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By definition concierge medicine, also known as retainer medicine, is a very special relationship between the physician and his or her patient in which the patient pays an annual fee or a retainer, however, this may or may not be in addition to other charges. There will be differences from practice to practice in the specific way this is done so be sure to contact your local concierge medicine practice to find out more details. More than likely your local practice will follow one of three main business models of concierge medicine so you will need to ask questions to find out which one your local practice uses.
This method of retainer medicine is considered an annual retainer model. That means the patient pays a monthly, quarterly, or yearly retainer fee to the physician. That fee tends to cover most services yet the patient could pay extra money for lab work, x-rays, vaccines, and quite a few other items that aren’t included in the fee for care model. Many of these plans can be purchased using a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account.
This concierge medicine model is very comparable to the FFC model but instead of the extra services coming out of the patient’s pocket it gets charged to their insurance or Medicare plan. This plan may also be purchased using your HSA or FSA.
Both the FFC and FFEC models have quite a few perks such as same day access to your doctor, sometimes you can get unlimited office visits with no copay, very little waiting time in the office, and a catered focus on preventative medicine, as well as, convenient appointment scheduling, and quite often a more relaxed atmosphere.
The final main concierge medicine design is a hybrid of the FFC and the FFEC. The physicians charge their monthly, quarterly, or annual fee for whatever services their patient’s insurance or Medicare plan doesn’t cover. Those services can include many amenities that come with utilizing a concierge medicine practice such as email access, phone consultations, newsletters, prolonged visits, and individualized physicals with extensive wellness and evaluation plans. The beauty of this plan is that it allows the physicians to see their non-retainer patients as well as their retainer patients. There are some concierge medicinal practices that do not accept any insurance because they prefer a more direct financial relationship with their clients which helps keep their overhead costs to a minimum.
Concierge medicine has been on the rise in North America because people have been favoring a more one of a kind relationship with their doctor. It’s always nice feel special and it is really nice when your doctor remembers your name and gives you the special attention that you want when discussing very personal things pertaining to your health and wellness.
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Board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Dr. Terlinsky has over 25 years of active clinical experience. »
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