Is there Proof that Concierge Medicine is Better?
Dr. Heyman is unaware of any studies evaluating the outcomes of patients with concierge physicians versus those without, but says the smaller patient load can allow for a more personalized approach. Still, he says, physicians “should provide the same quality of care to all patients regardless of the model of care in which they are practicing.”
How It Works
At Dr. Howard Maron’s Bellevue, Wash.-based practice MD2 (pronounced MD squared), individual patients pay an annual fee of $15,000 while a family of four pays $25,000. This covers the cost for every service that takes place in the doctor’s office.
If a patient needs a special test, like an MRI or biopsy, patients then use traditional insurance to pay for it. This model, which Dr. Maron helped to pioneer in 1996 as the founder of MD2, is the standard for concierge practices.
MD2′s fees are more expensive than most, but pricing depends on the location and size of the practice. MD2 doctors practice in Bellevue, Seattle, Chicago, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco; at each location a doctor handles just 50 families. Dr. Knope charges $6,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a couple and has 150 patients.
Similarly, the Boca Raton, Fla., company MDVIP, a network of more than 280 concierge physicians who have no more than 600 patients each, charges between $1,500 and $1,800 per patient, reducing the cost to as little as $125 per month.
There are an estimated 1,000 concierge physicians in the U.S., and the Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design, an organization of doctors who promote a direct financial relationship with patients.