Frequently asked questions
1. What is concierge medicine?
The third-party payor system of healthcare has frustrated both physicians and patients alike. Physicians are unhappy with decreasing reimbursements and increasing paperwork and being forced to cut down the time per patient. This has led to decreasing emphasis on preventive care and counselling. Patients are frustrated with the increasing wait-time to see a physician (sometimes weeks), increasing health insurance premiums, and not having immediate access to their physician if needed.
Concierge medicine is a new model of medical practice which first started in the 1990s. This model is based on a direct physician-patient financial relationship. The patient pays the physician an annual retainer fee. The physician provides an annual extended physical exam (with emphasis on disease prevention and lifestyle change), same day office or home visits, and 24/7 access by a cell-phone or pager. This allows a physician to decrease the number of patients in his medical practice by up to 80%, thus allowing him to spend more time in each patient appointment and provide more personalized patient care.
2. Why is the retainer fee so expensive? Is it just for the rich and the elite?
Your health is your more precious asset. The concierge plan allows am emphasis on disease prevention and lifestyle changes like nutrition and exercise. Immediate access to a physician also prevents further worsening of a medical illness. After enrolling in a concierge plan, you can actually save on your healthcare costs by keeping a basic healthcare insurance with a high deductible. You also save thousands on hospitalizations and medication costs.
3. Should I still keep my medical insurance?
You should still keep basic medical insurance to cover hospitalization and specialist referral costs. However, you can change your plan to the one with a high deductible (combined with a health saving account), thus allowing you to save thousands every year on the premiums. In most cases, we can also provide you documentation for our services like annual physical and follow-up appointments which you can file as a claim to your insurance. These costs may be reimbursible up to 50-80% as out-of-network provider.
4. What kind of doctors do you have?
We provide medical consultation in adult Internal medicine/family medicine by board-certified physicians.
5. What if I do not want to pay an annual retainer fee, but still want 24/7 access to a physician if needed?
We provide 24/7 physician home visits in Boston metro area even if you are not enrolled in our concierge plan . This is a cash only service payable at $300 per hour (physician home visits in the concierge plan are free mostly). However, you can file a claim with your medical insurance and may be reimbursed for 50-80% of the costs.
6. How soon can a physician see me if I call for a home visit?
You can call our 24/7 toll-free number 888-314-5582. The on-call physician will take a brief medical history to access the urgency of the medical situation. If it is a medical emergency like chest pain, loss of conciousness, seizures etc., you should call 911. If it is urgent, the physician will be at your home within 1-2 hours. If not an urgency, a physician home-visit can be scheduled for the next day.
7. Do you provide online video medical consultations?
We provide free online 15-30 minute medical consultations through skype to our concierge plan members. Our skype ID is 'carioshealth'.