Last Updated: July/August 2017 | (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC.
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“Industry sources from within Concierge Medicine and the Private, Self-Pay and Cash-Only healthcare delivery sectors confirm there are between 5,000 upwards of 20,000 private medicine physicians nationally. Why such a wide gap in numbers? Well, since 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., it is difficult to accurately estimate a precise number. This according to the independent industry trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today and its multiple sources. These figures still only represent a minute percentage of the roughly 923,308 total licensed physicians in the U.S., that actively practice medicine today.
Growth In Concierge Medicine | National
Industry experts and observers also tell Concierge Medicine Today that growth in the provision of subscription private medicine services is between 3% to 6% each year and has been primarily in internal medicine and family medicine. However, specialty physician participation is on the rise. Concierge Medicine Today also cautions that there is no way that Internet searches and polling on the Internet can or will result in an accurate head count of these subscription-based business model physicians. Therefore, it is left up to industry examiners, physicians and thought leaders in the space, to accurately estimate and educate others about the history and future of this private medical space.
 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).
Patient Outcome Data Coming Out of Space Is Encouraging
“Data supporting the cost-effectiveness and affordability of Concierge Medicine and other free market healthcare delivery models is intriguing,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor of the independent industry trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today. “Long-term data on these particular subscription-based Patients is still being compiled. Further analysis is encouraged and supported by marketplace consultants and physicians. More data to support these common observations should be analyzed and published. What we do know today is that Concierge Medicine, retainer medicine and boutique physicians that have a long, relational history with their Patients often have high annual retention rates. Based upon observation of these trends year after year, these [Concierge] practices are reporting levels or percentages at or exceeding traditional primary care and family practice patient retention and care expectations.”
“As an industry, we still need more patient outcome data to be published to further unpack these trend lines and observations. What we do know for certain is that inside each and every Concierge Medicine office is opportunity to connect a patient with a physician who desires to have a relationship with his community.”
GRAPHIC BELOW | July/August 2017 | (C) Concierge Medicine Today | Today, even inside hospitals, its [Concierge Medicine’s] historical fingerprints are centered around access, transparency and relationship. It is these types of new delivery programs and free market healthcare business models that are rescuing the careers of some of America’s greatest physicians and healthcare professionals.
Wait Times | Hot Topic
In June/July of 2017, Concierge Medicine Today polled it’s physician readers and asked them ‘How Does Your Concierge Medicine Practice Handle Missed Appointments?’ The response received was as follows: 61% marked ‘Penalty? We would do no such thing to our patients.’; 34% marked ‘Because we have a relationship-oriented practice, missed appts have declined more than 95%.’; and 5% responded by indicating ‘We charge a $25 Fee less than 24-48 hours out.’
Merritt Hawkins — INSIDE Traditional Healthcare Offices (e.g. not Concierge Medicine, private pay, cash only or subscription-based healthcare delivery clinics) , typical/average wait times to schedule a new patient appointment with a physician in 15 major metropolitan areas rose 24 days, up from 18.5 days in 2014, according to Merritt Hawkins. Meanwhile, the median visit length was just 15.7 minutes, according to a study in the “Health Services Research Journal.
While the above Merritt Hawkins data is accurate, the data above they cite is from 2014.
The graphics and insight (see graphic right) published by The Globe and Mail Inc., by Kelly Grant HEALTH REPORTER The Globe and Mail [Last; Updated: on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 8:48AM EST] is also very insightful and more up-to-date national intelligence related to general and traditional healthcare delivery wait times, minutes, outside of this space. Additionally, an overview of the 2016 survey’s results was published in the journal, Health Affairs in November 2016, but on Thursday, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released a deeper dive into the Canadian findings, including breakdowns by province.
Average Annual Subscription Cost of Concierge Medicine
(National Avg. | July/August 2017)
Patient Care, Quality, Satisfaction Etc.
“Patient Satisfaction in the field remains exceptionally high. Attitudes toward Concierge Medicine have undergone significant and positive changes since the signature of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.” ~Editor, Concierge Medicine Today; July/August 2017.
“There is a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor of Concierge Medicine Today. “Inside traditional medicine, patients expect to wait. They expect insurance to cover their visit. When it is not, they expect to fight. Consumers of healthcare today say they expect a disengaged staff and an unpleasant visit when at their doctor’s office. We can do better. Concierge Medicine Patients are Invited rather than Expected. This counter-intuitive approach exceeds expectations, thereby creating a massively loyal and engaged audience which, in turn, is producing some amazing patient outcome data as released and seen by some organizations in the space.”
“What physicians and healthcare professionals are learning and observing in the Concierge Medicine space is having an impact on the entire healthcare ecosystem across the U.S. and abroad. From in-depth, 90-minute intake visits with your doctor, 30 to 60-minute follow-up visits at your convenience to the use of advanced genomic testing and lifestyle coaching, Concierge Medicine physicians don’t accept the status quo.” ~Editor, Concierge Medicine Today; July/August 2017.
“Some hospitals are investing considerable amounts of money into making their Emergency Rooms into more patient-friendly environments,” adds Tetreault. “Others are redesigning pediatric wings to accommodate for extended family stays. Today, even inside hospitals, its [Concierge Medicine’s] historical fingerprints are centered around access, transparency and relationship. It is these types of new delivery programs and free market healthcare business models that are rescuing the careers of some of America’s greatest physicians and healthcare professionals. Concierge Medicine Programs and Executive Healthcare Memberships inside Medical Centers and Hospital environments have been happening for over a decade. There are a number of reasons why hospital executives and physicians do this. In today’s healthcare culture advertising aimed at the 55-plus audience is simply aimed at maintaining brand loyalty and establishing that the products they love are still good, still function and are most likely being improved. These are powerful programs which help maintain brand loyalty and provide care to a population in need of multiple chronic care visits with their doctor.”
“Overall, Concierge Medicine is thriving in metropolitan markets,” said Tetreault. “Concierge Medicine continues to grow at a moderate and acceptable pace each year with physician earnings increasing gradually. We concur with other outside surveys and many industry consultant observations that moderate and gradual growth will continue each year in Concierge Medicine … as industry consultants continue to field more and more physician inquiries from entrepreneurial-minded doctors (from across the U.S.) about their business model options.”
Career Satisfaction Trend
“When a physician is free to create pricing structures that meet their local demographic demands without the intrusion from insurance and avoid providing ‘hamster healthcare,’ which only allows doctors to spend 6 to 9 minutes with their Patients, you make a happier Patient, healthier family and less frustrated and fatigued doctor who is able to care for their Patients more thoroughly and comprehensively.”