The foundation of a private concierge medicine program (aka; “boutique”, “retainer-based”, “VIP” or “membership”) is the direct relationship between the physician and their patients. This allows the practice to enhance the one-on-one relationship between the physician and each patient and; to focus their attention and resources on providing proactive, preventive and wellness-centered health care rather than just “sick care”.
In order to create the direct relationship with each patient, as well as offer personalized preventive care, the physician reduces the number of patients they see. For instance, the typical primary care physician has about 2,000 – 3,000 patients in their practice. In a concierge medicine program, the physician limits their practice to 400 - 600 patients. The specific number is determined by the physician’s practice dynamics.
In order to have the time and resources to provide this level of care and service, the physician charges each patient an annual fee. The fee covers the cost of various benefits including; direct physician 24x7 access, same day or next day appointments, unhurried office visits, on time appointments, assistance with appointments with sub-specialists and hospitals and other services provided by the practice.
It is customary for patients who join a concierge medicine practice to maintain a health insurance policy for non-covered services which may include diagnostic testing, specialist care, hospital care or other expenses. Patients who have a health savings account are encouraged to discuss their benefits with their financial advisor or their employer’s benefits manager.
Given patient demand, the ever-changing health care landscape, the complexity of the health care system and a growing physician shortage; an increasing number of practices are converting to a Paragon Private Health concierge medicine program.