Economics of Concierge Medicine

In the traditional health care system, doctors do not answer phone calls, do not know the cost of prescriptions they provide, can’t tell you where to go if the pharmacy is out of stock and typically see too many patients in too short of a time.  The average primary care physician sees 2,500 patients per year, while at Bloom we cap the number of clients per physician to 200 per year.  Bloom’s model challenges the status quo, creating a better work environment and quality of life for doctors and better outcomes for clients.  Longer visits and fewer patients mean more time with your doctor, and a focus on wellness.

Under the conventional medical system, doctors are paid based on insurance or government guidelines for a non comprehensive list of tasks and services. Things like creating educational programs for patients, teaching prevention, speaking on the phone to clients and returning emails are not on most lists, thus doctors in this system do not prioritize these, often to the detriment of their patients. The average length of visit in the conventional system is 7-8 minutes, and insurance only pays doctors to asses one problem per appointment.  At Bloom the minimum visit time is 30 minutes, and we are happy to discuss multiple issues per session.

 As we have such a strong emphasis on wellness, and help clients attain health goals, we can help prevent illness before it costs employer’s money and days off work.

 Many health policy researchers believe that the concierge model results in such economic savings over the year, that it arguably more than pays for itself.

 Researchers writing in the American Journal of Managed Care evaluated the cost-benefit for one of the largest concierge style medical practices in the US; MDVIP (1). They found that decreases in preventable hospital use resulted in $119.2 million in savings in 2010.  The majority of the savings ($109.2 million) came from Medicare patients (federal government supplied insurance in the US) thus providing a significant savings in tax payer spending.

 On a per capita basis, these savings amounted to $2,551 per patient, while the average cost of basic membership to the concierge practice examined was around $1,500 - $1,800 per patient per year.

 More importantly however, patient satisfaction and quality of care were much improved.  In the study mentioned, patients in 2010 experiences 49% fewer avoidable hospital admissions, 56% fewer non-elective admissions, and 63% fewer non-avoidable admissions to hospital, than patients of traditional medical practices. Finally, members of the MDVIP concierge style practice were admitted 97%, 95% and 91% less frequently for heart attack, congestive heart failure and pneumonia respectively.  In our opinion this was likely due to earlier assessment by doctors, better accessibility for patients to see their physician, continuation of care by the same doctor and implementation of prevention strategies
Another study, published in 2013 in the British Medical Journal, examining the concierge practice; Qliance, found similarly positive results (2). Qliance’s patients experienced 35% fewer hospitalizations, 65% fewer A&E visits, 66% fewer appointments with specialists and an impressive 82% fewer surgeries than comparable populations.  

 What are you waiting for? Are you ready to Bloom?

Email us for information on our $250/month unlimited coceirge package!

Vanessa Ingraham