The word concierge is reminiscent of a level of service experienced at only the finest hotels — a helping hand to book impossible dinner reservations, call a car service, or arrange a day at the spa. Imagine if health care could function in the same precise, luxurious manner. How comforting would it be to have a personal physician who is always available and never more than a simple phone call or text message away?
This is the essence of concierge medicine; primary care without the hassle.
The presence of such practices has risen dramatically in recent years — and for good reason. They’re effective. Patients are happier and they stay healthier.
The Concierge Medicine Difference
What are concierge practices doing differently?
In general, practice sizes are small, allowing for improved relationships between patients and their doctor. Access is more convenient (most patients have the doctor’s private cell phone number) and same or next-day appointments are almost always available.
Most charge an annual or monthly membership fee that is paid directly to the practice in exchange for services. Rarely, is health insurance accepted.
With that said, it’s important to understand that no two practices are the same in terms of what they charge, what is offered, and how they function.
Navigating Your Options
Whether they call themselves Concierge Medicine, Direct Primary Care (DPC), Membership Medicine, etc., it’s important to look at what each practice is offering to determine if they’ll be able to meet your personal wants and needs.
While some practices charge very little, it’s usually for a good reason. Membership fees are often directly related to a doctor’s pedigree, expertise, and accessibility to you as a client. As with most things, you get what you pay for.
For those interested in the very finest, Devine Concierge Medicine has been recognised as the premier primary care practice in the Philadelphia suburbs.