For a set price, patients receive a full range of medical services.
By Christopher J. Gearon, From Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, March 2013
Ever need to wait a week or more to see your primary care doctor? Perhaps you should follow the lead of Debra Sallee, 58, a Seattle hair salon owner. For a flat fee of $79 a month, she can see her family physician as often as she wants—with no co-payments or health insurance forms. “It’s just so convenient. They are at my beck and call,” she says
For several years, Sallee has been a member of Qliance, a primary care provider with four locations in and near Seattle. Her fee pays for round-the-clock e-mail or Skype access to the medical staff as well as same- or next-day (or evening) appointments for non-emergency medical care.
Sallee and Qliance are part of a growing movement known as direct primary care. For a set monthly fee, patients receive a full range of preventive services, such as wellness examinations, screenings and basic mental health care. Qliance also provides urgent care, including treatments for respiratory infections. Monthly fees are based on age, ranging from $54 to $89.
Direct primary care is an outgrowth of a concept known as concierge medicine, which provides unlimited access to physicians for hefty premiums ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 a year. Direct primary care provides many of the same services at a much lower price, eliminating the administrative costs and hassles of insurance. “It’s concierge care for the masses,” says Dr. Erika Bliss, a family physician and chief executive officer of Qliance. More than 80 medical practices nationwide belong to the Direct Primary Care Coalition. (Some members offer higher-priced concierge services.)
The trend has had an impact on concierge medicine care. “We’ve seen more and more demand,” says Dan Hecht, chief executive officer of MDVIP, a Boca Raton, Fla.–based concierge medicine care company, with 565 affiliated physician practices in 40 states. MDVIP’s 200,000 patients each pay between $1,500 and $1,800 annually—a lower price than many concierge medicine competitors.
Primary care providers typically provide most of a patient’s care, including coordinating the oversight of patients with diabetes, asthma, heart ailments and other chronic conditions. Providers such as Qliance and Cambridge, Mass.–based Iora Health also coordinate all specialist and hospital care.
Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T037-C000-S004-pay-flat-fees-to-doctors-with-direct-primary-care.html#bvPkhirJtuSwxrch.99
Check online to find a concierge doctor or direct primary care provider.