Concierge Medicine Myths vs Realities

 

Concierge medicine is revolutionizing health care, putting the doctor-patient relationship first and reducing costs. Doctors have time to provide same day or next day care, to talk to their patients by phone or email, and even to make house calls when needed. They get to know the entire person rather than simply the illness of the day, and they can even become like a member of the family.

 

Yet despite the tremendous benefits of concierge medicine, many patients still do not fully understand the concierge model. Here is a look at the realities behind some common myths about concierge medicine.

 

Concierge Medicine versus Direct Primary Medicine

 

Myth: Concierge Medicine Is Only for the Rich

Reality: This is simply not true. Concierge medicine often costs as little as $125 to $150 per month, depending on exactly what is included and, in some cases, the patient’s age. More expensive packages are available, but they are not generally needed by those in average health.

 

Myth: The Additional Cost of Health Insurance Makes Concierge Medicine Unaffordable

Reality: Catastrophic health insurance is highly recommended as an adjunct to concierge medicine to protect you from high bills in the event of a major health crisis. However, many people with a concierge plan find that a high-deductible health insurance policy coupled with a Health Savings Account nicely meets their needs. Of course, insurance laws vary from state to state, so always check with your insurance agent and your accountant before making a final decision.

 

Myth: Concierge Medicine Is Creating a Shortage of Family Doctors

Reality: Without factoring in the concierge model, family doctors are leaving the profession in droves. The current insurance model is simply unsustainable, with primary care physicians forced to see dozens of patients per day, to spend a great deal of time on paperwork, and to make only a fraction of the salary that a specialist makes. The concierge model gives family doctors breathing room to remember why they became physicians in the first place.

 

Myth: Concierge Doctors Are Greedy

Reality: Concierge doctors, on average, earn the same amount as a specialist. They also do a great deal of charity work, with many dedicating approximately 10% of their patient load to those who cannot afford to pay. The concierge model is better for both doctors and patients.

 

Myth: Concierge Medicine Creates a Conflict of Interest

Reality: This is actually true, but in the opposite direction that you might think. The insurance model creates an endless list of conflicts of interest, as doctors are forced to limit or ration care in order to meet insurance companies profit standards.

 

Concierge medicine holds the doctor accountable to only one party: the patient. There is never a concern over whether a particular treatment will be approved, and no pressure to hawk the latest drug from big pharma.

 

Naturally, this creates a conflict of interest with the insurance companies and drug companies, who depend on physician cooperation to make money for their CEOs and shareholders. But which would you rather have—a doctor who has a conflict of interest with you, as in the insurance model, or one who has a conflict of interest with those who seek to maximize profits at your expense?

 

If you have ever wished for an old-fashioned family doctor that you could simply call on when needed, without lengthy waits in a crowded office, even for those unexpected emergencies, concierge medicine may be right for you. Dr. Jan Zislis provides concierge physician services across lower Westchester and Fairfield counties. If you are in the area, why not take advantage of our free, no-obligation consultation to learn more? Simply call Country Doc Concierge at 914-984-5052 to schedule your appointment.

 

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