By © 2017 Fifth Third Bank
AUGUST 18, 2017 – Ever struggle to schedule a same-day appointment with the doctor of your choice? Or wait an hour to speak to a physician for only five minutes? Or check your voicemail repeatedly for test results or the answer to a simple question about a prescription?
If so, the rising trend of concierge medicine—in which doctors, for a typically annual retainer fee plus the cost of treatment, take on fewer patients in order to furnish more personalized, thorough service—may be an attractive choice, even at a premium price.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re contemplating concierge medicine.
What do concierge doctors offer?
Concierge physicians tend to provide primary care services, from routine tests to preventative checkups, with access to additional tests and services as needed. Insurance might cover routine services, but likely not for the retainer fee—although, depending on insurance, patients may be able to use a health savings or flexible spending account to pay the fee.
Typically, visits with concierge doctors are longer and tailored to your unique medical situation. Doctors may even offer house calls if needed.
What’s the advantage?
- You can see your doctor when you need her. Beyond the typical option to schedule same-day appointments, many concierge doctors will provide you their email address and cell number for quick questions or after-hours attention.