TV Show Prompts Question: Why Can’t All Docs be Concierge Docs?

Thomas LaGrelius, a concierge doctor in Torrance, Calif., and president of the board of the Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design, a group of concierge doctors, says that 30 years ago almost all doctors were concierge or direct-practice doctors like Marcus Welby….

Concierge medicine may be a niche market now… but "people are hearing about it, they're seeing it on TV and they want that, they wish they could afford that," she says. "They're looking back to the days of Marcus Welby, when we all had personal attention from our doctors."

Comments (8)

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  1. Stephen C. says:

    I agree with the idea that all primary care doctors should be concierge doctors. And they probably would be if it were not for the third party payers.

  2. Bart Ingles says:

    Do any mainstream insurance plans try to accommodate the concept? If there were some sort of adjustment, either to the premium or to the deductible, to compensate for the absence of claims for primary care, the idea might gain wider acceptance. Basically an HMO using an out-of-network primary physician.

  3. Ken says:

    I agree with Stephen. The problem with Bart’s question is that these doctors aren’t just repricing, they are also repackaging their services. So they don’t have CPT codes for much of what they do.

    In other words, these doctors function like normal service providers in a real market.

  4. Bart Ingles says:

    I think Ken misunderstand my question. The whole point of the concierge concept is that doctors don’t bill insurance companies for any service, actually don’t bill for a particular service period, and therefore CPT codes would be irrelevant.

    What I was getting at is that insurance should offer e.g. a fixed per annum adjustment to the policy deductible, worth some portion of a typical concierge fee, to policy holders who sign up for a concierge service.

  5. Devon Herrick says:

    Some concierge docs bill insurance for when a visit occurs (besides charging an annual retainer fee), while others do not. Some concierge docs charge a high retainer for unlimited visits while others charge modest retainers good for only a limited number of visits. I think the main problem is getting insurers to count retainer fees against the deductible. I suspect that if demand for concierge physicians grows, at some point insurers will integrate retainers into the deductible. This could theoretically include billing the insurer and crediting the patient’s account against next year’s retainer as a way to show funds spent towards the deductible.

  6. Renato says:

    For the previous awnesr, Medicare isn’t PRIVATE insurance here, it’s the public system. So yes, it’s very cheap (free)!All our health insurance companies are fairly good, and mostly give a fair price with good coverage our public system ensures we don’t have a similar problem to the US with insurance companies competing for cut-throat profit. Personally, I’m with MBF, and it works for me. However, if I were you I’d just shop around until you find the best deal.It’s not hard, because there are only a handful of funds. If you’re young and healthy, look around for a fund that offers extras cover for a reasonable price, as you’ll be unlikely to use the basic hospital cover much. If you’re a bit older, it’s worth reading the fine print so you don’t get a policy that excludes important things, like cardiac problems for example.Good luck!

  7. Cipta says:

    Pretty simply hltaeh care is more than extremely expensive. Just routine testing which should be done on a yearly basis is very necessary in preventative care and at the same time very expense without hltaeh care insurance coverage. I work in a Laboratory and do the billing. It’s incredible! Even if you have a hltaeh care plan that requires such things as deductibles and co pays and employee contribution, it still is worth every penny when you are ill and need medical treatment. Of course there are a ton of variety of plans out there that cater to different needs. Therefore it is always wise to do your research if your employer gives you options in hltaeh care plans to choose from.

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