Concierge medicine is an umbrella term used to describe several different retainer arrangements between primary care physicians and patients. All the various forms of concierge medicine represent a return to privatizing primary health care. It is a way to get a higher quality of care where patients are center stage and stay center stage. 

At the same time, more primary care physicians are finding concierge medicine particularly attractive. High-quality concierge medical practice enables physicians to:

• Determine the quality of medical care they provide.
• Better enable them to practice preventive medicine.
• Give them more control over their careers and better ensure their financial security.

Concierge medicine allows primary care physicians to regain control over their practice of medicine by enabling them to put the patient front and center. It also lets them regain control over their careers and their ability to succeed. Concierge medicine provides physicians medical autonomy with the right to make unimpeded health care decisions based on their expertise and their knowledge of individual patient needs. 

According to Daniel Carlin, CEO and founder of WorldClinic, “For patients, the most important benefit of concierge medicine is that it provides a much higher level of personalized attention and medical care than they would otherwise receive. Consequently, it creates a strong sense of security, control and long-term trust.”

Key Elements
The core defining characteristic of concierge medicine is that there is a retainer arrangement—a “membership fee”—for access to the physician or the service. While much of concierge medicine is physician-driven, there is a version of concierge care known as “private health advisory” or “professional health advocacy” that is not. 

The retainer fee is principally for the personal time and professional expertise of the primary care physician and the additional personal logistical support provided by his or her office staff. 

For many people, the powerful appeal of most concierge medical practices is on-demand physician access. This might be by phone or in person or increasingly by way of the Internet. 

Traditional primary care physicians may have thousands of patients coupled with financial pressures so their offices often have long appointment delays and the plague of seven-minute medicine. In contrast, concierge physicians are motivated to make themselves available and spend the time they need to ensure their patients are truly well cared for. 

Just about all versions of concierge medical practices act as health care advocates and facilitators. They help patients source the specialists they need and coordinate care. They will also follow up with patients and the specialists. Health care advocates also help patients understand exactly what is happening in their care and assist them in making informed decisions.

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