What is Concierge Medicine And Why is it Growing so Fast?

Boutique medicine. Retainer-fee practice. Direct care. Membership medicine.

These are just some of the many terms used by journalists, patients, and even physicians to describe concierge medicine. It’s no wonder that it can be a bit confusing. However, despite all of the jargon, it’s a surprisingly simple system to understand. Concierge medicine is a system in which patients take control of their care by paying an extra fee to get better access to and more personalized care from their doctor. In return, doctors carry a much lighter patient load so they can give far more of their time and attention to their concierge patients.

The concept was born in 1996, when a Seattle doctor asked his patients to pay a flat fee (a monthly or annual retainer) in exchange for what he called “highly attentive medicine.” By doing this, the doctor no longer had to rely on the fee-for-service model regulated by insurance companies. Physicians like myself who are credentialed on all major health plans (except Medicaid) will also bill their patient’s private insurance company (in addition to the retainer fee).

The bottom line is that concierge medicine allows physicians to spend more time with fewer patients — which results in more time to get to know patients, more time to carefully review their issues, and more time for careful diagnosis and treatment.

It’s a new system that allows today’s doctors to know their patients much like they did in the past. With concierge memberships, primary care doctors often provide specialized services like guaranteed same- or next-day visits, 24-hour access to the doctor, less time in the waiting room, and sometimes even house calls. Most important, concierge medicine works.

Concierge physicians like myself report less payout, fewer hospital admissions, and improved care that prevents chronic, costly conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

For a sample list of benefits you’ll receive from my concierge practice, click here. If you’re interested in learning more, just give my office a call at 513-721-9200. Or fill out this form on our website.

The Pros & Cons of Concierge Medicine


Eating Healthy is an Easy Nut to Crack

Perhaps the most underrated snack food is the raw, unadulterated nut. High in monounsaturated fats that keep us heart-healthy and disease-free, a handful of nuts a day have been linked to lower cholesterol, weight management, and even lower risk of cancer.

So why do nuts account for less than 10 percent of our daily antioxidant intake? According to Joy Bauer, Today Show nutritionist and bestselling author, “That may be because people are afraid of the fat and calories in nuts, or they find plain nuts boring.”

I agree, and it’s unfortunate. The list of nutritional and health benefits is far too long for this blog post. But they’re a key part of my diet and they should be part of yours too. Many raw nuts and seeds reduce bad cholesterol; increase good cholesterol; and lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, and breast, colon and prostate cancers.

Although not all nuts (or seeds) are created equal, here is an abbreviated list of some of the many raw nuts and seeds that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us:

  • Walnuts fight inflammation and contain the most antioxidants, which help prevent cellular damage that contributes to heart disease, cancer, and premature aging.
  • Almonds have the most fiber. And we all know how good fiber is for your digestive health. One study indicated that dieters who included almonds in their plan lost more weight than those who didn’t.
  • Speaking of losing weight, Pistachios have the fewest calories (less than 4 per nut). One study from the University of Texas found that they can even help you fight lung cancer.
  • Hazelnuts should be included in your diet, especially if you’re at risk for, or already have, insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. They contain high levels of monounsaturated fats, which can improve cardiovascular health and help manage your diabetes.
  • Brazil Nuts are high in heart-healthy nutrients and minerals. Studies show that protein-rich Brazil Nuts may aid in the prevention of breast cancer.
  • Siberian Cedar Nuts. Okay, these might be a tad bit harder to find, but it’s worth it. These Russian nuts contain 70 percent of the essential amino acids your body needs. They also contain high amounts of vitamins A, B and D. They also contain a fatty acid similar to fish oil, which reduces the amount of bad cholesterol.

I strongly recommend that you try a variety of raw nuts and seeds to see which you like best, and then incorporate a small handful into your daily diet. Even better, replace a processed snack each day with a handful of nutritious nuts.

If you have any questions, concerns, or want to learn more about my nutty food habit, give me or my office a ring. We’re here for your health.


Survey Says Patients Extremely Satisfied with Concierge Care

From January to November 2015, Concierge Choice (a concierge medicine provider in New York) conducted a patient satisfaction survey of approximately 18,000 concierge patients. Patient-satisfaction healthcare surveys are notorious for their low scores due to patient dissatisfaction with everything from long wait times to lack of prompt access to their physician.

However, the results of this concierge-specific survey with concierge-only patients are so exciting that we wanted to share these highlights with you:

  • 98 percent agree that the communication with their physician is better now that there is more time
  • 98 percent agree that they can reach their physician 24/7
  • 98 percent agree that the medical office staff is helpful
  • 97 percent would recommend membership to a friend
  • 94 percent wait for less than 15 minutes to see their doctor (48 percent under 5 minutes)
  • 84 percent indicate that their physician spends more than 15 minutes with them

In addition to the comments we get from our own concierge patients, it’s no wonder that concierge medicine continues to grow. And it’s clear that patients prefer concierge medicine to other models of care. There’s no substitute for providing patients with quick access and more time. When there’s a strong relationship between doctor and patient, health and satisfaction improves.

For a sample list of benefits you’ll receive from my concierge practice, click here. If you’re interested in learning more, just give my office a call at 513-721-9200. Or fill out this form on our website.