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Concierge Medicine Doctors, also sometimes called “Membership Medicine”, “Retainer”, “Boutique” or “Subscription-Based” practice programs have become quite normal and far more popular in the past ten years. This in large part due to the particularly middle-class and upper middle-class suburban and metropolitan physician practices opening in these areas and the surrounding communities joining them.
These subscription-based business models primarily in Internal Medicine [but some specialties as well which may include family medicine, cardiology, pediatric and the like] serve as a lifeline for both Patients with chronic conditions that require more time and the Doctor.
Physicians are typically entrepreneurial, highly respected by their peers and usually a long and upstanding member of their local community, both professionally and personally.
They are often recognized as healthcare’s most forward-thinking group of Physicians and early adopters.
There are innovating constantly, typically looking and actively implementing new ideas into the practice and often viewed as some of healthcare’s earliest adopters of precision medicine technology, genomic medicine, PGx testing, may research more advanced cancer testing techniques and routinely implement among their patients and communities strong preventative lifestyle programs.
National Estimates on Growth and Numbers In 2023
It should be noted that to answer this question, it must be clarified that Concierge Medicine, Membership Medicine and/or subscription-based healthcare delivery (regardless of its label) is a business model, not a medical specialty. Therefore, tracking and verifying individual programs has proven challenging since the mid-2000’s. Additionally, there is no federal registry or official national database of these physicians utilizing these subscription-based or cash-only healthcare delivery business models across the U.S. Thus, it is difficult to accurately track and approximate a precise number. However, according to the independent industry trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today, LLC., and its multiple sources that it connects with each year to answer this question, industry sources say there are between 10,000 and 25,000 Physicians or subscription-based programs across the U.S. and abroad.
Finally, it should also be noted that both Physicians, Patient and industry sources continue to report year after year, Concierge Medicine’s approach to patient care, time spent with Physicians, their bedside manner, attentiveness, personal influence and respect among their community and peers continues to rise in popularity year after year.
Growth and/or Entry/Conversion Into Concierge Medicine
Overall, Concierge Medicine is thriving in metropolitan and suburban markets. Concierge Medicine continues to grow at a moderate and sustainable pace each year with physician earnings increasing gradually. In fact, a new survey reported in Medical Economics, March 12, 2021 written by Dr. Dean McElwain, co-founder, president & CEO of Castle Connolly Private Health Partners notes that ‘A new survey of over 3,500 independent medical practices tells us what physicians in our Castle Connolly Private Health Partners (CCPHP) network have been telling us throughout 2020—the membership model has been instrumental to keeping their doors open during the pandemic …’ Additionally, the 33-question survey was fielded to a diverse universe of approximately 250,000 practitioners by OvationLab in which it also highlighted the following: ‘Results for membership-based practices (e.g. concierge and direct primary care) within the cohort included: 0% closure rate; and 24% of concierge practices reported higher revenues in 2020 than any prior year.’ [Source: Author: Dr. Dean McElwain; March 12, 2021; Article Title, Survey shows zero percent pandemic closure rate for membership-based medical practices; https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/survey-shows-zero-percent-pandemic-closure-rate-for-membership-based-medical-practices]
We (Concierge Medicine Today, LLC., the industry trade publication) concur with other inside and outside thought leaders, surveys, industry consultant observations, physician sources and other industry leaders estimates that moderate and gradual growth continues in Concierge Medicine year after year. Furthermore, industry consultants who assist many Physicians each year that desire to move into this business model, relay that they continue to field more and more physician inquiries from entrepreneurial-minded doctors (from across the U.S.) about their subscription-based or membership medicine business model(s) options which supports the moderate and conservative growth pace we report. In conclusion, industry experts and observers also tell Concierge Medicine Today that they believe growth in the provision and implementation of private, subscription-based healthcare delivery services is between 3% to 7% each year and is primarily in the areas of internal medicine, family medicine and today, certain specialties that have a routine, continuous patient base.
Top Concierge Medicine Industry Specialties In 2018-2023
According to Concierge Medicine Today, LLC., the industry trade publication, a listing of the top 5 specialty areas for Concierge Medicine include:
Family Medicine: 32%
Internal Medicine: 23%
Osteopathic Physician: 11%
Note: Specialist entry into Concierge Medicine, high-touch ‘Membership Medicine’ and subscription-based healthcare delivery business models is becoming more and more popular. Specialty Physician interest for example, and patient participation is on the rise in Concierge Medicine and sources report that this will only continue to increase as more and more chronic conditions require a Physician to quarterback their Patients conditions.
Question: 10 Years After Opening Your Concierge Practice, Would You Say That You Are More or Less Satisfied Than Practicing In A Traditional Manner?
According to Concierge Medicine Today, LLC, the industry trade publication, the polling answers found that 95% of Physicians said “Yes!”
Additional References and/or Cited Sources of Interest May Also Include
Concierge Medicine Today; July/August 2017;  Kaiser Family Foundation; April 2017; Total Professionally Active Physicians in the United States; Data includes currently active allopathic physicians (MDs) and osteopathic physicians (DOs).
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