If you read the headlines, it’s easy to be misled, but concierge medicine is no longer for the wealthy. Recently, the Times drug readers in with their sensational story “The Doctor Is In. Co-Pay? $40,000,” and while things like this are and can be true, they’re not the whole story at all. There are many concierge medical practices, including Dedication Health in Chicago, that offer affordable membership fees and even accept insurance.
Why People Think Concierge Medicine is for the Wealthy
The earliest concierge-style models emerged many years ago, and they did indeed cater to an elite class. These physicians performed house calls and offered a number of perks, but also didn’t accept insurance at all. At the same time, TV shows like “Royal Pains” sensationalized the practice, making it seem like all concierge physicians lived in the Hamptons and only treated ultra-high net worth folks. There are physicians still operating this way. “A successful internist in New York or San Francisco might earn $200,000 to $300,000 per year,” according to a doctor interviewed by the Times, “but Private Medical pays $500,000 to $700,000 annually for the right practitioner.” The money doesn’t materialize out of thin air. It’s the patients paying those salaries, divvied up among as few as 50 patients.
Concierge medicine also has a distant cousin, referred to as “direct pay” or a similar variant. Under this model, physicians don’t accept insurance at all. Patients must pay entirely out-of-pocket. While it does share some characteristics with the concierge medicine model, such as smaller practice sizes and increased time with physicians, it can be difficult for the average person to pay cash for their care.
Why Concierge Medicine is No Longer for the Wealthy
Not all physicians are in it for the money, though, and not all see insurance as a burden. Many traditional physicians are getting burned out by the existing model. They want more time with their patients. They want to focus on total wellness. Moreover, they also believe quality care should be available to everyone. Not just those who have mansions and live in New York.
At Dedication Health, we offer patient-focused care, under the concierge medicine model. This means we do have more time with our patients, and we offer many perks, like 24/7 access to physicians and more services in our office. However, we also offer reasonable membership fees to make our services more accessible to people, and we also bill insurance companies for medical treatments and tests in order to be able to help a wider range of people. It’s true, concierge medicine is no longer for the wealthy. But you do have to know where to look to find the right concierge medical practice.
Join Dedication Health
If you’d like to learn more about concierge medicine and all Dedication Health has to offer, call 847-986-6770 or complete our online form. Our practice manager Christine will be glad to walk you through the process of becoming a member and explaining exactly what a difference patient-focused care can make for your overall health and wellness.
For more information about concierge medicine, browse the links below.