With the large increase of concierge medical practices in the country, many are trying to learn as much as they can about concierge medicine history and how the model operates. On this page, we’ll explore a bit about concierge medicine history to help you better understand why it was created and who it works for best.
Concierge Medicine Has Been Around for Decades
Troubled by the lack of quality time with patients, and sensing that patients felt their needs were going unmet, doctors first began creating concierge medical practices in the 1990s. The first concierge medical practice was founded in Seattle, WA, in 1996 by Dr. Howard Maron and Dr. Scott Hall. They called the practice MD2, pronounced “M.D. squared.” These doctors charged an annual retainer fee in the range of $13,200 to $20,000 per family. Because MD2 didn’t use the term “concierge,” others credit Cooperative Med of Florida with being the first. Founded in 2002, the practice was also different in that it never had a standard patient base; it was formed exclusively as a concierge medical practice.
There are Many Forms of Unique Care Options
In the early 2000s, other forms of care began popping up, which drew the attention of Medicare and the American Medical Association and caused the AMA to draft guidelines for “boutique” practices. One alternative to concierge is direct care. Under this model, patients pay their physicians cash and don’t use insurance. Although it doesn’t include perks like a concierge medical practice might, physicians save money by not dealing with insurance companies, and they sometimes pass the savings on to their patients. They may also spend more time with patients too, which is why the two models sometimes get confused.
Concierge-Style Practices are Growing Rapidly
In 2002, just 50 concierge medical practices existed, but now there are more than 10,000. The drastic shift is indicative of a growing trend. This is partly because many offices once catered only to the wealthy in the beginning of concierge medicine history, whereas concierge medical practices nowadays are within reach for a broader group of people.
The Growth is Spurred by Patient Demand
While doctors develop these practices because they want to spend more time with their patients and focus more on wellness, the demand for concierge medicine is driven by patients. They appreciate the personalized care, longer visits with their doctor, and having more access to their care providers.
Concierge Medicine History in the Making
Although throughout concierge medicine history the number of practices has skyrocketed, concierge medicine is still not available everywhere. At Dedication Health, our primary focus is on providing you with more access to your physician, so your visits are longer and you’re the only one scheduled during your appointment slot. We also provide 24/7 access by phone, have more services on-site, and will handle the scheduling of any specialist visits for you. Of course, if you’re looking for more lavish perks, we have those too; from robes and slippers waiting for you in a private room, to valet parking, and online tools to help you manage your health better than ever. If you’d like to learn more about Dedication Health or would like to visit our office, call 847-986-6770 and speak with our office manager Christine.
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