For the vast majority of people, their health and the health of their loved ones are their most precious assets. Unfortunately, in life – at some point – ill health is inevitable. When necessary, who would not want the very best medical care possible? The problem is that for a great many people, it is unlikely they will indeed receive the best medical care possible.
According to Daniel Carlin, M.D., CEO of WorldClinic and author of The World of Concierge Medicine, “The general consensus is that overall the traditional healthcare system in the United States is broken. For example, a significant failing of the U.S. healthcare system is that hospital-based care is centered on complex diagnostics and procedures, not simple, yet consistent, prevention. Also, the rise of hospital-based care has fostered the age of ‘7-minute medicine,’ or rather doctors, who only have time to capture a problem, not get to know the patient’s context – often the true root of the issue – and the patients themselves, and consequently may not provide true primary care. The net result is a missed opportunity to prevent or effectively treat healthcare problems before they worsen into crises.”
The solution for a rapidly growing percentage of patients worldwide is concierge medicine. Concierge healthcare comes in many forms. A dominant version is where patients pay a retainer fee, so they can get same day appointments with physicians who have a very good understanding of their medical history and issues. There are many additional patient benefits to concierge medicine, and – critically important – while some concierge healthcare practices can cost tens of thousands of dollars annually, many others might only cost a couple of thousand dollars or less. It is no longer the case that concierge medicine is exclusively for the wealthy.
“By establishing a concierge practice, we have found that we have the time to make certain all our patients are getting the best medical care available,” says Jeffrey Friedman M.D., Director of Medicine at Community Healthcare Associates and a member of MD VIP. “Very importantly, aside being able to deliver comprehensive diagnostic and treatment capabilities, we’re able to admit patients to some of the finest hospitals. Furthermore, we’re able to be very proactive and work with them, so they can live long and healthy lives.”
In the United States and across the globe, the need for high-quality primary medical care outstrips supply. This trend is very likely to not only continue, but also intensify. The answer is concierge medicine. With the wide spectrum of costs for concierge medicine, it is more and more a service available to more and more patients.