What is Concierge Medicine?
Concierge medicine, also known as retainer, boutique, or personalized medicine, is a patient-physician arrangement in which the patient pays an annual fee for more accessible and personalized service. This model allows the physician to limit the number of patients in the practice in order to provide more thorough, accessible and individualized level of care.
The first practice to implement concierge medicine was started in 1996, and there are now thousands of practices that offer this model of care. The American Academy of Private Physicians, an organization of physicians founded in 2003, provides support to the many physicians moving towards providing more personal care to patients.
Why don't you accept payment from insurance companies?
The high-quality care we offer through concierge medicine cannot be achieved within the constraints of health insurance. In an insurance-based practice, the average family physician cares for 3,000-5,000 patients, and sees 25-30 patients a day. This only averages seven minutes of face-to-face time per visit! With our concierge medicine-based practice, patients can expect at least 30 minutes of face-to-face time with the physician.
What services are available at your office?
- Acute and preventive care
- Comprehensive medical history review
- Annual preventative physical examination
- Well-woman exams
- Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) for men and women
- Cryotherapy (ie., “freezing” of lesions)
- Urinalysis, Rapid Strep and Flu testing
- Spirometry & Pulse oximetry
- Laceration repair & suture removal
- All routine adult immunizations
- B-Vitamin injections
- Joint & soft tissue injections
- School physicals
- Skype (telemedicine) appointments
- Blood draws
- Specialty testing such as advanced cholesterol testing, nutritional analysis, hormone testing, food sensitivity and stool testing
Do you draw blood in the office?
Yes, we do offer blood draws in the comfort of our office. We send all blood to an outside lab for processing, who will bill your insurance company. If you are uninsured, self-pay discounts are available. In the event that an in-office blood draw is not convenient to you, we will send you to a facility that works best for you.
Do I still need insurance if I join your practice?
Yes. It is advised that all patients have at least catastrophic (high deductible) health insurance since this practice is not a substitute for health insurance. Insurance can be helpful in that it can cover services that are not offered inside the office, including labs, x-rays, medications, emergency room and hospital care, and visits to a specialist. However, we do care for patients without insurance, and try to follow low cost options for additional services, such as labs and x-rays.
What payment options do you have?
Annual membership fees are paid at the beginning of the membership period, and we offer payment arrangements. Cash, credit card, (Amex/Visa/MC/Discover), or check are accepted.
Is your fee reimbursable through my insurance company?
Under PPO insurance, a portion of the annual fee may be reimbursable (this does not apply to Medicare patients). It is advised that you check with your insurance company about coverage for non-network provider office visits. Although your insurance is not billed directly, claim forms can be provided to submit to your insurance company. A high deductible health plan with a health savings account (HSA) works well with concierge medicine.
Can I pay your fee from a tax-deferred account such as an HSA?
This service should be an allowable expense under a Health Savings Account. Always consult an accountant when making that determination.
What type of insurance will work with concierge medicine?
All PPO type health plans and Medicare are compatible with concierge medicine since PPO’s and Medicare do not require patients to see a network physician. A PPO High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a tax-deferred savings account, such as an HSA or Flexible Savings Plan would be the most complimentary insurance with concierge medicine.
What if I have an HMO?
Unfortunately, due to restrictions of the HMO plan, patients with HMO’s cannot be members of the practice. Your assigned network primary care physician is the only one who can order tests and referrals, many of which require pre-authorization.
What if I have Medicare?
Patients with Medicare may join the practice and be given all of the same services provided to non-Medicare patients. Dr. Robinson has chosen to opt-out of Medicare, meaning that she does not bill Medicare for any of her services. However, Medicare will still cover any medications, labs, tests, or specialty referrals as long as they are covered by Medicare.
What if I am hospitalized?
With a small practice, it is challenging to maintain hospital privileges due to the infrequency of hospital admissions. Because of this, Dr. Robinson does not directly admit patients to the hospital. She will coordinate your inpatient care with a “hospitalist”, or a physician who only focuses on inpatient care. She will visit you in the hospital and work with the hospitalist, specialists, and surgeon as your advocate.
Who will take care of me when you are on vacation?
We will arrange for a covering physician to attend to any urgent needs in the event that Dr. Robinson is on vacation.
What ages do you see?
Dr. Robinson cares for patients of all ages, however, with a small practice we are not able to provide the immunizations required from birth through kindergarten. Immunizations can be done for pediatric members at the Health Department.
When would you see me at my home or office?
New patient visits and annual physicals will always be done in the office. Home or office visits may be necessary based on illness or convenience, and are decided on a case-by-case basis.