So, what exactly is concierge medicine?
Concierge medicine is a relationship between a patient and a primary care physician in which the patient pays a fee, often referred to as a membership fee.
At its heart, concierge medicine is about building a personal relationship between physician and patient — a relationship that keeps the patient’s specific wellness needs in mind along with their likes, dislikes, goals, and dreams.
The membership fee enables this personal relationship to form by allowing doctors to drastically shrink their panel size, usually from somewhere between 3,000-4,000 to somewhere between 500-600.
In return, patients get a hassle-free primary care experience. Most concierge medical practices offer:
- Longer appointments (at least 30 minutes)
- Same-day or next-day appointments
- Little to no waiting in lobbies
- 24/7 access to care
Concierge medicine goes by many other names, including retainer medicine, membership medicine, subscription-based medicine, and boutique medicine, among others. Hybrid models exist as well.
The most important thing to keep in mind as you evaluate different options is that not all concierge practices are the same. Terms, costs, and benefits vary widely.