By Emma Wilkinson on November 1, 2016
If you’ve ever watched the show Royal Pains on the USA Network, chances are you’ve been exposed to a new wave of medicine labeled “concierge medicine”. Dr. Hank travels around the Hamptons treating ailments, broken bones, and making prognoses. While he doesn’t have a main office to report to, he comes armed with his prescription pad and stethoscope and works jointly with the local hospital should any of his patients require hospitalization.
Concierge medicine includes services administered by licensed physicians that allow more personalized and usually in-home care. The American Academy of Private Physicians allows patrons to search databases of physicians that label themselves as concierge doctors. In order to see if the doctor is the right fit for you, this database labels these doctors’ specialties, accreditations, and general areas of expertise.
No, not everyone who seeks a concierge doctor is as fabulously rich as the patrons in the show, but let’s face it: if you want a doctor to see you as soon as possible instead of the normative 45 minute-1 hour wait time in a doctor’s office, it will get expensive.
As part of the personalized care offered by concierge doctors, the doctor will be able to quickly cater to your health needs. However, in addition to your health bills, they will charge you upwards to $5000 a month to compensate for their services. Because this type of medicine is relatively new, many health insurance policies may be a little blurred on the topic. While these doctors can offer anything from outpatient surgery to routine checkups in your home, health insurance policies regarding this type of medicine varies state-to-state. Additionally, the main service fee of $5000 a month will most likely not be covered by your health insurance provider since it is considered a membership fee and doesn’t actually cover any services.
So how do you know if concierge medicine is the right fit for you? If you dread going to the doctor’s office and waiting over an hour to see the doctor for a fifteen-minute consultation, a concierge doctor could be right for you. If you dread sitting on the white sheet on the examination table in an uncomfortable white paper gown, a concierge doctor could be right for you. Additionally, if you want same-day test results and a more interpersonal relationship with your doctor, a concierge doctor may be right for you.