The shortage of doctors has little to do with the Affordable Care Act but the Affordable Care Act aggravated an already dire situation by bringing even more patients into a mix in which huge numbers of doctors retire (because they are Baby Boomers and would have anyway), not enough doctors are being given residencies and poor work situations brought on by low reimbursement rates have combined to create a perfect storm.One way that doctors have responded is that an increasing number of them have chosen to open Concierge medical practices. Concierge (also called direct pay, private pay, or boutique) medical practices offer patients the ability to pay a monthly fee for enhanced services such as 24/7 access, e-mail consultations, longer appointments and same day appointments. For patients and doctors, the outcome is a reduced rate of hospital readmissions and ER visits. “The recipe and mechanism for these improved metrics is quite simply the much better doctor patient relationship and unrestrained access and communication that is generally “standard” within these concierge models,” said Dr. Rob Emerick of Choice Cardiovascular in Gig Harbor. Emerick created a comparison of traditional versus Concierge medicine that can be found here.
To read more about Dr. Emerick’s approach to medicine, read this guest blog here.