Health Management

By Kambiz Farbakhsh, MD Aka Dr Kamy  Apr 27, 2021

Chief Medical Officer, GeeVida Health

What is a Concierge Doctor & How Can They Help?

The traditional healthcare system can be inconvenient because patients undergo a complicated process just to schedule a consultation. For example, a person with a chronic condition needs to communicate with countless specialists before agreeing on a treatment plan. The endless back-and-forth can be inconvenient and exhausting.

Fortunately, there’s no need to endure the struggles by seeking help from a concierge doctor. But what is a concierge doctor and how can they help? Let’s find out. 

What is a concierge doctor?

Concierge doctors, also called direct primary care (DPC) practitioners, provide direct and immediate care. Since this type of care requires a retainer free, these personalized medical service providers often cater to VIPs and affluent families. Patients can pay the fee on a monthly, biannual, or annual basis. 

DPCs have fewer patients than traditional primary care physicians. Due to the small patient-to-doctor ratio, physicians can address an individual’s health issues right away.

What are the qualifications of a concierge doctor?

DPC providers undergo the same education and training as other doctors. They start by completing a four-year college degree then attend medical school for four years to receive a Doctorate of Medicine (MD) degree. After obtaining the MD degree, the next step is to apply for a residency, which can range from three to eight years. Often, doctors choose a one-year fellowship for specialization purposes. 

The intensive training that a concierge doctor goes through allows them to effectively treat all sorts of conditions. DPCs can also address everyday needs like first aid responses to sprains, strains, and cuts. 

In particular, concierge care is beneficial for patients with chronic diseases. After all, these patients can spend less time filling out forms or paperwork and have more time consulting their doctor. 

What’s the difference between traditional primary care and a doctor concierge service?

As we’ve already mentioned, a concierge doctor and primary care physician go through the same type of training and education. As a result, both types of doctors are qualified to treat various conditions. The main differences lie in their environment and the relationship they have with patients.

In the traditional healthcare system, doctors see over 40 patients per day. Each patient can only consult for about 10-20 minutes each because of the long waiting times and required paperwork. Sometimes, patient lists could reach thousands. This type of system prevents patients from receiving immediate, personalized care.

In a concierge service setting, physicians only see a limited number of patients (in most cases, they don’t exceed 600 individuals). As a result, they can accommodate patients without delay. Through concierge medicine, patients can communicate their health problems anytime between 30 minutes to several hours.

What are the benefits of a concierge medical service?

Concierge medicine offers so many benefits. They include:

  • Shorter wait times

Since DPC practitioners only see 6 to 10 patients per day, you can expect short to no wait times. There’s no need to bend over backwards and make changes to your schedule until a doctor becomes available. After making a call, concierge doctors can immediately see a patient.

If you need to visit a hospital, there’s a private waiting room with VIP features to keep you entertained. After waiting for a few minutes, you can already talk to a DPC provider. Additionally, concierge medicine has telehealth inclusions, allowing patients to schedule an online appointment.

  • Personalized care

During the consultation, the doctor will ask about your short-term and long-term health goals. This way, patients can expect to receive consistent guidance from a medical expert regarding their diet and lifestyle. The result: a better quality of life without the hassle of reaching out to several doctors and facilities.

Concierge doctors also communicate with you regularly, making it easier to track your progress on your health goals. This hands-on approach can help motivate patients and bring them one step closer to achieving their health goals without too much stress and pressure.

  • Better patient outcomes

Longer consultations allow doctors to know more about a patient’s lifestyle and medical history. More time spent discussing a patient’s concerns translate to a more accurate diagnosis as well as more effective treatment plans. So patients with complex health issues will greatly benefit from the strong patient-doctor relationship.

Concierge medical care also provides access to innovative equipment and treatment. This way, you can receive the care you deserve. To top that off, personalized medicine encourages prescription compliance. Preventing substance misuse can help contribute to better treatment outcomes.

  • Coordinated medical team

Patients with complex or rare conditions end up reaching out to numerous doctors before getting a clear diagnosis. Seeing multiple specialists can be stressful because of the long waiting times and commutes. And added stress is the last thing that an ailing person needs. 

In concierge medicine, you have a coordinated medical team on your side for a personalized treatment plan. This way, you can reduce the back and forth between several doctors. Instead, you can focus on achieving your health goals and managing your condition.

  • Disease prevention

Concierge medical services place great importance on preventative care. During a consultation, a DPC practitioner will consider what works best for your long-term health. The special tests, modern equipment, and in-depth discussions about your medical history allow doctors to uncover risks to conditions like diabetes and cancer for a better quality of life.

But more than just addressing conditions, concierge care can also provide guidance for age-related concerns or sexual health problems. Concierge physicians usually recommend lifestyle changes and evidence-based medicine. 

How much does a concierge doctor cost?

In exchange for the said benefits, patients need to pay a retainer fee on a monthly, biannual, or annual basis. It can range from $1,500 to $25,000 per year, depending on the inclusions. The base payment usually covers basic care, while the more expensive annual fee includes specialized services for more complex diseases.

Before signing up for concierge medical care, make sure to read the terms and conditions. Do proper research and communicate only with trusted providers. 

How do I find a concierge doctor?

Finding a DPC practitioner isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Below we’ve listed some tips to help you find a qualified concierge doctor:

  • Search for unbiased reviews online. A simple Google search will narrow down your options for personalized medical service providers near you.
  • Once you’ve found a few prospects, check if the medical care provider lists the board certification and credentials of its physicians. This will help you verify whether their team is made up of licensed medical doctors.
  • Choose a DPC provider that offers telehealth inclusions. Telehealth is a great benefit because you can schedule same-day appointments on your laptop or smartphone.

What happens during a virtual consultation?

Choosing a DPC provider that utilizes telehealth enables you to experience comprehensive and secure online consultations. As a result, there’s no need to leave the house when you require immediate medical attention for mental health or other urgent concerns. 

To make sure that your appointment goes smoothly, make sure you have your gadget ot computer ready, and that you have a stable internet connection.

The virtual consultation is similar to in-office visits with your doctor. Your physician will ask questions regarding your symptoms and you can discuss your concerns. But since it’s different from the traditional healthcare model, you can take the time you need to share everything you need to. 

Since more time is spent during the consultation process, your physician will have a much easier time making a diagnosis and recommending the right treatment. 

Personalized, Remote Care at GeeVida Health

Concierge doctors provide exceptional, uninterrupted medical care for the whole family. Since they focus on disease prevention and overall health, they can help you manage chronic conditions and get you on track with your goals through lifestyle and diet recommendations. 

Experience concierge medicine and coordinated medical care like no other. Secure your health by consulting qualified DPC practitioners anytime, anywhere. Get in touch with GeeVida Health for bespoke medical care focused on you.

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