Concierge Medicine No Longer Just For The Rich

By Kara Byers

 ATLANTA (CBS46) 

How much is a doctor’s visit worth to you?

With a growing shortage of primary care physicians across the country and the phasing in of the Affordable Care Act, an appointment with your doctor is becoming a hot commodity.

But Dallas Rhodes got right in for his annual physical at PartnerMD, no time wasted in a crowded waiting room, because it’s a concierge practice.

“It’s a membership-based practice where patients pay an annual fee to have access to their physician, a relationship with their physician,” said Dr. Laura Beaty.

Fees can range from $1,200 to $6,000 a year, or about $140 per month, in addition to health insurance premiums. But you’re paying for perks.

“They’re going to get your typical physical, you’re going to get all your preventive care needs met,” Beaty said.

Most of all you’re paying for your doctor’s undivided attention when you need her most. There’s even a cap on the number of patients your concierge doctor will see.

“If I need to, I can actually email the doctor or call her if that’s necessary,” Rhodes said. It’s convenience for the cost of your daily Starbucks latte.

Some would say that’s a small price to pay as the number of primary care doctors dwindles and the number of insured skyrockets.

Experts forecast a shortfall of 60,000 physicians by 2015 and 90,000 by 2020. Meanwhile, millions of newly-insured patients are flooding the system, meaning longer waits to get a doctor’s appointment and less time with your doctors when you actually get in to see them.

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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