We have described before the difference between concierge medicine and direct primary care. DPC is a movement and continues to grow and outpace concierge care yet many news outlets love to cover the latter. This latest article and accompanying video from KMOV4 show how they work to highlight the negative angle of membership practices by just focusing on concierge medicine. Here is an example:
Recently, Marlene Nolan received a letter from her primary care doctor, whom she had been seeing for quite a while, announcing a switch over to a Concierge Medical Practice. It’s basically a membership, with additional out of pocket fees direct to the doctor’s office, often on top of insurance and co-pays.
“It’s $1500 so I can call her my doctor,” said Nolan.
Nolan, who is relatively healthy and on a fixed-income, was livid.
Marlene has a point. Her doctor will be double dipping. The piece goes on:
The doctor’s marketing materials list a number of perks: same day appointments, little or no waiting to be seen and longer, unhurried medical visits, but Nolan wasn’t impressed.
“When you really look at it, you are getting the same stuff that you should be getting from a physician anyway. There are no additional perks to this. all the perks are on her end,” she said.
Unfortunately, Marlene, you are wrong there. You cannot get same-day appointments, little or no waiting to be seen and longer, unhurried medical visits ANYWHERE except membership practices. Why? Because insurance companies are taking 90% of the fees and doctors have to make this up with volume.
This whole thing from KMOV4 was horrible because it focuses only on concierge medicine in order to make doctors look greedy.
News 4 reached out to Marlene’s current doctor, who declined an on-camera interview, but in a statement said the change was made after careful and thoughtful consideration.
The statement reads: “Most important is the time we have to further develop the essential physician-patient relationship and care for patients in a holistic, proactive way.”
If only the network had done their homework and reached out to the many direct primary care offices in that area. They could have compared the two and shown that DPC doctors don’t double dip and charge much less. They could have highlighted the doctors who are eschewing the insurance model versus still being in bed with them. If you are a DPC doctor in this area then please get in touch with the network for a rebuttal.