Madison ‘Concierge Clinic’ Offers Free Care To Uninsured
September 23, 2013 – A Madison clinic has taken a unique approach to “concierge medicine” – also described as “boutique medicine” and medical care the “way it used to be.”
Concierge medicine started as a model where wealthy patients paid a high-set fee for unlimited access to a doctor. At Our Lady of Hope clinic in Madison, these patients pay a more modest fee, usually between $900 and $1,500 per year to see the clinic’s two primary doctors, one of whom is Michael Kloess. He recently spoke at a forum about emerging models of healthcare.
“A lot of them do like the concierge service,” says Kloess. “They are able to get ahold of me any time of day, contact me by email or by phone or call me at home. And I know them all well, personally.”
The patients who are financially better-off susidize care for those who can’t pay at all. Dr. Kloess says the clinic started four years ago expecting 55 percent of their patients would be uninsured. Currently, that’s up to 75 percent, so the clinic supplements its income with grants and corporate donations.
Kloess says some patients have not seen a doctor in years. Now he says he’s seeing more people on a routine basis able to provide preventive care.
“Before they were all episodic,” says Kloess. “They would go in when they had the money. Or they would try to avoid going in until the last minute when they couldn’t do anything else they’d have to go to the emergency room.”
Kloess knows of only one other concierge clinic that offers free care to the uninsured: It’s in Modesto, California and was the model for the Madison clinic.