The demand for physicians is rising as more patients are set to enter the medical marketplace in the coming years. Current healthcare workers are being stretched for time and some patients may feel they're not getting the best care they can. However, patients have the option of paying more for personalized care. Is this a worthwhile choice for the future of medicine?
By paying a fee ranging from $1500 to $15000 annually, patients taking part in concierge care can be assured that they'll get quick, personalized care from their physician. Appointment times are set up almost immediately, direct communication is assured, extensive physical exams are provided, and a wealth of other wellness programs are open to those who choose the services. Additionally, even though the concierge fee doesn't cover specialist or hospital care, physicians are known to follow patients through their care and be present during procedures that they are not performing themselves.
All this sounds like a great opportunity for patients looking for that "something extra" but it also allows for exclusion based on ability to pay. Those who cannot afford concierge care may be getting less extensive care than their counterparts or may be excluded from treatment access by certain physicians because they are dedicating more time to their concierge patients.
In the end, is concierge care harming the medical industry or helping it? Should patients get preferential care because they can pay more? Or is this just another way to guarantee that medical care received is at the highest level possible?