In a time where healthcare isn’t always guaranteed to be readily available for your needs, you may be wondering if you should opt for something different than the standard primary doctor model. What is concierge medicine, and how can it benefit you?
What is concierge medicine? This doctor model involves a direct relationship with the doctor and patient. The doctor doesn’t take on too many patients and instead focuses on the ones that they have. As a result, the patient pays them a fee either monthly, quarterly, or annually. They are, essentially, a doctor on retainer. They can provide many benefits for their patients over primary doctors. You are warmly invited to find out how they can benefit your life.
A Closer Look at Concierge Medicine
At first, you may think that concierge medicine is a new thing. Actually, concierge medicine has been a model that has existed for quite a few decades, perhaps even centuries. It involves a different kind of relationship between a doctor and their patients. In a typical traditional setting, doctors take on as many patients as they can. They are mostly supplied with their patients through the hospital that they work in. These patients typically see them for their annual physical and maybe a flu shot but otherwise don’t see their doctor any more than that.
Traditional primary physicians charge a flat fee for their patients whenever they visit them. They also don’t get paid based on the time that they spend with a patient. Because of that, many doctors feel that they have to rush through their appointments. Any problems that the patient may have may not be addressed in that short time with their doctor. Because they see so many patients in a given day, your doctor may not necessarily remember who you are or your needs after the appointment is over. While this isn’t the fault of the doctor, merely the system that they’re forced to work in, it certainly doesn’t help you if you want to make your health a top priority in life.
In recent times, concierge medicine has been steadily on the rise. As people desire a more in-depth relationship with their doctor, more concierge doctors are needed. Concierge doctors can work in a hospital but many often have their own private clinics or offices. They can be situated rurally or in urban areas. With a general understanding of what concierge medicine is, it’s important that you understand the key differences between primary physicians and concierge medicine.
The Differences Between Primary Physicians and Concierge Doctors
There are a few key differences between primary doctors and concierge doctors. The main difference is that primary doctors take on a lot of patients. Sometimes, their patient list can extend well past a hundred patients. This is especially true of primary doctors who are in high demand for a particular service or in a primary location for a lot of people. Doctors who practice concierge medicine limit themselves to only a certain number of patients. Sometimes, this number is less and sometimes it a little more. Regardless, the doctor takes on an extremely small number of patients compared to primary physicians in traditional medicine.
Another big difference is the way in which they are paid. Primary physicians typically offer one flat fee that is given to all of their patients. Some might charge more or less depending on the services that are provided during an appointment. Patients will typically have to pay for additional services like blood work or prescriptions outside of their payment to the doctor. This may seem like a cheaper version of medicinal help, and it is. However, you don’t always get what you pay for. You may desire more time with your doctor, but they’re eager to get you out of there so they can see their next patient. They have a time table to keep. As a result, you may end up paying hundreds of dollars for your appointment that only lasts 15 minutes. Is that really coverage?
Concierge medicine, on the other hand, is a fee that is paid in three different ways. You can either pay your doctor monthly, in quarterly installments, or annually. The method is something that you and your concierge doctor discuss. Sometimes, your health insurance will cover this. It may not cover everything, like additional services and exams, but there are some plans that offer complete concierge medicine. Otherwise, you will simply have to co-pay or cover the expenses yourself.
One last major way in which traditional doctors different from concierge doctors is the focus on preventative medicine. Traditional doctors often don’t have the time to suggest preventative steps for their patients. Instead, they’re there to help with the problems that the patient is experiencing at that moment. Preventative care isn’t something that fits into the traditional medicine model.
However, this is a big part of concierge medicine. Because your doctor is paid to be at your beck and call whenever you need them, they can provide you with preventative medicine. Why have the symptoms of diabetes treated when you can utilize preventative medicine to avoid developing diabetes in the first place? That’s what the concierge doctor is focused on with you — not just the treatment of certain symptoms and conditions but ensuring that you don’t develop a disease or condition is the goal.
The Many Benefits of the Concierge Approach
How can you benefit from concierge medicine? There are numerous ways in which this form of medicine beats traditional medicine. The first is that you don’t have to wait as long to see your doctor. Traditional doctors have their schedules filled. Sometimes, their schedule can even be busy for months. If you need care immediately, then you may be out of luck with a traditional doctor. That’s not the case with concierge doctors. They take on a limited amount of patients so that they are always readily available to treat you if you need them. If you hate waiting for your doctor to have an opening in order for you to visit them, then you may benefit from a concierge doctor.
Another benefit that you can enjoy with concierge medicine is the focus on preventative care. The current model of healthcare in America doesn’t support preventative medicine. It’s instead focused on treating symptoms. Sometimes, it will help remove the cause. By and large, however, traditional medicine is there to alleviate your symptoms so you can keep on living your life without changing your habits or lifestyle.
