We’ve talked about concierge medicine in this blog before, but there are new services that take this subscription-based, elite model to an extreme.
For instance, The New York Times reports that Shlain Private Medical has annual fees that range from $40,000 to $80,000 per family. House calls (or visits at the FBO of the patient’s private jet) are an option; visits are deeply unrushed; and any coordination of specialists is done by the provider, not the patient.
Many are debating the ethics around these models. When the wealthy can pay to access care that is fundamentally different than what everyone else is getting, it’s a valid question as to whether or not something is wrong.
These concerns aside, we think there is a lot to be learned from these models, for all providers, regardless of pay rate.
5 Things We Think Healthcare Can Learn From Hyper-Elite Concierge Medicine:
- Some patients need to “cut the line.”
As the article reports, waits to see the doctor are increasing. "It takes 29 days on average to secure an appointment with a family care physician, up from 19.5 days in 2014." Long waits to see providers isn’t a problem for all patients, at all times. But for some situations, an instant answer is what is required. In the medical system at large, we certainly can't get every patient in to see another doctor fast. But we can use a healthcare collaboration tool like iClickCare to get key answers fast -- so patients don't even have to visit that second (or fifty-second) provider.
- Care coordination is fundamental to care.
The medical system has a way of looking at care coordination as something extra, or special. But a big part of the reason these concierge models are so valuable is because they willingly coordinate specialists and other providers on the patient's behalf. Fee systems are beginning to reward care coordination in the same way. The more we understand that care coordination is fundamental, the more we can support it institutionally.
- The context of a patient's life matters.
These concierge providers understand the familial, occupational, and societal context of their patients -- and work within that. People pay top dollar for that service, not necessarily because it feels good, but because it works. That's why iClickCare lets you collaborate with several other providers on a single case, using multimedia -- and it's all archived. The therapist's opinion, specialist's opinion, and that of the family doctor can all be integrated -- on each person's individual schedule.
iClickCare makes it easy and fast to provide the standard of care that concierge facilities do. Try it for free: