Concierge medicine is on the rise. There are over 12,000 concierge doctors estimated to be practicing. And more and more patients are signing up to access their own concierge doctor.
It is no surprise because of how the model is changing healthcare. You have direct access to your physician, personalized care, and other benefits.
Whether you are a professional, homemaker, carer, or just busy, a concierge doctor could be for you. But how do you make the switch? It can be hard to know where to begin.
The first step is learning how to choose a concierge doctor who suits your needs. Several factors will influence your decision. This guide covers all you need to know to pick the best concierge doctor for you.
Search for a Concierge Doctor
First, you need to know your options. Use a search tool such as the American Academy of Private Physicians. Search for doctors in your desired state.
Also, research concierge services near you. Concierge doctors can work with a service that streamlines the process. This makes the search more manageable, as you can discuss your needs with the practice.
If the concierge service requires practice visits, consider the location. You do not want to worry about traveling far, as it defeats some of the main concierge doctor benefits.
The best option is a mobile practice, which offers home or office visits. Make sure to ask about their area of service before setting your heart on them.
You can also do a quick internet search for ‘concierge doctors near me’ or ‘doctors in my area.’ Then use the map to check distances.
Research References and Reviews
It can give you peace of mind to check the concierge doctor’s reputation or the service before signing up. They may look good on paper, but you want to know how they are in practice.
You can check online reviews or use a search site for doctor reviews. You can also ask the concierge practice for patient testimonials.
Ask About Their Expertise
A concierge doctor is usually a primary care doctor. But do not feel afraid to ask about their expertise and experience. What are your needs?
For example, you may want a doctor who has experience working with older people for aging parents. Or if you have a specific condition, it helps to match with a doctor who is familiar with it.
Ask about the doctor’s values. You want to work with a doctor who aligns with your healthcare priorities. Values to consider include sleep, hormones, relationships, and medication.
Many concierge services offer personalized and comprehensive treatment plans. So they work towards maintaining your health, not just treating health problems. If you want this, ask about their plans and preventive tests.
Check Patient Limits
Part of the concierge medicine concept is more time for patients. The relationship should be direct and personal with your concierge doctor. So always ask what their patient quotas are.
On average, a typical physician sees over 2,000 patients. Concierge doctors usually see no more than 600 patients. This is to avoid burnout and increase appointment times. If the concierge doctor is taking on more patients than this, ask why, or look elsewhere.
Concierge Doctor Accessibility
Many people switch to concierge doctors because of their availability. It isn’t easy getting to a traditional primary care practice during work hours. Let alone trying to secure an urgent appointment.
Ask how the concierge doctor can be contacted and the availability of appointments. You want a doctor who is accessible to you.
Services often offer same-day or next-day appointments. And often, there are different ways to contact your concierge doctor. Ask if you will always see the same doctor or other doctors.
Also, consider what hours you want available. 24/7 access may be vital for you.
Make a Liaison Plan
If you are working with a specialist, you want to ask if the concierge doctor offers a way to liaise with them. You want your care as streamlined as possible. Concierge doctors should maintain good communication with your medical care team.
However, when you decide to make the switch, tell your old primary care physician if you want to let them know. Do not presume the service will do this for you.
Concierge Doctor Services
You need to know what is included in the concierge doctor fee. There is no set definition of what a concierge doctor does, so always ask for a detailed breakdown.
A critical factor in choosing a concierge doctor is to know what services you want and need. For instance, what do they treat? And do they create health plans?
Also, consider other factors, such as your travel plans. If you need phone access a lot, a concierge practice with access to more than one concierge doctor may be best.
Insurance and Costs
Know what is included in the pricing and if you can afford it. Ask if there are any extra costs and work, such as hospital admission fees and paperwork. The membership fee, wellness checks, night visits, and specialist care can cost extra.
Also, check whether your insurance is accepted and how it is billed. Usually, it is the same as paying a primary care physician. Concierge medicine practices require insurance as not every condition or event is covered.
Meet the Concierge Doctor
Most importantly, meet the doctor to see if you click with them. You can ask about care, specialisms, and values in person to confirm you are both aligned.
Sometimes, everything else can be correct, but the relationship does not work. Meet the doctor before committing to the service if possible.
Pick a Mobile Concierge Medicine Practice
A concierge doctor can improve your health and change your life if you pick the right one.
Take the ease out of choosing the best concierge doctor for you. Opt for a concierge medicine practice. You will have access to physicians with different expertise and a range of services. Our practice offers home or office visits 24 hours a day. Our physicians are experienced in primary, urgent, and emergency care. Contact us today for more information!