New Trend In Health Insurance: Low-Cost Concierge Medicine

The New Concierge Medicine Trend

A recent survey of physicians by the consulting firm Accenture found that one in three independent doctors is thinking about no longer accepting health insurance and going into what’s been called concierge care, where they cap the number of patients they see, and patients –who pay them as much as $30,000 a year– get to see the doctor whenever they want.

But Bloomberg Businessweek reports that a new trend is emerging: low-cost concierge medical care, such as Atlas MD, a family practice in Wichita, Kansas, which charges most of its adult patients just $50 dollars a month for unlimited visits, free medical tests, house calls… you even get the doctor’s cell phone number.

“It makes it very nice,” says co-founder Dr. Doug Nunamaker, “because now I don’t have to bill and code and satisfy an insurance company for reimbursement.”

‘Patient Factories’

Atlas MD, according to Dr. Nunamaker, has two physicians and one nurse. A neighboring clinic in Witchita has six physicians and 62 employees. Dr. Nunamaker does limit his patient load to 500-600 people, and critics say doctors who do that can select the healthiest patients to keep costs down.

“All of that,” says Dr. Nunamaker when talking about high employee-to-physician clinics, “is to help move patients through, it’s a patient factory. So you have people to sign patients in, to take them back to the room, to take them back out, the administrative staff, the billers and coders.”

Nunamaker says his tiny staff of three people share a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities: from answering the phones to taking vitals to wiping down the counters. Nunamaker says he’s able to pass these savings on to patients.

READ FULL STORY HERE

About Concierge Medicine Journal

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) curates breaking concierge medicine news, and editorial opinion on a wide variety of topics relevant to the practice of Concierge Medicine.

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