Concierge medicine is focused on prevention. The doctor will take an in-depth examination of your health. In this way, they’ll know exactly what is wrong with you and any diseases or conditions that you may be on the path of developing. With that information, they can then offer up steps and treatments to ensure that you are living healthy. The emphasis here isn’t that you just feel great and healthy. Instead, it’s about actually being healthy. Your habits and lifestyle may have to change from time to time in order to keep you at the best health possible. Your concierge doctor will not only introduce you to those changes but will monitor you through them all. You’ll never quite feel alone or at a loss for what you’re supposed to do. With their guidance, you can be healthy throughout your life and miss out on a lot of potential diseases and conditions than those who only seek traditional medicine may suffer from.
This form of medicine is a great benefit for those who are busy. It’s a service that not many other patients who visit traditional doctors can boast about. When was the last time you reached out to your primary care doctor and received a response from them? Perhaps it wasn’t even them that answered. It was likely their assistant or nurse. If you have a question or you need to contact your concierge doctor for something, you can reach them with the concierge approach.
When you choose concierge medicine, you’re also choosing a better quality of life. Those who visit their doctors more often are healthier individuals. It just makes sense. When you visit your doctor, you’re equipped with the information that you need to better yourself. If you only see a doctor annually, then you may have been making choices that you’ve lived with for months before the visit. Those choices may be difficult to combat by that point. For those who visit their doctor more often, they’re given regular interval checkups of their health. If something needs to be changed, then they can do so a lot faster with better results. Easy access to a concierge doctor is what provides you with this better quality of life.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of concierge medicine is that it strengthens the relationship between doctor and patient. In traditional medicine, it’s lucky if your doctor remembers your name outside of their files. They may have some vague familiarity with you. They may even remember a few details. However, it’s far more common that your traditional doctor doesn’t remember who you are.
That doesn’t exactly promote the best kind of care. Your concierge doctor will remember who you are. More than that, they’ll remember your health and the lifestyle that you’re attempting to stick to in order to keep yourself healthy. This close relationship with your doctor is extremely beneficial. As the doctor comes to understand you over time, they’re also able to identify problems that may crop up. They’re better equipped with knowing what is normal for you and what isn’t.
As a result, something can be changed sooner rather than later. A traditional doctor might miss out on these small details because they don’t know how your health fluctuates to the degree that concierge doctors can. A difference to them may not mean anything. However, a difference, no matter how small, can be identified immediately by a concierge doctor and acted upon.
With greater affinity between doctor and patient also comes comfort. As a patient, you’re more likely to inform your doctor of problems that you’re experiencing if you know them and trust them. Someone that you meet once a year may not bolster the right kind of trust for you. It can be difficult to open up to a traditional doctor even if taking care of you is their job. With the consistent presence of a concierge doctor at your side, you can feel comfortable telling them problems that may embarrass you.
With a better understanding of your body, a concierge doctor can also suggest treatments that will affect you better. Traditional doctors typically have to treat their patients in a cookie-cutter fashion. If something is amiss, then they attempt the fix-all solution. These are treatments that are not tailored to your personal biology. As a result, they may not be effective, or they may be too effective.
A concierge doctor who comes to understand your biology extremely well will also have an understanding of what treatments do and don’t work for you. This can save you time and money. Instead of being bounced from treatment plan to treatment plan, you’re given a treatment that is most likely to work the first time.
Is a Concierge Doctor Right for You?
You may be wondering if you’re a good candidate for concierge medicine. Luckily, you likely are. Doctors are ready to treat practically anyone with this form of medicine. You need to make a choice. Do you want a healthcare model that is made to work for all? Or do you want a healthcare model that is made to work for you, personally? The latter is concierge medicine. Doctors are tailored to you and your needs.
Do you want a personal relationship with your doctor? This relationship can make them better doctors. They’ll understand every facet about your health and lifestyle and make treatment plans according to those. If you want to be the focus of your doctor, then you might want to consider this form of medicine.
What about wait times? Do you hate having to wait for months just to see your doctor? Do you hate having to sit in the waiting room because someone’s appointment went longer than it should have? If so, then you might want to try out a concierge doctor.
Do you want to focus on preventing disease instead of just suffering from and treating its symptoms? Traditional models of medicine aren’t preventative. They instead want to help you live with the disease. Concierge medicine turns that on its head.
There are many benefits that concierge medicine can provide. The focus is placed on your own personal health and satisfaction rather than just making you comfortable. Traditional medicine isn’t the model for those who want to ensure that they’re healthy even long after they retire. To make your health the focus of your life, get in touch with our team at Reno Sparks Med Spa in Reno, NV. Contact our office today to book an appointment and learn more about this convenient healthcare approach.