In the past, concierge medicine was only offered to the wealthy or it was assumed so, however today concierge medicine practices, similar to direct primary healthcare practices, are often more accessible for patients, as the concierge medicine practice offers an annual fee, which often includes all of the physician’s services. Today, an annual fee of between US $1800 annually up to as high as $25,000, with an average fee being around $135 – $150.00 per month. Some elite patients, it was revealed by Forbes Magazine, were paying as much as $40,000 – $80,000 annually for red carpet treatment. It was also revealed that the average citizen could wait up to 29 days to visit a family physician. Concierge medicine is not a luxury nowadays. Doctors may have to work 24/7, but a practice where a few doctors are on call alleviates this. Physicians involved in concierge medicine may all have specialty experience, in which case a practice of concierge physicians offers more than a single-family doctor has to offer.
Senior citizens, some of whom are unable to visit a doctor for one or more reasons such as they may be incapacitated, will accept this Concierge Medicine option. Possibly they cannot walk or may be permanently disabled and in a wheelchair.Also, some of these patients require special transport etc.to visit a physician. In this case some patient care by telephone is much more convenient. Many concierge medicine practices offer patient visits with an annual fee of around $150 a month. Take the case where a patient is in an old age or frail care home. Many of these facilities do not have permanent doctors on their staff able to issue a prescription or scheduled medication from a drug store. The concierge doctor is able tovisit the patient in the case of a higher scheduled drug to ensure that the drug is required, after which they communicate by email or simply by telephone.
Concierge medicine is often more attractive to patients as doctors can spend more time with each individual patient. These physicians see or visit, in all probability, around 10 patients a day, whereas in primary care that would not be practical as the doctor or practice would lose out. These physicians who bill their services only when seeing a patient in their rooms, need to see 20-25 patients a day to cover expenses, whereas the concierge physician is paid a retainer by dozens of patients on a monthly basis.
Lastly, the time and attention offered by the concierge medicine practitioner is at a more personal level, where patients get a higher level of attention. Many concierge physicians have taken the decision to limit the number of patients seen a day, and to offer a more personal level of attention and service, thus being able to advise on preventative health care which, at the end of the day, means less visit annually for the physician.