Personally, I didn’t have a lot of strong feelings about concierge medicine until my personal physician decided to convert his practice to it.
I do have VERY strong feelings about Obama Care speaking as a pediatric ER nurse. I tend not to get political here but, regardless of how you feel about the law, healthcare is changing in the US and physicians moving to concierge medicine is just one of them.
In the current state, physicians are worried about the feasibility of making a profit and keeping their practice doors open. Reimbursement is low– particularly from insurance companies– Medicare and Medicaid are prime examples. A doctor can only care for so many patients. So when money is cut they are required to see more patients to earn the same amount of money.
After a while, it becomes impossible to make the bottom line and provide quality care.
Concierge medicine is where the patient pays the doctor a fee for access or increased access. In my case, this was in addition to what we would pay for our regular medical insurance. What was the physician going to charge in our case? $1,800 per person. Just to see him. That didn’t cover other diagnostics like lab and x-ray and likely an office visit fee.
In a letter he sent out, he was decreasing his practice from 2800 people to 400. Where will those other 2400 people go?
Realistically, the average American family is not going to be able to pay this type of money on top of their insurance premiums. What I see developing is a two-tiered medical system. A completely privatized, fee for service side and the government side– unless changes are made to the current law.
What do you think of concierge medicine? Would you pay extra to see your current physician?