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3 Biggest Challenges With Concierge Medicine

Posted by PartnerMD on Oct 18, 2019

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Happiness is worth pursuing and it’s also, in some cases, possible to predict. You’re looking at concierge care likely because traditional care hasn’t been an ideal experience for you. We think you’re right to look for an option that satisfies you.

Statistics suggest that, if you choose to join a concierge practice, you’ll enjoy that choice — at least enough to stick with it. A recent survey from Concierge Medicine Today shows that concierge practices are retaining a high number of patients year after year.

But that doesn’t mean every one of you will find the perfect concierge practice fit, at least right away. So let’s protect you by working backward. Let’s find common reasons why people become dissatisfied or disappointed with concierge care, and let’s learn from their lessons to find you a better fit.

Concierge Medicine Isn’t for Everyone 

No solution is right for everyone. It’s a core value behind concierge care: Personalization is better than one-size-fits-all systems.

Well, if that’s true, then it means that even concierge care itself isn’t the answer for everyone. This might surprise you, but we agree with that sentiment. We don’t think you should force the fit if this approach doesn’t match your needs.

If you’re having a great time with your care at a traditional practice, then there’s no need to disrupt what’s working well for you. There are traditional practice doctors who, despite having so many patients, still provide some traits of attentive, dedicated care. We wouldn’t want to pull you away from a good situation.

Already happy? Staying put may be your best option.

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You're Not Using Your Membership

You know what’s truly pointless? Frequent flyer mile incentives if you rarely fly, rewards programs from that restaurant you visit twice per year, gym memberships if you won’t exercise, and concierge memberships if you won’t see a doctor.

Your membership gives you all sorts of access, but access doesn’t matter if you won’t reach out to your doctor. It comes with all sorts of perks, but they’re all worthless if you won’t use them.

If you don’t use your membership, you’re far more likely to be dissatisfied with concierge care.

It helps to remember why you’re here in the first place. There’s likely a voice in your head telling you to investigate better choices for your care. That same voice is likely to say you should use your membership, see your doctor, and take part in what your concierge program offers. Listen to that voice. Don’t do the work of researching and buying a membership only to let it sit unused.

Unrealistic Expectations

When you sign up for concierge care, you expect to be treated like a VIP. And you should — you pay for extra time with your physician, extra ways to access your doctor, and all sorts of other perks. You’ve invested in a membership and have every right to expect the best.

Just keep in mind that every model of care, even concierge care, is operated by and for humans.

For instance, your practice might advertise no-wait appointments, and yet you might wait seven minutes one day. Before you storm out of the office and cancel your membership, see if there are special circumstances or if it’s standard conduct for that practice. False advertising isn’t cool. But remember there are valid reasons why people encounter unavoidable delays.

Or, to use another example, your practice might promise unlimited access to your physician, and yet you have a phone call redirected to an on-call doctor. It’s good to remember that even concierge physicians get sick occasionally and that they have kids who have school plays, tee-ball games, and so on.

You’re paying for great care, so expect it. Just keep in mind that there’s a human component to the system.

Find What Works For You

We don’t believe every concierge practice fits every person. You have to find your fit. If you join a practice and later learn it’s not for you, then simply switch to another one. At PartnerMD, we let you go month-to-month, so you can leave your membership with no added fees with only 30-days written notice.

While not every practice fits everyone, we think there’s a concierge fit out there for pretty much anyone. Use the awesome perks of your membership and never forget that doctors are people too. If you stick to those rules, we think you can have an outstanding experience.

Ready to learn more about concierge care so that you can have a great experience? We have a detailed summary of the approach in our free downloadable guide to Understanding Concierge Medicine.

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Healthy Reads is PartnerMD’s blog dedicated to insights into medical trends, concierge medicine, primary care, wellness and more.

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