EDUCATION: What Is Concierge Medicine? | What Is Direct Primary Care?

Please note, this story has been updated and a new version is accessible here.

Written and edited by Michael Tetreault, © 2009-2013 Concierge Medicine Today, All Rights Reserved.

Boutique Medicine.

See definition for Concierge Medicine.

Cash-Only Medicine.

See definition for Concierge Medicine.

Concierge Medicine.

concierge medicine direct care business booksConcierge medicine is a relationship between a patient and a primary care physician in which the patient pays an annual fee or retainer. This may or may not be in addition to other charges. In exchange for the retainer, doctors provide enhanced care. Concierge physicians care for fewer patients than in a conventional practice, ranging from 100 patients per doctor to 1,000, instead of the 3,000 to 4,000 that the average physician now sees every year.

All generally claim to be accessible via telephone or email at any time of day or night or offer some other service above and beyond the customary care. The annual fees vary widely, from US$10 per month to US$1,500 per year for an individual, with the lower annual fees being in addition to the usual fees for each service and the higher annual fees including most services.

Other terms in use include boutique medicine, retainer-based medicine, and innovative medical practice design.  The practice is also referred to as membership medicine, concierge health care, cash-only practice, direct care, direct primary care, and direct practice medicine.

While all concierge medicine practices share similarities, they vary widely in their structure, payment requirements, and form of operation. In particular, they differ in the level of service provided and the fee charged. At this writing, it has been estimated that concierge medicine and direct care physicians number approximately 5,000-5,5000 physicians and/or physician clinics across the U.S.

Direct Care Medicine.

See definition for Direct [Primary] Care.

Direct Care or Direct [Primary] Care (DPC).

DPC medical practices bypass insurance and go for a more ‘direct’ financial relationship with patients and also provide comprehensive care and preventive services for an affordable fee. DPC is a ‘mass-market variant of concierge medicine, distinguished by its low prices.’ Simply stated, the biggest difference between ‘direct primary care’ and retainer based practices is that DPC takes a low, flat rate fee whereas concierge medicine models, (although plans may vary by practice) – usually charge an annual retainer fee and promise more ‘access’ to the doctor.

Direct primary care (DPC) is a term often linked to its companion in health care, ‘concierge medicine.’ Although the two terms are similar and belong to the same family, concierge medicine is a term that fully embraces or ‘includes’ many different health care delivery models, direct primary care being one of them.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3216545

Direct primary care practices offer a membership-based approach to routine and preventive care that can dramatically reduce health care costs for individuals, families and businesses.

At the core of a direct primary care facility is a medical practice dedicated to providing routine, everyday care, essential for the well-being and ongoing maintenance of a patient’s health. This is where patients go for check-ups, vaccinations, sprained ankles, or frequent headaches.

Direct primary care providers know their patients. They have talked with their patients in detail, gotten to know them, treated past conditions and know what recurring problems are experienced. If a patient has a chronic illness, like arthritis or diabetes, their primary care provider is already a partner in management every step of the way. And, in the unlikely event of a life-threatening accident or disease, the provider serves as the patient’s advocate, coordinating care across multiple providers, facilities, and prescriptions.

Source: DPCare.org

Membership Medicine.

See definition for Concierge Medicine.

Retainer-Based Medicine.

See definition for Concierge Medicine.

Subscription-Based Medicine.

See definition for Concierge Medicine.

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