By Russ Alan Prince, Forbes, Contributor
MARCH 2, 2015 – When it comes to providing concierge healthcare to the rich and super-rich, there are certain defining characteristics.
There is a strong interest in the field of concierge healthcare on the part of wealthy families, family offices, and and senior executives. In light of the changing dynamics of todays’ healthcare, this is a trend that will continue to grow. Moreover, it’s evident that an increasing number of practicing physicians are transitioning to concierge medicine. Their reasons are many but generally center on being better able to serve their patients while preserving their income.
Daniel Carlin MD, CEO and Founder of WorldClinic, is a pioneer in the field of concierge telemedicine. With his colleagues, he has set a new standard for delivering highly efficient medical care and support to affluent individuals and key, often highly mobile, corporate executives. The following is a partial list of his criteria for an exceptional concierge medical practice:
- The practice must be totally committed to the care of their client-patients. If this is the core culture, it is then possible for everything else to work. And for the record, a great concierge practice makes medical care work for the patient, and not the other way around.
- Related to the previous point, every member of the staff, especially the doctors, should possess top notch interpersonal skills. Poor communicators and those who fail to listen well should work elsewhere.
- Beyond any particular medical problem, the staff should have a broad/holistic understanding of each client/patient. This understanding goes well beyond just mastering the clinical information in their records.
- The practices’ physicians, and all their related referral network specialists, should be board certified in their field of practice. The staff should have a defined continuing medical education policy to ensure that everyone caring for clients/patients is highly knowledgeable and professionally skilled.
There should be no fiscal or professional conflicts of interest in the choice of specialist referrals, second opinions, diagnostic testing or treatments. The patient is entitled to the best care, wherever it might be found.
- There should be a focus on wellness, prevention, and longevity. This requires a formal, calendared prevention checklist for every patient and a proactive plan to address any unique patient health risks.
Patients should have rapid easy access to their concierge physician on a 24/7/365 basis. Anything less is a compromise.
- The physician should be comfortable diagnosing and treating common medical problems over the phone or via Skype/FaceTime video.
- The medical staff must be aware of and, where appropriate, make use of the latest credible biomarker screening tests. Blood assays for PLAC (heart disease) and the BRCA-1,2 (breast cancer) can identify risk and are proven life-savers.
- The practice should be familiar with the use of smartphone-based telemedicine monitoring devices for chronic disease states like hypertension, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation. Their data guides the care that results in superior outcomes and avoidance of crises like heart attack and stroke.
As with any interaction between people, there are other factors and critical details unique to each case. However, WorldClinics’ approach of “medical connectivity” and its continuing success among the wealthy and ultra-wealthy is worthy of imitation, especially for any concierge practice aiming for long-term success.