It seems everywhere you turn these days, people are weighing the pros and cons of membership healthcare- is it worth it in terms of cost? Do I need to switch to get better care? What can I expect from a practice if I do join? Ultimately, it’s a very personal decision, and the answer will vary from person to person. Let’s explore some of the various aspects that go into making a decision, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Is Membership Healthcare Worth it in Terms of Cost?
Concierge medical practices typically charge a membership healthcare fee, though the amount will vary from one office to the next. Some may charge a per-visit fee as well. To find out if it’s within your reach, contact practices that are known for quality care and inquire about these costs. Don’t be dismayed if one practice is out of reach, as other offices will have different rates, and may be able to provide services that bring your overall care costs down. Some membership healthcare practices accept insurance as well, which can help keep costs lower. Though some find switching to a catastrophic plan and contributing to a medical expense account makes more fiscal sense.
Do I Need to Switch to Get Better Care?
Again, this will depend on the level of care you’re receiving now. At present, the average family practitioner has 2,300 patients. In order for him to provide all preventive, chronic, and acute care for his patients, he’d have to work about 20 hours each day. If you’ve ever felt rushed out of your office, like you couldn’t ask questions about your care, or like you were being pushed through an assembly line, this is why.
Physicians often go in-network with insurance companies in order to attract patients, but insurance companies are in the business of saving money- not paying for quality care. They don’t make money when they pay for procedures, so they pay very low rates to the in-network physicians, and often deny necessary procedures. Needless to say, it becomes an ugly situation. The physician, bound by insurance companies, must take on more patients to keep the practice open, which reduces the quality of care. The patient then feels the strain of this every time they visit the physician.
With the way medicine is practiced in the United States, the model must shift in some way to provide better care. If you are unhappy with your quality of care or feel rushed and unimportant to your office, it’s a good idea to explore other models of care. Some physicians accommodate more patients by adding in auxiliary team members, while others who prefer to provide care directly move to a membership healthcare model.
What Can I Expect from a Practice if I Do Join?
The “perks” of membership healthcare vary. A Dedication Health, we feel the most important aspect of membership healthcare is that the doctor is “all yours” when he’s with you. There’s no rushing from one room to the next to accommodate many people. He’s there, in the moment, talking with you about your current health needs and your ongoing goals, so you can leave feeling good about your plan and empowered to take control of your health.
We also offer same-day and next-day appointments for urgent matters and give you 24/7 access by phone. To top it off, our online resources make it easier than ever to manage your care, and our staff is here to serve you, whether that means setting up specialist appointments or managing more of your care—from CT scans to EKGs and blood work—right here in our office. Your wellness visit is included in your fees and, for that added touch of luxury, you’ll have a private room for exams, complete with a robe and slippers, as well as valet parking.
Membership Healthcare: Is It Worth It?
If you’re unhappy with your current level of care, are managing chronic conditions, or would like to focus on total wellness, concierge medicine is worth it, but you’ll want to find a membership healthcare practice that fits your needs and expectations. To learn more about the difference at Dedication Health, call 847-986-6770 and speak with our practice manager Christine.
Learn more about Concierge Healthcare Services in Chicago.