What is Concierge Medicine?

November 22, 2022

A concierge is a caretaker. An attendant. Fine hotels and luxury condominium buildings always have a concierge on staff, often 24 hours a day. The job of a concierge is to make guests happy, to satisfy their every need, whether that’s for a last-minute dinner reservation at the hottest spot in town or emergency dry cleaning or just a great bottle of wine in their room. Concierge medicine offers that same level of service to patients – without the 5-star price tag!

Once only available to the wealthy, concierge medicine is now accessible to far more people, especially those who are tired of fighting insurance companies and long waits for treatment at their “in-network” care providers. Concierge medicine allows patients to pay a retainer of sorts that provides them access to care when they need it, not when it’s convenient for the care provider.

The membership fee or retainer that patients pay for concierge medicine is not inclusive of all fees, but it provides covered services to a certain level, depending on the concierge arrangement.

Personalized care is critical to concierge medicine. Doctors don’t rush patients. Because of the retainer, and the ability to limit their number of patients outside the control of an insurance company, concierge doctors are able to spend what feels like extraordinary amounts of time with each patient. They’re able to provide individualized care because they have time to listen to each patient and truly understand the patient’s needs. In the world of concierge medicine, patients don’t feel like just a chart number. They are paying directly for a physician’s time, not the amount of time that an insurance company has decided they are allowed to get.

Does everyone need concierge medicine? In an ideal world, yes! But in the real world, no. Concierge medicine is ideally suited to those with chronic conditions or specific concerns and are looking for cost effective alternatives to the traditional medical-insurance complex. Some concierge medical practices work with insurance, including Medicare, and some do not. Often, insurance companies will cover procedures and treatments through concierge practices, but not the additional retainer or fees for the concierge access itself (that expense may be a tax write off as a non-reimbursed medical expense; consult your tax preparation professional for more information.).

What can concierge medical professionals do?  The answer is simple: anything a primary care physician can do, and likely with a lot shorter wait time to see them! Concierge medicine is in no way inferior to “standard” medical practice treatment. The physicians and practitioners that patients see have the same years of high-level education and state licensure as any primary care physician; they simply aren’t tied to a particular network, have more availability and are able to spend more time with their patients.

What can’t concierge medical professionals do? If you have a chronic condition, such as an autoimmune disease, your concierge medicine professional can help you manage your condition, monitoring medications and administering blood tests, but they may not be able to replace your specialist. They can treat minor injuries such as sprains and minor broken bones, but they cannot perform surgery. They have to bring in other professionals such as radiologists to read the results of some tests. They are exceptional physicians, but they do have limitations on the services they can provide.

Why choose Urgent Care 24/7 for your concierge medicine needs?  With facilities across the United States and growing, Urgent Care 24/7 is able to provide you and your family with personalized medical attention on demand. Our caring professionals can treat minor illnesses that don’t require hospitalization, provide physicals and medical testing beyond the basics, handle minor emergencies and so much more. You don’t have to wait days or even a week to get that ear infection or strep throat treated, with the utmost professionalism and attentive care. Concierge medicine is the bridge between primary care and the ER. With more and more insurance companies imposing punitive co-pays of $5,000 or more for an ER visit, concierge medicine at Urgent Care 24/7 offers an affordable bridge between your health insurance and your budget.

Learn more about the Concierge Medicine plan at Urgent Care 24/7 and take control of your healthcare today!

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