What is concierge medicine?

July 14, 2020 in Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn, MD
concierge medicine

Imagine having direct access to your primary care physician, 24/7 access to care, same-day appointments, and highly-personalized comprehensive care. Concierge medicine offers all these advantages and more. This tailored form of healthcare is becoming increasingly popular, especially among families, people over the age of 50, and those who face more serious medical problems. Keep reading to learn more about concierge medicine, what it costs, and how it could help you.

How concierge medicine works
Concierge medicine is a membership-based model of care in which your primary care doctor manages your care. Concierge physicians care for a limited number of patients, so they are able to focus more closely on the needs of each patient. You pay upfront (either as a monthly or annual subscription) and have access to everything provided in your membership plan. Each concierge medicine plan will differ slightly, but a quality plan will include the following:

● Same or next-day appointments
● 24/7 access to your physician through phone or email
● Longer appointment times
● Home delivery of medications
● Highly personalized care

How much does concierge medicine cost?
When first introduced, concierge medicine was expensive, typically costing individuals up to $25,000 a year. That annual cost did not include health insurance premiums, specialist visits, or hospital bills. Today, while the benefits of concierge medicine are the same, patients typically pay much less—around $1,500-2,400 annually, or between $125-200 monthly. While concierge medicine plans still don’t include specialist visits, health insurance premiums, or hospital visits, some members are able to use their HSA dollars to cover the cost of their concierge medicine plan.

Why you need concierge medicine
With regular primary care physicians, you tend to see them only for an annual physical and when you are sick. For some individuals, this type of healthcare plan is a good fit, since they don’t need much more care than this. However, the U.S. medical system is actually more “sick care” driven than “active management care” driven. With concierge medicine and a personal health advisor, your doctor is able to focus on longevity, prevention, and early detection tailored to your personal and family medical history and risk factors.

In addition, your regular primary care physician may not have time to provide you with individualized attention and care management. With so many patients, it’s not easy for physicians to stay on top of every patient’s care. It can also be difficult to get an appointment within a short time frame, as well as get enough face-to-face time with the doctor to address your concerns. If you are living with serious medical issues or are over the age of 50, concierge medicine could be a great option for you.

How PinnacleCare can complete the circle of care
PinnacleCare amplifies the benefits of concierge medicine in a number of ways. We become a part of your concierge team, helping you get the best care available.

With PinnacleCare, you get access to a personal health advisor who works closely with your concierge and other physicians. While our personal health advisors don’t practice medicine, they still offer around the clock service and aid you in getting the best healthcare possible.

With concierge medicine, your doctor tends to recommend a smaller network of local specialists whom they know well. However, these specialists don’t always provide the care you need or may not have the expertise and experience that other physicians do.

With PinnacleCare’s health advisory services, we find exactly the right physician for you by searching for the best regional and national specialists. This is especially important when you face a critical or complex medical issue or need a medical second opinion. At PinnacleCare we have a medical research team staffed with MDs and PhDs, a Medical Advisory Board of over 75 world-renowned specialists, and strong connections with top centers of excellence that allow us to connect you with the top specialists for your specific condition. We look at what is best for you independent of any inherent biases.

While concierge medical services are extremely helpful when you are at home, they don’t always offer a great solution when you are traveling. What if you get sick on a business trip or vacation, a visit to a child’s university in another state, a cruise, or in a foreign country? PinnacleCare’s health advisors are available 24/7 and can instantly connect you with expert physicians around the world, making sure you have access to care no matter where you are.

If you are interested in PinnacleCare’s health advisory services, visit our membership page for more information. PinnacleCare offers a variety of membership options so you can find an option that works for you.

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