As we've reported previously, primary care physicians are struggling to make their finances work--and patients remain uncomfortable with the rapid pace they must maintain to keep afloat. So it's no surprise that concierge care continues, slowly but steadily, to attract supporters.
One area where concierge medicine is making its influence felt is Atlanta, where according to one estimate, about 15 physicians have adopted such a model. These physicians, many of which are affiliated with concierge medical care firm MDVIP, are charging patients somewhere in the $1,500 range per year to participate in their practice. Even in the affluent Atlanta metro, some of the physicians are finding that their practices aren't growing at quite the rate they'd hoped, but most interviewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution seem happy that they can make the same money and cut their patient loads by one-half or more.
Without a doubt, 15 physicians represent a minuscule percent of the PCP base in an urban area the size of Atlanta. Nonetheless, it's worth considering how their practices are playing out, as it's not an insignificant number either. For example, it will be interesting to note whether other physicians pick up the model adopted by Atlanta-area physician Dr. James Criter, for whom 10 percent of patients come in through a concierge model and the other 90 percent under standard terms. Definitely food for thought.
To learn more about Atlanta's concierge practice market:
- read this piece in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
MDs find solutions to long wait times. Report
Impact of concierge practices examined. Report
Primary care MDs ask patients for extra dollars. Report
Study: Primary care costs, reimbursement low. Report