Concierge medicine is not a new concept; it has been around for ages. In the early days, it was commonly associated with an elite clientele. These days, however, the clients these services cater to are changing, and for good reason. Read below for how our friends at PartnerMD put it all into perspective.
Written by: Guest Blogger PartnerMD
We’ve entered the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and discussions abound over the future of our health care system. Beyond guesses, two things are certain: changes are coming in health care, and the traditional health care system was strained well before the ACA.
Our current insurance-driven model has primary care physicians acting as gatekeepers to specialists and seeing enormous numbers of patients – an average of 4,000 each. This has led to rushed care, frustrated patients and burnt out doctors who, according to a 2012 Physicians Foundation survey, are largely “pessimistic” about the future of the profession.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 34 million more Americans will have health insurance by 2021. At the same time, the Association of American Medical Colleges anticipates a shortage of 91,500 physicians, including more than 45,000 in primary care, by 2020. Combine these two predictions with an aging population – 10,000 Baby Boomers are becoming eligible for Medicare each day – and it’s safe to assume physician waiting rooms will only get fuller.
These changes are driving a nationwide increase in the demand for concierge-style medicine. By limiting the number of member patients concierge practices accept, physicians are able to spend more time with their patients and members are able to see their physicians quicker. Membership-based medical practices aren’t all the same; some offer more services than others. PartnerMD’s model, for example, includes significant administrative support, which allows our doctors to focus 100 percent on patient care and lets us offer additional services to members, such as referral and specialist coordination.
One thing most concierge medical practices do have in common is an escape from the frustrations of the traditional primary care model – frustrations which don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
Submitted by PartnerMD, a provider of concierge medical and executive health care services with offices nationwide, including in Richmond and Midlothian. For more information visit www.PartnerMD.com.