Pondering The Worth of Concierge Medicine

By Erin Havel, for The Blog Huffington Post Healthy Living, March 25, 2014

Growing up, my entire family went to one local family physician. That doctor gave my mom medical care when she was pregnant, delivered me when I was born, gave school shots, wrote prescriptions for any virus that came up, and helped my grandparents with geriatric care. A well rounded, down to earth physician who managed our overall health at each stage of life.

When she retired, she transferred her patients over to a new local doctor starting out. His office fielded all the same responsibilities our original doctor took care of. The difference was, now there were nurse practitioners who took on the lions share of seeing patients. We very rarely saw the doctor himself, and honestly, it was not a problem. The nurse practitioners, in most situations, knew how to take care of the basics, and get us to specialists if we needed them. This is where my family has received their care since the 1980s.

My childhood town has changed in the last thirty years. It used to be a small community that had all the basics and not too much fluff. Then came the day when the town showed up on a national list as one of the top places to raise children. All of a sudden, my small town turned into an affluent community with expensive specialty stores, high end eateries, and all the arrogance money can buy. The “been there for 200 years” town folks, including my family, are still there, though not as prevalent. The town has little collective memory of the charm it once possessed without all the added expense. I think this is why that town was a perfect target for the burgeoning concierge medicine model.

With all the wealth of the town, and an aging population, there is a tendency for people to be afraid of change. The Affordable Care Act, and the debates around it, scared the heck out of many older folks. Especially the folks who stuck to only one or two news sources, and never met anyone who struggled with insurance coverage. “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

What many people did not understand was that a lot of the fear mongering about Obamacare, was based in political rhetoric and insurance share holder worries. Publicly traded health insurance companies had a financial interest for things to remain as they were. The push back had little to do with people having access to their doctors, and more to do with where the money would fall.

READ FULL STORY for her analysis.

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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