By Russ Alan Prince, Forbes Contributor
NOVEMBER 19, 2013 – Healthcare in the United States and across the globe is in a state of flux. This instability is driven by both demographics and the pure cost of healthcare, which increases with each new lifesaving technology, procedure and test. In many respects, people have serious concerns about getting the highest quality healthcare.
There are a number of options available to the wealthy such as various forms of concierge medical practices. What’s considered the ultimate concierge medical practice is referred to as continuously connected concierge care. The leader in this field is WorldClinic. According to Daniel Carlin, M.D., CEO and founder, “This care model is designed to provide the patient with an immediately available on-call physician and support team. The 24/7 virtual/video doctor provides immediate remote diagnosis and treatment when appropriate and the support team coordinates all the relevant logistics and referrals to higher levels of care.”
Along with the benefits of the more common variations of concierge medical practices there are several advantages to this model. For example, the patient has immediate access to a physician team who knows them personally, on an anytime-anywhere basis. Furthermore, the patient is provided with a portable prescription medical kit for guided use in an acute time-sensitive situation. This eliminates any delay in care and maximizes the chances of the best possible outcome. Also, the network of supporting specialists is assembled around the criteria of clinical excellence and not whether they belong to a particular hospital or insurance network.
Continuously connected concierge care is not an inexpensive proposition and is therefore restricted, for the present time, to the wealthy. “This form of concierge medicine is the perfect solution for some of our wealthiest clients. It is especially valuable for those clients who travel regularly or have multiple residences,” explains Richard Flynn, principal in the Family Office Group at Rothstein Kass. “It’s not the least expensive option, but many times it’s the best option.”
While this form of concierge medicine is cost prohibitive for many, that’s likely to change over time. “Today, the wealthy are financing the development of the processes and methodologies that make continuously connected concierge care work,” noted Carlin. “With the way technology is moving coupled with the lessons we’re learning providing this level of care to the wealthy, it won’t be too long before much of continuously connected concierge care will be available to everyone.”