Are you wondering if concierge medicine could improve your personal quality of medical care? If you have experienced long wait times to see a doctor or feel that your physician has too little time for you, concierge medicine might be an option for you. But because we don`t believe in one seize fits all we would like to discuss the pros and cons of concierge medicine to help you make the best healthcare choices for yourself. In addition, we introduce you to the best concierge medicine options in Florida.
What is Concierge Medicine?
Most Concierge medicine services give you same day doctor’s appointments and access to 24/7 on-call physicians. These services are covered through a membership model which is usually not covered by insurance. Their pricing differentiates on the level of services and age as you will see in our examples below.
But What Are The Pros and Cons of Concierge Medicine in Florida?
The “Pros” of Concierge Care
Faster Access To Medical Care
Many concierge practices offer 24/7 day and night medical care. Instead of talking to voicemails and waiting for days for a reply patients can even text their doctors on Sunday night. Therefore, they can have conversations about their health and thus make better health choices for themselves.
Better Communication – A clear pro of concierge medicine
Because you are a member, the doctor’s office can handle your needs on a personal level. No matter if you need a screen or appointment with another specialist.
Some concierge practices assist you in scheduling any specialist appointments that you might need to set. Others as we learnt above even visit you at the hospital to check your medical situation and can assist you in making better health choices by navigating you through today’s complex medical system.
Your Doctor as Your Advocate – A strong pro of concierge medicine
Because you pay your concierge medicine provider in person he or she is incentivized to look at your interests first. Instead of being paid by your insurance company and thus having to keep on eye on their interests as well.
Concierge practices are normally very well equipped. Therefore they can save you time by treating matters in-house, when possible, rather than making you drive to a specialist. When choosing a concierge doctor ask which treatments they can offer in-house. Choosing a bigger company on state level can also give you fast access to specialists as seen in case of the Cleveland Clinic concierge medicine offer.
Of course, there are “pros” that vary from one physician to the next. But you get the idea — concierge medicine gives you easy access and personalization that traditional practices cannot achieve in most cases. Overall the pros of concierge medicine are very strong.
The Cons of Concierge Medicine
We read a story about a doctor who decided to leave life as a concierge doctor behind after many years. Here are some of the cons of concierge medicine.
Quality of Care
The doctor pointed out that as a concierge doctor they didn’t measure the quality of the care. They didn`t collect any data on outcomes. Whereas in his new job working in a bigger clinic they have dashboards with quality outcomes and accountable metrics. This is very important because when spending money out of your pocket you want at least better care in return.
Limited Services Possible – A possible con of concierge medicine
Depending if you sign up with a local doctor or a university hospital like our example of the university of Miami you get different services. Bigger clinics can usually offer: integrated behavioral health, care management, palliative care, nutrition, and clinical pharmacy on-site in the clinic.
Healthy People Don`t Go To the Doctor often
A concierge membership makes the most sense for people who want or have to to see their doctors regularly. If you’re healthy anyway and don`t make regular checkups a priority, this model might be a waste of money. This is most likely the case for people below 65.
Limited Insurance Cooperation – A strong con of concierge medicine
Concierge medicine does not replace the need for medical insurance. You will still need insurance to cover other healthcare costs such as blood work, diagnostic imaging (X-rays, MRI, etc.), specialists visits, allied healthcare (physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.), emergency room and urgent care visits, and hospitalizations. You may elect to choose a high-deductible insurance to offset some of these expenses. In addition, most concierge practices do accept insurance from many insurance carriers — not for membership but for treatment. That said, there are physicians that accept fewer carriers than a traditional practice might. For example, many concierge offices aren’t working with Medicare or Tricare.
Concierge doctors offset costs by charging a membership fee. Those fees are not payable by your insurance or by your FSA or HSA. As a result your membership is an extra out-of-pocket expense. The joining fee can range from less than $100 to well into the thousands. It seems relatively affordable at a younger age but gets pretty expensive once you get over 65. We found offers that charge you with up to nearly $5.000 annually.
It is a Business after all – A big con of concierge medicine
The doctor that left concierge medicine after many years was tired of having too much economic responsibility. This reminds us that concierge medicine is a business after all. Therefore, your medical advocate has also a certain economic pressure. That is probably the biggest argument against concierge medicine.
