With all the changes taking place in the healthcare industry—particularly regarding health insurance policies—many practices are exploring new options for offering quality healthcare in an affordable and sustainable way. One of the most popular options is a hybrid version of concierge medicine.
As one article in Healthcare Finance News stated, “By choosing to take on some concierge clients and maintaining other clients who access their care through traditional insurance, doctors can keep their practices economically viable while transitioning away from a volume-centric model of care.”
Concierge medicine was once an option reserved only for the very wealthy. It allowed patients to pay regular fees to a medical provider in order to receive on-call care whenever the need arose. Due to the high cost of healthcare insurance these days and the need for more affordable healthcare opportunities, some doctors have revised this approach to appeal to the middle class.
By keeping fees affordable, practices can attract non-insured and insured patients who are tired of packed waiting rooms and unpredictable costs. The benefit to practices is that they can keep their patient numbers down while still maintaining a healthy revenue stream through monthly payments.
Even better, a hybrid model combines concierge medicine with traditional, insurance-based care, allowing practices to cater to patients in a variety of financial situations. Providers who use this model can also make better use of technology by texting and calling their concierge patients for smaller issues or simple questions that may not require an appointment—saving both time and money for patients and practices.
Below are some of the benefits of a hybrid model for concierge medicine. If your practice is considering a change or exploring creative options to financial or quality care issues, adopting a concierge model for your practice may be the solution.
Regular monthly payments in exchange for flexible, reliable care
Payments can range from $65 per month for “lighter” care benefits to $250 for more complete on-call care. With a hybrid model, you can construct options that meet a variety of patient financial situations and care needs. Add in some traditionally insured patients, and you can better control patient numbers while still receiving a reliable source of revenue.
Less dependency on insurance payouts
As John Meigs, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said in an article published in MarketWatch, “You’re not on the hamster wheel of getting paid based on the volume you do. Patient satisfaction goes up. Physician satisfaction goes up. Quality goes up and costs go down because you don’t have to prove it to Uncle Sam or an insurance company.” Insurance payouts are not always as predictable or reliable as many practices would prefer. With concierge medicine, the situation is entirely different and more in your control.
Improved health outcomes and patient loyalty
With the option to decrease patient loads, many providers are finding that they are better able to respond to the needs of their patients and provide the quality of care that patients really need. This model allows for patients to call, text, or FaceTime to discuss health needs, which results in a better connection between the provider and his or her patients. That improved level of communication inspires both patient loyalty and patient satisfaction to a level that few practices are capable of maintaining with a traditional model practice.
While concierge medicine is somewhat of an old idea, the concept has received a real face-lift in its most recent incarnation. Essentially, the hybrid model for concierge medicine, combined with more affordable pricing, is a new path in the medical world—one that is proving fairly attractive to both patients and practices in an ever-changing field.