Concierge medicine allows patients to build strong relationships with their doctor through extended visits and more personalized care. Having a doctor who truly knows you, and who you can call on when you need them may have seemed like a luxury in the past. With the COVID-19 pandemic having become a ‘normal’ part of our lives, it has never been more important for patients to have easy access to trusted care when they need it the most.
Across the country, medical facilities and doctors offices are playing catch-up in order to bring patients back up to date on routine checkups and preventive screening. During the peak of the pandemic, healthcare providers were spread thin with regard to time and resources. In addition, patients were less likely to go for routine medical services due to social distancing, quarantine and isolation requirements. As a result, there is still a backlog of patients that are behind on basic medical care including sick visits, regular annual checkups, and preventive screenings. Healthcare practices are continuously making adjustments in order to ensure that these patient’s needs are being met. Implementation of new technologies in the healthcare systems such as telemedicine have helped but that’s not enough. Clearly the pandemic has demonstrated that concierge medical practices, as early adopters of telemedicine technology and as providers that eliminate barriers to communication, are able to meet patients’ needs in a more efficient manner. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the benefits of having a personalized relationship with your physician. During a crisis such as the pandemic, research has shown that concierge medicine reduces hospitalization rates and produces better clinical outcomes.
Benefits of Concierge Medicine during the age of COVID-19
Fewer Patients, Longer Appointment Times
According to the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP), estimates have shown that a traditional primary care physician in the United States maintains between 2,000 – 4,000 patients. On a daily basis a GP sees 25 patients or more, giving approximately 15 minutes per patient. Practically speaking, this isn’t feasible with the given time constraints, patients queries are left unanswered, resulting in an unsatisfied patient experience. This is why concierge practices are different.
In comparison, AAPP notes that since concierge practitioners have a smaller group of patients (around 600 patients) it allows them to dedicate more time to individual patients. This helps in establishing a rapport between the doctor and patients which goes much deeper than the normal screening or even a checkup routine.
Avoid Crowded Areas
Nobody wants to spend time in a crowded wait room with the looming thought of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Even before the pandemic, concierge medical practices focused on keeping practice sizes small, eliminating the concept of a busy waiting room.
24/7 Access to your Physician
The data is clear that patients with multiple comorbid conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or respiratory illness are at higher risk for complications associated with COVID-19 infections. Having 24-7 access to your concierge provider will certainly be beneficial and likely improve overall clinical outcomes in these patients, as acute illness or worsening chronic conditions will be addressed more quickly and efficiently. In many cases clinical concerns can be answered by cell phone or telemedicine encounters, from the comfort of your own home.
Looking to Concierge Practices for a Solution
Based on the current interest and demand for concierge physicians, particularly during the pandemic and as we move out of the pandemic, we now know that concierge medical practices will continue to thrive long after the pandemic comes to an end. It is clear that patients now see the value and benefits of this type of doctor-patient relationship and see concierge medicine as a solution to the limitations of the current state of medical care. To become part of our concierge practice and take full advantage of the benefits of concierge medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, book an online appointment for a consultation with our doctors at Buckhead Medicine. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more insightful updates and posts.