Lack of Proximity to Concierge Doctors
Also concierge medicine has been popular for years, nearby options might be limited. Taking the Lee County example, we couldn’t find more than five concierge options. Still it seems that those doctors were not maxed out for their client slots and still ready to accept new patients.
Pros and Cons of Concierge Medicine in Florida
After discussing the pros and cons of concierge medicine we introduce you at concierge medicine options in Florida looks. In addition, we introduce you to concierge medicine services near you.
There seem to be two big companies offering concierge services on state level. There are the University of Miami and the Cleveland clinic.
UHealth provides the best innovative care in an academic medicine setting. Their goal is to help patients prevent disease through the following services:
- “Little to no wait times with unhurried office visits
- Same-day or next-day appointments with your Premier Physician
- Convenient, on-site laboratory and imaging facilities
- Complementary adjacent parking when visiting your Premier Physician’s office
- Comfortable environment serving beverages and snacks”
- “an annual, in-office comprehensive physical exam and medical history, on-site blood draw, an electrocardiogram
- a customized wellness plan for your personal health goals
- direct communication with your physician through telephone or email 24/7
- coordination of care with specialists and hospitalists
- access to your healthcare records through MyChart
- support and coordination of care or medical emergencies even when traveling for business or vacation”
- physicians will coordinate care with specialists in both Florida and Ohio.
- Membership fee is not covered by an insurance
Patients in Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Concierge Medicine Program have immediate and continuous access to their personal Concierge Medicine Program physician and healthcare team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The clinic provides each patient with a highly-personalized health assessment and ongoing health management program. Their emphasis is on prevention. This means
Both offers include services of high qualified clinics compared to services of local clinics as we will see in our examples.
Concierge Medicine in Miami
Concierge Medicine in Miami- Option 1: Privamedis
“PrivaMedis Concierge Medicine is one of Miami Beach’s most prominent Internal Medicine practices.” The clinic is specialized in comprehensive medical care and preventive health services. There are no further information about membership types and costs available.
Concierge Medicine in Miami- Option 2: PURE Executive Health & Wellness
This concierge clinic in Coral Gables offers “comprehensive physical exams and consultations that include all the testing and assessments you need. You also have exclusive access to your doctor via secure telemedicine services, including text, phone, and video conferencing offer several preventive health screenings, such as physicals, genetic testing, athletic performance testing, bone density scans, advanced heart testing, and wellness assessments. Your physician spends ample time with you, discussing your health and how your lifestyle and habits directly affect it.” The clinic also offers corporate wellness services in Miami. Unfortunately, there are no pricing options published on the website.
Concierge Medicine in Miami- Option 3: Concierge MD Miami
Concierge MD is a mobile medical practice operating in Miami and throughout the United States. Membership costs are between $250 and $750 per month. Their modern, concierge healthcare practice includes on-demand access to the following services:
Concierge Medicine in Miami- Option 4: Miami Comprehensive Medical Care
Miami Comprehensive medical care offers 24/7 Accessibility to a Doctor, chronic disease management, comprehensive medical assessment and health prevention. Unfortunately, there is no membership pricing information available on the website.
Pros and Cons of Concierge Medicine – Is Concierge Medicine Right For You?
Hopefully our post about pros and cons of concierge medicine has helped you to make the right healthcare decision for you. But if you are aiming for a healthier and longer life, receiving better healthcare is only one part of your journey. At healthylifestyleflorida.com we believe that besides good medical care, you should also improve your health literacy and practice self-care.
Unfortunately there is no simple answer to what effective and therefore better medicine is. But one thing is for sure. Effective medical serves your personal needs – no matter which genes or medical condition you are in. First of all, it starts with being a good self-advocate. Therefore looking at the pros and cons of concierge medicine is a valuable lesson that helps you on your journey not navigate through a healthcare system that has its limitations. The fact that you are reading this article and others like it is a great sign that you’re a good health advocate already. There are certainly alternatives to concierge medicine.
A Word from healthylifestyleflorida.com
Your relationship to your current primary physician might already be very positive. In this case concierge medicine might only be an option for hospital care or on state level to access to university quality care.
Have the courage to make good healthcare decisions – you will love what you can be.