Skip to comments.High-End Medical Option Prompts Medicare Worries
Posted on 04/02/2011 7:35:22 AM PDT by Pining_4_TX
Every year, thousands of people make a deal with their doctor: I'll pay you a fixed annual fee, whether or not I need your services, and in return you'll see me the day I call, remember who I am and what ails me, and give me your undivided attention.
But this arrangement potentially poses a big threat to Medicare and to the new world of medical care envisioned under President Barack Obama's health overhaul.
The spread of "concierge medicine," where doctors limit their practice to patients who pay a fee of about $1,500 a year, could drive a wedge among the insured. Eventually, people unable to afford the retainer might find themselves stuck on a lower tier, facing less time with doctors and longer waits.
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Concierge medicine may be the last chance we have to see what a free market in medical care can do, so the AARP and the other socialists will have to find a way to shut it down. In time, too many people would choose freedom, and we can't have that, can we?
I loathe the AARP. I've said it before, the AARP is ACORN with gray hair.
$1500 a year?? Count me in. That’s only 3 month’s worth of what I am paying now.
You call that High End? That’s cheap, even another $1500 for my wife still makes it only 6 month’s of what I am paying now.
Concierge medicine physicians are generally ‘primary care physicians. They perform preventative tests, treat minor acute or chronic problems and prescribe medicine.
More serious health conditions; requiring aggressive care (chemotherapy & corrective surgery) are passed along to specialists & surgeons, financed by standard insurance programs.
Never forget that the only way to make money in the insurance business is to take in premiums and don't pay claims.
If we’re lucky, they’ll crack down on this ASAP, triggering a massive blowback that will guarantee the rapid repeal of Obamacare.
When seniors get angry, look out. They’re the reason we repealed the Medicare Catastrophic Act within 16 months of passage back in 1989. Ways and Means chair Dan Rostenkowski didn’t like the idea that his car might be assaulted by outraged seniors every time he took it out for a spin. http://tinkerready.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/today-in-health-reform-history-seniors-attack-us-rep/
Not sure, but I think the $1500 is just the “retainer” fee.
If so, the patient would pay for any medical costs on top of that.
In a sane and civil society, a deal like this would be praised, because the patient saves money and gets great care, and the doctor comes out OK, too. But, no, to the statists, ANY private capitalist solution is a grave threat to big government, and must be destroyed.
When does the revolution start? I am so ready for it.
The $1500 represents approximately 10 office visits @ $150 per session, per year.
It works well for the docs. Many patients who don’t abuse it cover for those who do.
Sorta like “Fitness Center” membership. Some go every day - others once a year;)
“...Aetna is already restricting its provider network to selected good utilizers...”
Don’t know about now, but I know many years ago that Kaiser evaluated their physicians “value” based on the lowest-cost per patient seen.
Not to worry, the government will put a cap on doctor income and force them to take ever reduced Medicare payments...and also force them to accept hundreds of patients they don’t want.
You still need insurance. The retainer fee only covers your primary doc.
Our family doctor went to this system. I encouraged my elderly mother to stay with him, since he knows her and she will see or call him for various things several times a year.
My husband, kids, and I went to another doc, because that $1500 x 4 people is a lot of money for a family that maybe goes to the doctor 2-3 times TOTAL for all of us over a year. And it would have added to the $950/month we are already paying for a self-employed family policy. (!)
I would be curious to know if the concierge docs ended up with too many “frequent fliers” this way.
Well duh. Only those whose worldview includes government everything to the exclusion of individual freedoms could ever fail the Captain Obvious alert on this.
What do you pay a lawyer or CPA for their time?
I don't know why, but I've been thinking about that very event. The Federal Government is so out of control about all that they seem to respond to is terrorism. It's worked for the muzzies. Look how cowed the government is toward them.
Spoken like a true conservative.
(Do I really need to add a sarcasm tag?)
Virtually all the HMO's did that under capitation. The idea was that part of the physicians "per member per month" fee was withheld and then paid as per "performance." "Good utilizers" were rewarded with the full contract price, and with additional "financial incentives." "Poor utilizers" were punished by having their compensation docked, and in many cases being dropped by the HMO. Hundreds of thousands of people suffered needlessly as a result.
When my mother’s doctor went to this system, the then $1,800/year concierge fee was in no sense a retainer — it was an accessibility fee. The doctor explained that paying this fee would allow him to continue to treat her, to spend more time with her during examinations and permit same-day or next-day visits. She was in her late 90’s and didn’t want to change doctors, so she paid. He billed at his usual rates.
“Spoken like a true conservative.”
Perhaps you misunderstood the point of my post. I favor a crack-down ONLY as a means to an end. If it doesn’t facilitate repeal of Obamacare, I wouldn’t hope for such a crack-down.
In reality, Medicare has imposed limitations on private contracting for years, but I don’t think either the average Medicare patient or Medicare doctor understands this. http://jpands.org/hacienda/article30.html
In contrast, concierge medicine is easy to understand, as is a flat-out prohibition upon the practice.
The $1,500 annual cost of this is less than what many “poor” people spend on cigarettes.