Primary care physicians are looking for ways to change the patient experience. One of these changes involves spending more time with each patient and being more accessible to their patients.
A week from Tuesday
It’s not uncommon to wait days or weeks to see your PCP. This is partly due to the number of patients seen by each doctor. The total number of patients a doctor sees may also be dictated by insurance carriers. If the insurance does not pay enough per visit, more visits per day are needed just to make the practice profitable.
In comes concierge #Health care or “Cadillac” health care. Physicians participating in concierge health care will spend more time with patients, guarantee same day appointments, and be accessible by phone for consultations.
This of course comes at a cost. Physicians offering these services will cut down on the total number of patients, but each patient must pay a fee. If your doctor joins one of these groups you will have to pay a member fee or find a new doctor.
The fees range from about $1600 per year up to $25,000 per year depending on the various options you choose. One third the cost of a balloon ride to space. These fees are just for the extra care and time you receive. You will still need your regular insurance to pay for any additional costs of care.
Insurance will not pay
Insurance will not pay these fees. Switching to a concierge physician will be an extra out–of-pocket expense.
I used to expect “Cadillac” care, with no expense from me. Then, insurance started charging more for premiums and demanding more deductibles. I still got good care, although at a higher cost.
Now we are to the next step. The care is not as good and it costs more than prior years. Higher deductibles, larger premiums, and less care.
Bad or worse?
In my opinion, we have choices, none ideal. Pick the least harmful, much like a presidential election. If we don’t make a choice, our lifestyle will be left to others.
Should we choose to avoid any upfront fees to doctors, we must stay with existing conditions. Existing conditions being that insurance companies and Medicare desire to pay out less, while physicians request more.
I don’t see those attitudes changing. Meaning things will continue to get worse for the patient.
If we choose to join a concierge group, at least health care should improve. However, once again this is costly and perhaps even unaffordable for most.
So what do we do? Hope that the future U.S. President will implement another change to health care replacing Obamacare? Wait and see how much worse our personal health care situation becomes? Or just bite the bullet and pay for concierge health care?
What do you think? How can we as individuals help improve any of this? Please leave comment below.