Personalized medical services, called concierge services, have become big business during the pandemic.
The comfort and luxury of having the doctor come to your door instead of braving traffic and potentially germ-filled waiting rooms has garnered a well-heeled following. While basic telemedicine can be restricted by insurance regulations and complicated healthcare portals, concierge care is not dependent upon insurance and offers personalized care, often in the comfort of the patient's own home.
Of course, according to The New York Times, this premium medical service comes at a steep cost. Patients often pay two to three times the price for concierge care over the cost of a regular medical office visit. This is on top of the annual fees charged by the provider. Single services can cost thousands of dollars along with five-figure fees for exclusive physicians' care.
Medical services provided by concierge doctors range from physical therapy to dental cleanings and have proven to be popular among those who can afford them.
"Coming to the dentist is not the most fun thing," said Dr. Robert Raimondi of One Manhattan Dental, who offers virtual hygiene checks and private office appointments for $1,500. He also makes house calls for $1,000, and charges $500 for a cleaning and $600 for a whitening procedure, according to the Times.
Dr. Erika Schwartz, a Newsmax contributor and leading expert in hormone replacement with an office in Manhattan, now works from her home in Greenwich, Connecticut. She opened an office this summer in Southampton, New York, to cater to patients who left New York City during the pandemic. Schwartz charges $12,000 annually for her services, aside from the cost of treatments. She also sends medical professionals to patients' homes if they don't wish to travel.
According to Medical Economics, concierge services are in a better position financially to handle the current pandemic than regular healthcare services because they have a steady cash flow. Concierge patients are also unwilling to leave their doctors, which creates a more consistent patient base.
While traditional primary care doctors see an average of 1,600 patients in their practice, a concierge doctor normally has between 250 and 600, according to Medical Economics, which makes critical care during COVID-19 much more manageable.
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