Monday, November 23, 2009

Concierge doctors for a price....yes, cash only....

Wow, after reading this piece on MSNBC, it makes me believe more strongly that medicine and insurance is ramping towards those who HAVE versus those who HAVE NOT. The number of doctors are growing who are not signing contracts and opting out of insurance. What does this say about this country and its citizens? Not much.

Doctors who make the switch to concierge practices find it’s a lucrative choice. At MDVIP, which franchises concierge-only arrangements, doctors limit their practices to 600 patients. At $1,500 apiece, that amounts to $900,000 a year. Even with the 33 percent the agency charges for administrative fees, it’s still $600,000 for the docs, in addition to insurance reimbursements.

Bob Goodrich’s physician, Dr. Susan Debin, signed up two years ago with Concierge Choice Physicians to start a “hybrid” model that contracts with 125 concierge patients from a practice of about 5,000.

Debin now tends first to the concierge patients, who bring in $200,000 annually at $1,600 a pop. Another full-time doctor and a staff of four nurse practitioners usually cover the rest of Debin’s patients.

For the Goodriches, the differences are clear. When Marjorie Goodrich goes to the doctor, she doesn't sit in the regular waiting room that her husband uses, with its close-set chairs and drab paint. She enters a different door in back, where plush chairs, fresh coffee and bottled water are available. More important, she sees Debin every time, while her husband typically sees a newer doctor or a nurse practitioner.

read the whole article here

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