As COVID-19 spread across the world, people found themselves asking questions regarding their primary care doctors. What happens if I suddenly get sick? How soon would I be able to get an appointment? What if I get symptoms in the middle of the night? Do I have a doctor I can trust will know who I am when I call?
The answer: Concierge Medicine.
2020 was a banner year for Concierge Medicine. It was a time of enormous opportunity and expansion for a new, more beneficial practice model. Designed to counter the challenges of a traditional healthcare system, Concierge Medicine is built on a membership model that is patient-focused and less dependent on insurance reimbursements.
The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of traditional practices. Not only were most physicians forced to cancel or reschedule non-urgent appointments, but many also had to close their doors for good. According to a 2020 survey of America’s physicians from the Physicians Foundation, more than 16,000 practices permanently closed last year, with many more expected to do the same in 2021. While most patients of traditional practices didn’t get to see their doctors, one group did: Concierge patients.
The power of the personalized touch is what has really seemed to cause the rise in Concierge Medicine. According to a journal from Annals of Internal Medicine, the average patient panel size of a Concierge practice is only 400 to 600 patients, while traditional practices averages between 2,000 to 3,000 patients. Having fewer patients means more time spent with each person – an average of 35 minutes per appointment, to be exact, compared to 15 minutes at a traditional primary care practice, according to the AARP. A lesser patient volume also allows for more attentive care and more availability by the doctor, which in most Concierge Medicine practices mean house calls and round-the-clock access by phone.
As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed to people all over the world, we are aware of the permanent changes the pandemic has made on traditional primary practices and our view on healthcare as a whole. It is without a doubt that 2020 was a turning point for Concierge Medicine and that, if you haven’t made the switch already, the time is now.
To learn more about Concierge Medicine, feel free to give us a call at 816-214-5276 or fill out our contact form: https://bit.ly/38ZZahv.