Three Year Analysis of Concierge and Direct Care Medicine Shows Encouraging Signs For Boosting Primary Care In U.S. Economy

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Data collected from concierge medicine and direct primary care doctors show encouraging signs across the U.S. from December of 2009 to December of 2012.

Doctors and patients love this old-fashioned model of healthcare. The doctor is communicating daily, weekly and monthly with the majority of his/her patients and seeing better outcomes.

The Concierge Medicine Research Collective, an independent health care research and data depository of the concierge and direct primary care industry's trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today based in Atlanta, GA released a 3-year summary of its analysis on the popularity and growth of the concierge medicine and direct primary care marketplace. They asked physicians from across the U.S. from December 2009 to December 2012 questions pertaining to their concierge medicine and direct primary care practice, patient satisfaction, business strategies, revenues and more. The analysis revealed the following results:

  •     Nearly 70% of current U.S. concierge medicine and direct primary care physicians operating practices today are internal medicine specialists.
  •     The second most popular medical specialty in concierge medicine is family practice.
  •     A surprising finding in this study was the increasing number of concierge cardiology, dental and pediatric practices opening from February of 2010 to December 2012.
  •     The combined average annual income of a typical concierge medicine [and direct care] patient is between $50,000 to $200,000 per year.
  •     Average annual compensation/salary of concierge doctor is between $100,000 and $300,000 per year.
  •     The typical age of concierge doctor is between 40-59 years of age.
  •     77% of a concierge [and direct primary care] patients are between the age of 40-59 years old.
  •     A concierge medicine doctor who provides 24/7 cell phone access receives the majority (83%) of phone calls from their patients during normal business hours, Monday thru Friday.
  •     62% of direct care and concierge medical offices employ between 1-2 office employees.
  •     The most common reason why patients using concierge medicine call their doctor: Prescription Renewals (38%); Cold/Flu Symptoms (19%); Back Pain (14%); and Headaches (13%).
  •     Most concierge doctors and direct primary care physicians treat six to eight patients per day.
  •     More than 70% of concierge [and direct primary care] doctors will visit with their patients between 30-60 minutes per office visit, enough time to discuss case history, examination, other symptoms, treatment options and strategy for care.
  •     Patients using concierge medicine [and direct primary care] comply with scripts and recommendations far more due to the doctor’s routine personal follow-up with the patients and explaining the importance of compliance and other treatment options.

"Our analysis looked at concierge medicine’s growth, the business models used, popular trends, and a wide variety of physician surveys, interviews and secure polling data on a lot of aspects pertaining to the average [concierge and direct primary care] practice,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief of Concierge Medicine Today. “These doctors [internal medicine and family] are by choice and nature, treating nearly 90% of every patient’s healthcare concerns, ailments and concerns each year. For over a decade now, concierge medicine has had a love-hate relationship with the public. The public loves the idea or loathes it. However, if they truly understand it, there’s nothing that quite compares to it. It’s an educational curve we’re overcoming in the marketplace on a national level with analysis and education like this.”

The analysis also found that there are currently four states that have a huge lead in the amount of active concierge physicians in practice and consumers seeking their care. Florida, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia each have a significant number of people (most over age 50) seeking out concierge and direct primary care doctors and there is, fortunately, a sizeable number of concierge physicians to serve them.

“While the number of physicians entering concierge medical practices needs to increase, more geographic coverage needs to happen,” says Tetreault. “We're finding that the number of patients who are seeking concierge medical care is far greater than the actual number of primary care and family practice doctors available to serve them. This data, as well as other studies, tells us that it is extremely difficult to find a concierge or direct primary care doctor in rural areas such as Idaho, North and South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire and others. Often times, we’re learning that there are less than half-a-dozen practitioners to serve an entire state.”

The analysis also found that three out of every eight concierge doctors that are incorporating unique anti-aging and medical home solutions into their practice across the U.S. from 2012 to 2013 are seeing their patients nearly two to three times more each year than a traditional concierge and direct primary care practice.

“Since the election in November 2012, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the amount of interest, inquiries and physician searches across the U.S. People are concerned about the Affordable Care Act, access to their physician and unsure about costs,” add Tetreault. “Doctors are adapting. They’re hearing from their patients about what’s successful and learning exactly what’s appealing to their audience and local patients. Most doctors are communicating daily, weekly and monthly -- with the majority of patients in a concierge medicine and direct primary care clinic and the outcomes are proving to be beneficial year after year.”

Financially, the three year analysis asked doctor’s ‘How is your practice performing financially year-after-year with concierge medicine and direct primary care patients?’ Surprisingly, physicians across the U.S. show improvement each since 2008 year -- despite the country’s slow economic recovery.

  •     Over 70 percent (71%) of all current concierge medicine and direct primary care physicians are doing ‘Better’ financially than 2008;
  •     Twenty-four percent (24%) indicated ‘No Change’ and;
  •     Thirteen percent (13%) indicated they were doing ‘Worse.’

Until just recently, people mostly based choosing a doctor on the personal recommendation of a trusted friend or relative. Now with the advent of social media, word of mouth marketing is changing from a spoken word referral to a social media link referral. To find a concierge medicine or direct care doctor near you, Concierge Medicine Today has created an iTunes and Android App, Concierge Doc, a free App and search engine resource to find and learn about concierge medicine and direct primary care in your area available at http://www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com.

About Concierge Medicine Today

Concierge Medicine Today (CMT), is the premier news and multi-media organization and the industry’s oldest national trade publication for the direct primary care and concierge medicine marketplace. Their web site is the online destination for business, consumers and physicians to learn about the history of this industry, various business aspects of the marketplace, trends, breaking news and more that drive the conversation and generate the national buzz that concierge medicine and direct primary care is creating on a national and international level. For more information, visit: http://www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com.

About The Concierge Medicine Research Collective

The Concierge Medicine Research Collective is a research and data depository created by Concierge Medicine Today. The Concierge Medicine Research Collective is an independent health care research and data collection depository of the multimedia news and trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today based in Atlanta, GA. The Collective serves as an educational resource on all things concierge medicine and is geared towards those businesses, lobbyists, physician associations, health care advocacy groups and general consumers of healthcare who want to learn more about information available on the topic of concierge medicine. The Collective works in partnership with Universities, physicians, associations, businesses, individuals and even Graduate medical Students to further advance the educational awareness and facts surrounding unanswered questions about concierge medicine care in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit: http://www.AskTheCollective.org or http://www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com.

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