JULY 10, 2013 | By Michael Tetreault, Editor | The concierge medicine and direct primary care health industry is just like any other industry — it has many success stories, but it also has a few stories of woe. When choosing a concierge doctor, there is an entirely set of new questions that you want to be sure you have answered for you and/or your family.
Here is a comprehensive list of the questions we see patients ask their concierge-style and direct pay doctors frequently. Feel free to share this list with those thinking about concierge medical care and email us if you have any additional questions to add or input about our list. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Doctor’s Full Name?
2. Total years in Practice?
3. Years in practice as a concierge or direct primary care doctor?
4. Do you have multiple locations? If so, where?
5. Do you have a web site I can read reviews about this doctor and a biography about this doctor and his/her practice?
6. What is your annual fee?
7. How Do I Pay The Doctor? Do you accept quarterly or monthly fees?
8. Do you accept Insurance? How compatible is your concierge medical practice and services with my health insurance plan?
9. Do you participate in Medicare? (If applicable)
10. Do I need insurance to enroll or sign-up you’re this concierge doctor?
11. Is there a co-pay?
12. What additional fees are not included in the annual membership fee?
13. Will I be required to pay even if I do not need to use your services?
14. What services can I expect to receive each year during my membership with your practice?
15. May I see a copy of your Medical Service(s) Agreement?
16. What If I Need To Go To The Hospital or Emergency Room?
17. Will my insurance reimburse my monthly fee?
18. Does this practice/concierge doctor bill Medicare for the monthly retainer fee?
19. Tell me about what’s included in the Annual Comprehensive Physical.
20. Tell me about afterhours care and the doctors 24/7 Availability.
21. Can I still see my gynecologist? (If applicable)
22. What is your annual patient retention? (i.e. do you retain most of your patients annually?)
23. What about lab, x-ray and specialists’ fees and hospitalizations?
24. How long do in-office visits typically last?
25. How long will I have to wait if I come in for a visit?
26. What if I have an emergency or need hospitalization?
27. What hospitals does this doctor have admitting priveledges to in this area?
28. What about the cost of prescription medicines?
29. Can I receive text messages from my doctor? E-visits, Skype Video chat, or FaceTime thru iPhone?
30. What type of new technology do you use regularly in your concierge medical practice?
31. If I call my concierge doctor at 8pm or 2am for an urgent healthcare concern, what will happen? I.e. Will the doctor be available?
32. What if I need to see a medical specialist or need surgery?
33. How difficult is it to get an appointment? Do you provide Same Or Next-Day Visits With Unhurried Appointments That Start On Time with the doctor?
34. What happens if my doctor goes on vacation?
35. What happens if I move out of the area after I enroll?
36. Can I enroll in a concierge medicine plan anytime in the future?
37. What if I get married or have/adopt a child? Can I extend coverage to my new family members?
38. Do you provide help for out-of-town family members visiting for a few days in the event that they have a health issue?
39. Do you have any specials/discounts running right now?
40. How do I sign up?
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: February 21, 2013