access to appointments, and better communication with the practice. Additional services such as injections, minor procedures, or labs may be provided at a discounted price.

Combining Concierge Medicine with Health Insurance

As mentioned above, practices cut out the insurance middlemen and collect payment directly from the patient. This means they spend less time, energy, and resources filing insurance claims and following up on reimbursements.

Because of this, most concierge doctors do not accept medical insurance. However, that does not mean that if you have health insurance you cannot go to a concierge medicine practice. In fact, the opposite is true. 

This saves the patients money in the long run. They can get routine appointments and treatments at the membership discount rather than paying in full and trying to meet the high deductible.

Whether you have insurance or not, anyone can have a membership.

Some other benefits

Aside from saving patients money on health care, concierge medicine offers the following benefits:

  • Better access to a physician
  • Easier appointment scheduling due to fewer patients
  • Unrushed appointments and ample one-on-one time
  • Better patient-doctor relationships and patient-centered medical care
  • Continuity of care between your doctor and any specialists you may need
  • Open communication
  • Transparent pricing and billing
  • Lower medical expenses

When patients have a positive relationship with their doctor, they are more likely to schedule appointments for acute, chronic, and routine care. The Concierge Medicine model gives patients access to improved healthcare. They can make more informed decisions about their health, lifestyle management, and disease prevention.

If you are looking for concierge medicine services for your family, then get in touch with The Village Doctor today.