McLean, VA doctor says ‘concierge medicine’ is future of primary health care
Instead of paying with insurance, patients pay annual membership fee
March 12, 2014 – In two weeks, McLean internist Dr. David J. Jones will be taking a giant occupational leap.
“As of April 1, I will no longer be accepting medical insurance,” he said. “That’s it.”
Jones is one of a growing number of doctors who are becoming increasingly frustrated with what they say is an inefficient primary care health system, and who are moving away from the traditional health care model into what is called “concierge medicine.”
Also known as “boutique medicine”, “retainer-based medicine” or “innovative medical practice design,” concierge medicine physicians charge their patients a one-time annual membership fee which is paid out-of-pocket instead of billing insurance companies for individual visits. Currently, the annual fee for patients in Jones’ Principal Medical Group is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.
“This fee enables doctors to limit the number of patients they see on a daily basis, allowing for a level of personalized care for patients often not possible in a traditional practice,” he said. “The average primary care physician has a typical roster of between 3,500 to 5,000 patients. On average, Americans spend 23 minutes in their doctor’s waiting rooms and only 19 minutes with the doctors themselves.”