At a time when it seems we spend more time ordering a designer soda than discussing our health with a doctor, patients may feel their doctor/patient relationship is on the rocks. The truth is, many doctors feel the same way. Changes in federal policies, health coverage parameters, and a projected shortage in practicing physicians have created a pressure-packed industry for doctors nationwide.
“In response to this frustrating situation, more doctors are seeking an alternative practice model,” wrote Paul Hsieh, Forbes health contributor. “They are establishing ‘concierge’ or ‘direct-pay’ practices.”
This care service provides patients enhanced services, including same day appointments, 24/7 access to their doctor, e-mail consultations, and longer appointment times at a surprisingly affordable monthly fee.
Here are three reasons why this trend in care is catching on.
1. It relieves pressure from the family caregiver.
With about half of the total U.S. population suffering from at least one chronic condition, recent surveys show about four of every ten adults are caring for someone who is managing a serious illness.
Instead of relying on Medicare’s limited services of intermittent-only nursing visits, concierge care addresses the gap in coverage and can be arranged to meet and improve the unique recovery schedule of the patient. This can relieve the family from the added stress of providing the medical care.
2. Care is designed to fit a patient’s needs.
Many times, families need more support than what Medicare will cover. By talking with concierge care consultants, families can discuss and determine the level of needed care, schedule staff, coordinate services and create an overall plan that benefits both patient and family.
3. The patient can recover at home.
A common motivator for patients to focus on recovery is the promise of returning home. For Dr. Ghalib Wahidi, the desire to be home can be factored into the recovery process. “Patients and their families are more comfortable and oriented in familiar environments,” he said in an in-person interview.
Other advantages include individualized one-on-one care and, for those patients who suffer from compromised or weakened immune systems, less exposure to hospital-borne infections.
If you are in need of a more accommodating care service that relieves the pressure placed on family caregivers, is customized to fit the needs of the recovering patient, and allows a patient to recover at home, concierge care may be the right option for you.
Amy Osmond Cook is the Executive Director of the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about best practices in senior care. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published by www.ocregister.com. It has been republished here with permission.