The term “concierge medicine” is still emerging, and each office offers something a little different in this respect. On top of this, we now have “hybrid concierge medicine” as well. So, what is hybrid concierge medicine? On this page, we’ll explore what both terms mean, as well as how each differs from what you may be accustomed to at a traditional doctor’s office.
What You Can Expect from a Traditional Practice
Traditional practices are more or less the standard these days. An average family physician is likely to have more than 2,000 patients in all. Although he probably won’t see all of them in any given year, the number of active patients is still fairly high, and that’s why it’s notoriously difficult to get in to see most doctors, as well as why visits seem so rushed. There are two major reasons why this is happening today. First, there is a shortage of doctors in the country, and the patients have to go somewhere. Second, insurance companies have changed the dynamics of a traditional practice. They’ve limited procedures, reduced payments, and make it difficult for doctors to uphold quality of care. In order to stay afloat, most offices increase how many patients they see.
What is Concierge Medicine?
Concierge medicine, by the strictest standard, is basically having your physician on call. Your concierge doctor only sees a few patients each day. Instead of having a couple thousand patients in total, he may have a couple hundred. This is a beautiful model because it gives doctors as much time as they need with their patients, and vice versa, allowing physicians to see to all a person’s needs, enhance care and develop a real relationship with each person he sees. The staff behaves more like a concierge service as well. They will manage all aspects of patient care.
Sometimes there are additional perks as well, like 24/7 access to your physician, nutritional counseling, more concierge services available directly from your physician, and so on. However, physicians can’t really do all this on the traditional model. To make it possible, they charge membership fees to the practice. Oftentimes, true concierge practices won’t even bill insurance companies. They only accept cash payments for services. However, there are some concierge practices that do offer these perks as well as bill insurance. Dedication Health, a concierge medical practice in Chicago, is one of them. Read about concierge medicine and insurance.
What is Hybrid Concierge Medicine?
Not surprisingly, many physicians long to operate practices not driven by insurance companies, in which they can focus on wellness and provide higher levels of care for each person. However, once a physician has already established a practice, he’s often personally invested in and devoted to the patients he already cares for. For this reason, he may choose to operate a hybrid concierge medicine practice. In these cases, the doctor may run two different practices in tandem.
For example, he may continue seeing all the same patients he always has, though close that side of the practice to new patients, while he blocks out half his schedule for his concierge patients, and allows that side of his practice to grow. He may also incorporate some of the things you’ll find at a traditional practice, such as insurance billing. When a physician moves from a standard to a full-concierge practice, he typically gives his patients the option of taking part or staying on as a regular patient. This way, their care is not disrupted, but those who wish to take advantage of the added concierge-style benefits may.
Is Concierge Medicine Right for You?
If you’d like to develop a better relationship with your physician, focus on total wellness, or simply want to take advantage of concierge-style perks, concierge medicine may be right for you. To learn more or to schedule, please complete our online contact form. You can also speak with our office manager Christine by calling 847-986-6770 now.