Broadway Family Clinic

Major Benefits of Switching to Concierge Medicine

Jan 08, 2024

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Major Benefits of Switching to Concierge Medicine

Concierge medicine is a patient-centric model for providing care that’s growing by leaps and bounds in the United States. Your doctor agrees to take on fewer patients, instead spending more time with each person and following up on issues that they wouldn’t have time for in a traditional primary care setting.

At Broadway Family Clinic, board-certified family physicians Dr. Kashif Siddiqui and Dr. Sumera Muzaffar offer concierge medicine to their patients in Pearland, Texas. You pay a yearly “retainer” to the practice, which, depending on the plan you choose, guarantees you specific services, such as 24-hour access to your doctor and nutritional counseling.

With concierge medicine, you can expect higher-quality health care than a traditional practice because the latter’s business model is to treat the largest number of patients possible. That limits your time with the doctor both in-person and for follow-up on results. Concierge medicine uses a different model. Here’s why you should switch.

What is concierge medicine?

In 1996, physicians Howard Maron and Scott Hall were bothered by the lack of quality time they had with patients, and they felt those patients’ needs were not being met. As a result, they changed the practice model and opened the first concierge medical office in Seattle, Bellevue, Washington. It was called MD2 (pronounced “M.D. squared), and they charged patients an annual retainer of $13,200-$20,000 per family for medical service.

Because MD2 didn’t use the word “concierge,” though, some people credit Cooperative Med of Florida, founded in 2002, as the first concierge or “boutique” practice. This was a unique type of practice to launch, because it never had a typical patient base; it was formed from the ground up as a concierge medical practice.

The downside of traditional primary care

If you’re a new patient in a large urban area, the average wait time to get an appointment with a primary care physician is 24 days. That’s because doctors often have more than 4,000 patients, see up to 40 patients a day for 10-15 minutes each, and have little-to-no time for follow-ups, phone calls, or paperwork.

When you have your appointment, you may get some basic tests and screenings done, then you wait again, sometimes for weeks for the results to be uploaded to a patient portal. In addition, you may be able to discuss what those results mean with a nurse over the phone,  not the doctor, but there’s no guarantee.

This model helps no one, not even the doctors. Their offices become almost like factories, and they’re unable to keep up-to-date with both medical and administrative duties. Doctor burnout is common; many good doctors choose to leave medicine altogether.

Major benefits of switching to concierge medicine

The concierge medicine model addresses the patient experience and relieves pressure on doctors. Here are some of the major benefits it offers:

  • Participating physicians generally have no more than 600 patients
  • Physicians see only 6-10 patients a day and spend about 30 minutes with each
  • Patients can easily get same-day or next-day appointments
  • Patients can access test results quickly and can discuss them with the doctor
  • Patients and doctors draw up treatment plan together

Offices differ in the plans they offer, so make sure you understand the options your doctor is offering you. Generally, the more you pay for the retainer, the greater the number of services you receive. Some common benefits for the patients include:

  • Office and telehealth visits long enough to ask questions and receive answers
  • Access to the doctor’s direct phone line for medical questions
  • After-hours access to your doctor
  • In-house blood draws and access to the results
  • A patient portal to ask questions or pay bills

If you have a major health problem such as a chronic disease, your doctor coordinates referrals to a specialist and/or hospital care, as needed.

Concierge medicine isn’t health insurance. What you’re paying for is access to your primary care physician and facilities, and that’s it. Most advanced tests and procedures aren’t covered under the retainer, and you’ll still have to pay for visits to specialists or hospital stays. Talk with our staff about which plan best ensures you get the coverage you need.

Are you interested in finding out more about Broadway Family Clinic’s concierge medicine plans? To get started, give our office a call at 346-857-0603, or book online with us today. We’re here to help.