“Concierge, Boutique or Retainer” Based Medicine; Is This Good For American Healthcare?
It seems not a day goes by without another announcement of this or that primary care medical practice electing to leave entirely, or in part, the traditional model of medical care. Yet, this is a trend most worthy of considerable exploration.
Absent effective health reform (minimally: primary care payment equity, and administrative simplification), the current drip, drip, drip outmigration of physicians from a traditional billing and collections medical practice into these ‘new age’ models has the potential to grow into an outright tsunami in the near term.
Movement by primary care physicians into the boutique, concierge or retainer based medical models is not without a downside. Some say that it is clear evidence of the emergence of an impending ‘perfect storm’ in medicine that will collapse the primary care safety net at the precise time when it anticipates its greatest demand (i.e., retirement of the baby boomer generation).
When one takes into consideration the overwhelming preference for medical students to opt for higher paying specialties vs. the primary care specialties of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics, the trend is quite disturbing – health reform incentives (to grow capacity) notwithstanding.
At one level, it is a rational response by physicians to a failed healthcare finance and delivery paradigm; while at the same time, extracting essential primary care infrastructure from a delivery system that completely relies on it’s availability.
There are many models in the retainer or concierge medicine market. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen only one; there is no standardization. From MDVIP, to Jay Parkinson, MD, at Hello Health, this is a dynamic and rapidly evolving industry.
We will feature this medical phenomenon from the inside out at one of our next programs. There is much to discuss.