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FEBRUARY 4, 2016 – Concierge Medicine Today, the industry trade publication for the Concierge Medical community based in Atlanta, GA released a 2-year summary of its analysis on the popularity and growth of the physician specialties using the subscription-based healthcare delivery business model, Concierge Medicine. They asked physicians from across the U.S. in October 2014 and again in January of 2016 ‘What Medical Specialties Are You Aware of That Operate Concierge Medicine Clinics in Your State?’
Highlights of the analysis reveal the following conclusions:
- In October 2014, nearly 66% of current U.S. Concierge Medicine physicians reported they are Internal Medicine and Family Medical specialists.
- In January 2016, nearly 61% of current U.S. Concierge Medicine physicians reported they are Internal Medicine and Family Medical specialists.
- In October 2014, approximately 6% of current U.S. Concierge Medicine physicians reported they are Pediatricians.
- In January 2016, approximately 9% of current U.S. Concierge Medicine physicians reported they are Pediatricians.
- In October 2014, less than 1% of current U.S. Concierge Medicine physicians reported they are a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) .
- In January 2016, 6% of current U.S. Concierge Medicine physicians reported they are a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.).
- The analysis found that in New Jersey for example, an estimated sixteen percent (16%) of Concierge Physicians are licensed in Osteopathic Medicine alone. Also noteworthy, was that among all specialties in New Jersey analyzed, 91% of Concierge Doctors indicated they either accept Medicare and most insurance plans or only participate in Medicare.
- A surprising finding in this time was the increasing number of Concierge Medicine Cardiology, Pulmonologists, Dentists, Endocrinologists, Gynecologists, Surgery Centers, Gastroenterologists, Dermatologists and even Rheumatologist physicians showing interest in the subscription payment business model in the healthcare marketplace.
“When fifty nine percent of Physicians tell us that prior to opening their own Concierge Medicine Office they planned to enter another career field outside of medicine altogether, it is time to move the needle,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief of Concierge Medicine Today. “Specialty Concierge Medicine works well for some, not all specialists. According to those physicians and industry consultants, there are two critical ingredients. First, much of what a medical specialist does for most of his/her patients is covered by the individuals insurance plan? Second, does the medical specialist have a significant number of patients who rely on them specifically for routine assistance in managing their medical needs. There are other factors to consider as well. Today, Subscription-based Medical Care is a relatively new, free market healthcare delivery career path for doctors and other healthcare practitioners. It has taken on many variations over the years inside hospitals, academic medical centers, community clinics and even inside Urgent Care Centers. Much like the popularity of other service subscriptions in the marketplace like Prime, Netflix or Costco, Subscription-based medical care performs the functions of several different services. It provides a fair amount of selection, cost-saving options, family discounts, and its ultimately up to the individual to decide each month, quarter or year if you want to keep the same doctor. It puts the one person who should be in control of their own healthcare on the appropriate path to finally knowing how much healthcare actually costs. Now, it is gradually moving into the specialty medicine space among certain physicians.”
Other noteworthy findings by Concierge Medicine Today among all specialties included:
- Patients on Scholarships and those individuals at or below the poverty line are also treated inside Concierge Medical Offices. All Physicians surveyed indicated that as many as 6%-10% of a Concierge Medical Patient Panel are on some form of scholarship, highlighting the need for more personalized care for the indigent and under-served in many cities across the country.
- Concierge Medicine Offices are early adopters of new healthcare technology, evidence and use encrypted telehealth programs as well as redesigned EMR/EHR software solutions.
- Career Satisfaction in Concierge Medicine among all specialties interviewed, found happiness with the business model at or near 100%, every time. Physicians were asked at year five and again at year ten.
- Fifty Two percent (52%) of Concierge Doctors said they are currently hiring additional administrative staff, another physician or a part-time employee to meet the consumer demand for their services.
- Concierge Doctors generally charge patients a membership fee — typically $1,500 – $2,700 a year — outside of the traditional insurance system. They often have fewer patients — usually no more than 600, compared to 2,500-plus for a traditional patient panel in a previous 24-month period — so they can spend more time with each one.
- Most (64%) of Concierge Doctors added that they previously had patient panels between 3,000 and 5,000 patients.
- Almost seventy percent of Concierge Doctors nationally indicated that the average wait time at their Concierge Medical Office was less than five minutes.
- Patients using Concierge Medicine comply with scripts and recommendations far more inside these offices due to the doctor’s routine personal follow-up with the patient and explaining the importance of compliance and other treatment options.
