I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.
As you continue your search for a new family doctor, your mind might start to ruminate on joining a concierge practice (sometimes called concierge medicine, VIP medicine, direct primary care, and so on). These special groups offer more extensive doctor involvement, lower costs, and faster appointments -- and they can be very convenient. However, before you choose one as your version of a family doctor, consider how using the service would affect you overall. Many people are happy with concierge medicine, but sometimes the more traditional insurance network is preferable.
Depending on how the doctor has contracted with insurance companies, he or she may require that concierge patients not have traditional health insurance outside of low-income state plans. Other concierge doctors don't have that requirement, but they might also not file any insurance paperwork for you. This is part of the reason why their costs can be so low; they save on all the overhead and staffing required to deal with the insurance companies. So you have to be careful if you have insurance -- will you be able to use the concierge service, and will you have to send any bills into the insurance company for reimbursement?
Lower Costs and Membership Deals
As mentioned, without the need for insurance-filing and extra admin staff to handle just that, costs can be a lot lower. The doctor can also do some individual negotiating that can lower prescription prices, and you may be able to get some steep discounts on doctor fees if you pay a yearly membership fee. The drawback is that none of the money you spend goes toward your insurance deductible, and you might not have access to more specific prescriptions or more intensive care without seeing yet another primary care physician.
May Need Another Doctor for Insurance Purposes
This is because the concierge programs often don't qualify under the Affordable Care Act and may not be associated with a major network. It is possible that your doctor would be affiliated with a system and could refer you, but if you were to try to use insurance and had an HMO, you might have to see a primary care physician that's in the insurance's network anyway.
Take a look at the insurance you have and see how it handles paying for referrals and other items. You may find that choosing a traditional PCP -- try Snow Creek Medical Center -- will be easier to deal with and easier to pay for after insurance.Share
3 June 2017