Medical Concierge Service, Affordable And Unmatched Personal Service

concierge-medicineEver heard of Medical Concierge Services?  I hadn’t until recently, and from all indications it appears they have a pretty bright future.  Medical concierge is a term used by doctors who take no commercial insurance, Medicare or Medicaid payments, but they are for profit.  That’s right, they only except direct payments in cash.  No billing Blue Cross, Humana, or Medicare, they bill the patient at the time of service or on a monthly or annual basis.  The service has been in existence for many years, but was generally afforded only by the wealthy, a trend that appears to be changing.   Well, these clinics which offer these services have grown 30% in the last year alone.  Nationwide there are  up to 4400 clinics which specialize in medical concierge services.  Is this where our primary care is moving towards, We should hope so!

The stars are aligning to make Medical Concierge Services continue its exceptional demand.  In 2014, the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate will be fully implemented and 30 Million more patients will be insured through the expansion of Medicaid.  By 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a drop in upwards of 45,000 primary care physicians.  Venture capitalists are investing in direct-pay practices, and private equity firms are interested too, so investors see this business model as having a bright future too.

Many of these medical concierge physicians actually make house calls, remember that?  Many of us are to young to remember, but not too long ago, this was how doctors saw most of their patients, by visiting them at home.  Often times the physicians will drive their patients to the hospital when they need surgery.  As a result of having this cash-only medical service, patients will then elect to use their commercial insurance to pay for visits to specialists and hospitals.  Sometimes the physicians staff will even make pharmacy runs for them.  How about that for bedside manner!  These services are even affordable, case in point Atlas MD in Wichita, Kansas.  They have two physicians, Josh Umbehr and Doug Nunamaker and don’t accept any insurance. Instead, they charge most of their adult patients $50 a month for unlimited visits. They also offer free EKGs and biopsies and cut-rate prices on prescription drugs.  This sounds reasonable to me, and is certainly a more personable and proactive way to deliver healthcare!

What are your thoughts of Medical Concierge Services?

Changing subjects, I feel as if I haven’t adequately recognized some of my favorite posts from the blogs I follow.  So in an effort to highlight some of my favorites I have now added a Highlight Reel called:

Monday MadnessMonday Mentions Madness

Here we go, these are in no particular order!

Krantcents had a great post on how to select an income property.  As a holder of real estate, I found great insight into assessing proper rental rates for a particular location.  Next, Pauline from reachfinancialindependence.com let us in on the goings-on in the UK real estate market in this great post.
 
Spring is in the air and I am getting excited about starting my Garden, therefore, I found a few great posts this week to help start a healthy long lasting garden.  The first was from wisedollar.org and Jose provided us with stellar advice on Six Easy and Frugal Spring Garden Tips.  Another post was from Laurie at thefrugalfarmer.net and she opines about how a garden, for her family, has moved from being a hobby to being a necessity, read that here!
Yet another post came from canadianbudgetbinder.com and Mr. CBB provides great tips for starting a frugal garden from seeds.  Lastly, and of course not least, John at frugalrules.com shows us his solutions for money saving garden tips.
 
Two new sites I stumbled across this week really got my attention and I will begin following with regularity.
The first one is financeswithfunk.com and Trisha Funk has an energetic and captivating writing style, see for yourself, here.
The second is Average Joes and money blog and “the other guy” examines the benefits of purging out the tasks that make us unhappy, I found this to be quite valuable!
 
Thank you to all my active readers, I sincerely appreciate your experiences, guidance and  friendships, and I look forward to future posts!
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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29 Comments

  1. Thanks for the mention, Jim! Ironically, our chiropractor operates as a Medical Concierge provider. And, it allows him to keep costs affordable. We pay $45 for each visit – that’s it. And he’s kind enough to adjust kids under 13 for no additional charge. We LOVE medical care in this form. No charging of exorbitant prices, and great care to boot. I would encourage readers to check more into this type of medical service – for us, it’s been wonderful!

    • Jim says:

      Laurie, That is a great real world example, thank you for sharing. I am going to try to do a follow up post to it, where I may actually call the clinic that I referenced in the post and find out more about it. I think this is a way to lower the overall cost of healthcare delivery and maintain great care. Thanks Laurie!!

  2. Pauline says:

    Thank you for the mention. $50 for unlimited care sounds like a great deal. When you said concierge it looked expensive. But I thought in a few months people would get fines for not having health insurance? or does that count as insurance?

    • Jim says:

      Pauline, I am going to investigate this a bit closer in the next week or two. I will do a follow up post on what I find. Thanks for your insight!!

      • Well, it doesn’t count as insurance as a stand alone product, but the ACA does allow it to be used in conjunction with more affordable insurance options:

        Section 1301(a)(3) allows direct primary care medical homes to operate in the state-based insurance exchanges beginning in 2014.

  3. Jose says:

    Thanks for the mention! I should have a new post on raised beds in a few days. That’s what I spent last weekend on doing!

    • Jim says:

      Looking forward to your raised beds post Jose, in fact I am getting ready to build my raised beds, this week or next. Got any ideas on what design to construct?

  4. lkrant says:

    Thanks for the links, I am in good company. $50 sounds too cheap. They must charge associated additional fees with the flat charge.

    • Jim says:

      I agree, I am going to do a follow up to this post and do some investigating into what other unknown costs may exist. Thanks for stopping by!

    • too cheap?! i love it, really. people really do expect healthcare to be expensive. Nope, no additional fees at all. Unlimited visits, no copays, all procedures in the office are free, and up to 95% savings on medicines and labs by going wholesale. and no, the meds aren’t from south of the border :)

      • Jim says:

        And the fact that you will see a Doctor with 10-12 years of medical experience, not a physicians assistant or a Nurse Practitioner.

  5. Thanks so much for the mention Jim, I do appreciate it!

  6. Thanks for the mention. It’s my first time at your site so I’m going to go and be nosey if you don’t mind :-) Cheers Jim!! Mr.CBB

  7. I’m interested in the idea of medical concierge services, but I’m not entirely certain how a $50/month business model actually works. The fact is that medical care outside of a history and physical gets real expensive real fast. As nice as it is to have a doctor on call, unless I had young kids or was a hypochondriac I can’t see getting my money’s worth.

    • Jim says:

      I am going to do a follow up to this post in the next week or two, which will include a phone call to this particular clinic. I want to find out more about it myself. Thank you for your interest and please tune it for the follow up!

    • Fair question: in the simplest terms, healthcare is expensive b/c of redtape…and we cut through all of it.

      Overhead – nat’l avg is 7-10 employees per doctor so we should have 14-20 staff for 2 doctors (?!?). We have one nurse for 2 doctors and thats all of our staff. We answer the phones, room patients, count medicine etc. Very lean and very efficient.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204603004577271340816194320.html

      Savings – besides the subjective value (of which there is a lot) the objective value of unlimited visits, no copays, free procedures, huge discounts on medicines and lab tests and up to a 50% savings on your health insurance — adds up fast enough many patients SAVE more than they spend with us.

      • Jim says:

        That is right Dr. Josh about the red tape, and we have come to accept this a normal operating procedure, but it doesn’t have to be this way! All we need is for more people like you to educate us, and for more of us to realize that liberty is a virtue we should fight for, as our forefathers did.

  8. There are actually a few doctors in my area who don’t file insurance and only take payments in cash. I personally don’t have a problem with it….but it just goes to show how messed up the U.S. healthcare system is! What a mess!

  9. Good publish, I am fairly much pleased with your excellent perform :)

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