Concierge Medicine Offers Individualized, High Quality Care

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With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act providing health insurance to millions of previously uninsured Americans, hospital waiting rooms will be more packed than ever before. Patients who pay to retain the services of a concierge doctor can expect prompt, personalized, and unhurried care, said Founder and Chief Executive Officer of My Concierge MD, Dr. David Nazarian.

Concierge Medicine Los Angeles
The concierge model has tried to restore the patient doctor relationship by limiting the number of patients the physician cares for at a time, thus providing more time for the physician to properly treat and care for his or her patients

As the new Affordable Care Act is implemented and health insurance will be provided to millions of previously uninsured Americans, primary care physicians can expect to serve many more patients. The Affordable Care Act was designed to offer comprehensive health insurance reforms that are gradually being put into place until it is fully rolled out by 2014. It became law in March 2010 after being signed by President Obama and this June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law. Features of the law include prohibiting the denial of health insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

This new health care law will likely add pressure to many general practitioners who have had to cope with substantial decreases in insurance reimbursements while increasing the volume of patients to keep their income afloat and offset the rising cost of health care.

A new trend in healthcare called Concierge Medicine allows patients to cut through the long lines typically associated with emergency rooms and the waiting rooms of general practitioners. Dr. David Nazarian, a concierge doctor in Los Angeles says that concierge medicine physicians see fewer patients than primary care physicians who may see dozens of patients per day and as many as thousands of patients per year. The high volume of patients can diminish the quality of care that these physicians might otherwise be able to provide. Dr. Nazarian states that Concierge medicine accomplishes everything that health care reform is aiming to do. This includes lowering medical costs, improving access and increasing the quality of care. The Concierge Medicine model of healthcare offers a higher quality patient care which is available around the clock and anywhere the patient requests, from their hotel room to their workplace, Dr. Nazarian said.

Currently, there are approximately 4000 concierge physicians practicing in the United States, up from about 500 a few years ago, according to the American Academy of Private Physicians, a Washington D.C. trade group. By allowing more time to spend explaining diagnoses and treatments, patients will in turn have greater trust, education, and compliance with their physician, said Dr. Nazarian.

“I started the concierge practice in 2008 in order to be able to spend more time with each of my patients; to get to know them on a personal level; to focus on prevention rather than just treatment; to be their advocate for better health,” said Dr. Nazarian. “The concierge model is restoring the patient doctor relationship by limiting the number of patients the physician cares for at a time, thus providing more time for the physician to properly treat and care for his or her patients.”

Concierge medicine takes an old concept of doctors making house calls and modernizes it. By paying a yearly retainer often starting at as little as $2,000, concierge medical practitioners are able to see a limited number of patients which in turn enables them to provide a higher quality of care. The majority of primary care physicians serve dozens of patients per day and often more than 2000 patients per year. "Patients can expect to be seen by a doctor the same dat the same day they make their appointment and they are seen as long as necessary, said Dr. Nazarian. In addition, patients are given 24/7 access to their personal concierge doctors via cell phone and email.

One patient of Dr. Nazarian stated that his concierge medical practice is prompt and professional in responding to her health care needs.

“Dr. Nazarian was very professional from the start. He showed up at the hotel within an hour and did a very thorough exam and started treatment right away. My husband was better in no time. Dr. Nazarian called the next day to follow up and see how my husband was doing. I recommend Dr. Nazarian and My Concierge MD to anyone looking for top notch medical care.”

Another patients stated that although she was initially unsure about whether to use concierge medicine, she now highly recommends it.

“Dr. Nazarian was prompt, thorough and professional. He was able to prescribe appropriate medication and immediately called me with his diagnosis and recommendations. What an amazing medical service! Dr. Nazarian reminds me of small town doctors who provide fast, very caring, compassionate care.”

Concierge medicine empowers the patients, said Dr. Garrison Bliss, president of Qliance Medical Group in Seattle.

“We value our patients, work for our patients, and realize that if we don’t provide real palpable service, they will stop paying their monthly fee,” he wrote in the newsletter Medical Home News. “That is why we are open on weekends and why we talk to our patients at night.”

In the technological age where communication is only a click away, access to a physician should be just as easy. When physicians have more time with patients for planning and prevention, patients can save money by reducing diseases and the need for hospitalization.

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