Ever 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:
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!