- Nearly 80% of Concierge Medical Offices see and/or treat between 6 and 15 patients per day. Many physicians will spend between 30-60 minutes per patient during each visit. Some added they spend between 60-90 minutes with each patient [and their accompanying family members] during each visit. More time and less stress produce a better patient experience as additional free minutes each day are often spent researching specific conditions on behalf of their patients, something all physicians said they did not have time to do in their previous healthcare delivery payment model.
- Most Concierge Doctors, regardless of specialty, noted they typically wake up around 7am each morning and work with patients 8 to 10 hours per day.
- A Concierge Doctor who provides 24/7 cell phone access, and most do, receive the majority of phone calls from their patients during normal business hours, Monday thru Friday.
- Many Concierge Doctors also offer testing that insurance doesn’t routinely cover. Some order blood tests that check for inflammation associated with heart disease. Others run body composition profiles to measure muscle mass and fat levels. Overall, concierge patients skew upper middle class, with typical household earnings between $125,000 and $250,000 a year, according to Concierge Medicine Today. They also tend to be Baby Boomers, generally in their 50s to 80s, according to doctors interviewed.
- As in years past, the most common reason why patients using Concierge Medicine call their doctor continue to be (in order): Prescription Renewals; Cold/Flu Symptoms; Back Pain; and Headaches.
- Concierge Medicine Today found that 58% of Concierge Doctors [all specialties represented] earned an annual salary between $200,000 and $500,000 per year (2014-2015), adding Internal Medicine and Family Concierge Physician salaries appear to be on par with many medical specialist salaries.
While growing, it’s not for everyone, and it is not for every doctor. This year , Concierge Medicine turns 20-years old, at least according to the history books and it’s not without critics. Industry consultants and physicians both tell Concierge Medicine Today that Concierge Medicine business models do not work for every medical specialty. In most Concierge Medicine Offices, patients pay an annual or quarterly fee, which guarantees an enhanced care level from a physician. Concierge Doctors also argue that they save patients money by reducing their need to go to specialists and hospitals. Just six years ago, Concierge Medicine Today polled Concierge Doctors and asked ‘Do You Refer More or Less Patients To The ER Each Year Than In Your Traditional Practice?’ Seventy percent of physicians said ‘Less.’ In the past two to three years, there is new, more detailed patient outcome data being published out of this industry that supports these trends. This may bode well for patients under the care of these doctors in the years to come. Today, it is estimate that as many as 12,000 physicians operate across the U.S., according to Concierge Medicine Today’s interviews with doctors, consultants and investors in the sector. That’s still only a sliver of the roughly 904,500 actively practicing physicians in the United States today. Concierge Medicine Today cautions that exact numbers are hard to come by as there is no federal registry or national database with conclusive data.
“Yes, it is true that Concierge Medicine does have a rich history,” adds Tetreault. “All innovation at its inception was expensive. The annual shift by physicians [of all medical specialties] has been quite gradual. Today, we hear from physicians every day who tell us that the first question they are asked by a new patient isn’t ‘how much does this cost?’ It is rather, ‘how does this work with my insurance?’ So as insurance reimbursements to physicians decline, consumer interest in retail healthcare clinics increase and the public relations message by more companies in the telehealth and healthcare delivery marketplace promote the concepts of price transparency, affordable visits and access to a caring healthcare provider, subscription-based medical care will begin to take on many other forms inside medical offices, businesses and inside homes across the country in the years to come. We even see the trend towards a mass market variant of Concierge Medicine called Direct Primary Care (DPC) growing gradually as well. DPC is also subscription-based healthcare delivery model but offers a low, monthly price point, attractive to Millennials and those individuals typically reporting to us they have a combined household income of less than $71,000 per year. What is fundamental to all forms of subscription-based medical care is that patients take responsibility for their healthcare and payment for services not covered by their insurance plan. They alone must decide to make a personal investment in their own healthcare. And as one of the founding physicians in Concierge Medicine recently wrote to us, ‘This is healthcare the way it should be, with zero compromises. It’s about being cared for in the way you would care for your own family member.'”
About Concierge Medicine Today
Concierge Medicine Today (CMT), is the premier news and multi-media organization and the industry’s oldest national trade publication for the direct primary care and concierge medicine marketplace. Their web site is the online destination for business, consumers and physicians to learn about the history of this industry, various business aspects of the marketplace, trends, breaking news and more that drive the conversation and generate the national buzz that concierge medicine and direct primary care is creating on a national and international level.
For more information, visit: http://www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com.
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