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Tuesday, November 1st 2005

Concierge Fees

Kevin, M.D. and DB have spoken at length on this concept. Indeed, I took this link from DB’s Medrants.

The idea for a general practitioner is that you see fewer patients but charge them a yearly subscription or “concierge” fee on top of your reimbursement for their office visit. Typically these extra fees (maybe a couple to several hundred dollars for the year) don’t violate Medicare or private insurance contracts as long as you aren’t charging for a service.

The individual patients then can be scheduled for hour long (or more) office visits and encouraged to contact the physician in his or her private life. Basically the patients are buying quality time with their physician. There’s no over booking, there’s no time spent in the waiting room, it can be very convenient.

It makes a lot of financial sense because most insurances have a fixed rate office visit reimbursement (and it ain’t much) whether the physician needs to spend fifteen minutes or two hours with the patient. No wonder the last time you went in for a check up you spent two hours in the waiting room…the doctor has to book too many patients just to keep his staff’s salaries on keel…