Thursday, October 22, 2009

Concierge Medicine

Or whatever you prefer to call it. There isn't really a good name for it because, really, it is what every general medical practice should be about.

Basically, you pay a retainer to a general practicioner . . . maybe $1500 per year. In return, the physician limits the number of patients in their practice, say to 300. That guarantees the physician revenue of $450,000 to cover their annual "fixed" expenses, assuming a maximum of 300 patients is actually achieved. Other than getting your foot in the office door, that annual fee includes a complete annual physical examination. But hopefully you won't need additional visits.

If you do get sick, you pay for office visits and tests and such as normal. The key thing is to focus on that annual physical and prevent illnesses before they occur. By reducing the patient load, physicians are better able to focus on prevention rather than cure. By guaranteeing a certain level of revenue, you can hopefully encourage people to become general practice physicians focused on preventive medicine.

If you were to add in the benefits of an active health club membership with a professional trainer, a health lifestyle for this country becomes an obtainable goal. It would be a good start.

I would like to see a health care reform bill that expands Medicare coverage to every legal resident of this country. It should include provisions for the above, concierge medical fees and health club membership with monthly monitoring by a professional trainer. This would rein in costs by helping people to be healthy and prevent illness. Anything less, in my opinion, would be a failure. And it would be a lot cheaper than many would imagine.

1 comment:

Celebrity Doc said...

Well stated! Run for President and I'll vote for you and your brand of healthcare reform, as you obviously have Solomon's wisdom. This isn't rocket science, but politicians seem to have air between their ears when it comes to being practical and responsible. A modest retainer, a health club membership with a personal trainer and a quarterly appointment with a nutritionist would take the country so far in terms of saving health care dollars. There would be a per capita expenditure at the outset to give good preventive care to all, but annually that would cost much less than the expenditures to care for the illnesses/diseases/disability that a good preventive care program could have avoided or at least diminished. The politician who recognizes this and stands up to the establishment to push it through is the one who gets my vote!

Cheryl Bryantbruce, M.D.
The Celebrity Doc
Elite Personal Physician Services, Inc.
The Celeb