As the confusion about ObamaCare grows, many healthcare providers are considering concierge medicine. Should your practice be one of them?
It is estimated that there are now 5500 concierge practices in the U.S. The expansion continues even with the increase in insurance coverage through ObamaCare. The concierge practices that service the middle-class typically don’t accept insurance. It is estimated that eliminating billing insurance companies saves the practice 40% of its expenses. This allows the concierge practice to charge a lower fee.
As more patients have insurance coverage due to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, why is concierge medicine on the rise? First, primary care doctors are more in demand with the increased number of patients with insurance coverage. In many areas, this makes it more difficult to get an appointment with a primary care doctor. Thus, many patients are interested in a low cost concierge medicine practice to supplement the doctors which are covered by insurance.
Also, the Accountable Care Act includes an exception that allows patients to meet the requirements of having health insurance by having a direct primary care physician along with a catastrophic insurance plan to cover emergencies. A concierge medicine practice assists patients in meeting this need.
Many of the new health plans have high deductibles. If the patient never meets the deductible they will be paying for the cost of care out of pocket. With a concierge practice, the patient can budget the monthly fee and know they will have care.
Further, some concierge practices are working with insurance plans to provide care. For example, Cigna has developed a concierge model building new employee health plans around a concierge model. These types of partnerships are likely to grow as patients are looking for creative options to get fast reasonable cost care.
Further, some employers are looking to concierge type services for their employees. Expedia in Washington state has developed a concierge model to better care for its employees. Some employers are looking to large medical groups for this type of care. These opportunities continue to grow.
Tell us whether you are considering a concierge practice? Share your ideas with us by clicking on the comment button below. We’d love to hear from you.
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