Too good to be true? No. We can get some of the best medical advice by phone; by email without even a simple visitor our doctor. What’s more, this service is offered twenty-four hours a day. For a monthly fee, the concierge doctor will attend to most of your needs without moving from your chair. This certainly does suit the chronically ill who possibly cannot get to and from a doctor’s rooms. Also the concierge doctor will make a house call. For the privilege of having this service it will set you back an annual retainer of a monthly fee ranging from a few hundred dollars per month to many thousand dollars per month.
This medical care was developed primarily for the more affluent society as most if not all of these charges were out-of-pocket expenses and non-refundable by your insurance or Medicare. Today however, some of these expenses are covered and there may be some tax considerations. There are some medical care institutions that will pay for these consultations or retainers. People can also be insured under the Affordable Health care Act (still work in progress).
Take the example of the patient who needs to visit the doctor at least once a month. He or she is probably an elderly patient and also needs a new or possibly varied prescription for the pharmacy monthly. This can all be accomplished by phone or by email to the doctor. You also have your doctor’s phone number, so you can ask for a house visit at any time of the day or night if required. The concept of concierge medicine has gained momentum over the past few years and is ideally suited to patients living in old age care homes who do not always have a resident physician.
There are, of course, pros and cons to this sort of service. For example, on the doctor’s side, most try to see around 2000 patients, say one every 15 minutes in a month. Concierge medicine practices keep their numbers down to say 250. This certainly means that the doctor has more time with an individual patient than a quick 15-minute visit. You are paying a premium fee for these services; however, a physician can concentrate on some individual and personal preventative health care with this system.
There is a lot to be said for this as, in the case of certain patients being prone to various illnesses, they may be able to obtain some form of preventative medication that will help to keep fit and well. There are many types of preventative medicines on the market as well as those scheduled by a doctor however, how and what and when to take these is best decided by the doctor. You will not get this sort of treatment in a 15-minute visit. How to decide which system is the best is ultimate a personal preference.