“I felt like I was shortchanging them,” he said. “I liked what I was doing, and did not want to retire, but I was burnt out.”
By Peggy Mika Special to Delaware Business Times
Concierge or membership medicine is a growing trend among primary-care providers. The physicians who practice this style of care say it energizes primary care in Delaware by letting them practice medicine in a meaningful way again. The doctors we spoke with had been seeing 3,000 to 5,000 patients in their practices. They saw 24 to 50 each day in seven- to 10-minute-appointment windows. They were discouraged; some were considering leaving primary care or retiring. Membership medicine includes several models including DIRECT primary care, boutique, concierge and others. With membership medicine, patients pay an annual fee, which gives them 24/7 access to their primary-care physicians via phone, email, text, video chat and office visits. Physicians are able to limit their patient panels to about 600, provide extended patient visits of 30-60 minutes, and build stronger relationships with their patients. Some practices accept private insurance and Medicare; others do not.