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« Medsurge. Advances? | Main | Plastic Surgery & Smoking »
Sunday
Sep212008

Botique Medicine story on CNN

Story on CNN

Virtually unknown 10 years ago, in 2005 there were 500 doctors practicing what's referred to as concierge medicine. Now there are 5,000, according to the Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design, a professional society of concierge physicians.

As with any business deal where you're being asked to pay hard, cold cash for an intangible service, the buyer should beware. "Just because they charge a fee and behave exclusively does not make them good," warns bioethicist Art Caplan.

Reader Comments (6)

As president of SIMPD, the Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design, the professional society open to all concierge and other direct practice doctors, I thank you for your objective discussion of it. Interest in concierge medicine is rapidly growing. Starting with the first such practice about ten years ago in Seattle and growing exponentially, there are now thousands of such practices in the USA, some are associated with franchises though most are independent. A national society of concierge doctors and other direct practice doctors has existed since 2003 called The Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design, or SIMPD for short. Direct practice doctors and those who wish to adopt the direct practice model can join the society and get many benefits including up to 55% discounts on malpractice insurance, practice marketing help, national care networks and many other services. Patients can go to SIMPD's web site at http://www.simpd.org for information and to find such a doctor in their own community. This is the ideal way for patients to get personalized, prompt, excellent primary medical care in a unhurried, pleasant setting. Money is actually saved on patients in such practices because ER visits and hospitalizations are drastically reduced by the personalized, immediate, detailed care. SIMPD believes most Americans can eventually be cared for in such practices resulting in better care, lower cost and a return of interest in primary care by students who now shun the field as undervalued, underpaid and undesirable compared with other medical specialties.
Thomas W. LaGrelius, MD, FAAFP President, SIMPD http://www.simpd.org
Owner, SPFC Torrance, CA http://www.skyparkpfc.com

As a British physician and educator, I think this practice will soon be creeping into the UK. As you may well be aware we operate a system of free family doctor consultations for all members of the United Kingdom. Each family doctor (General Practitioner) is offered incentives to reach national targets based on a Quality Outcomes Framework: for example

Vaccination of individuals
Recording of blood pressure/ HBA1c etc in diabetic patients
Measurement of lipid profiles

The concierge medicine seems to be a simple extension of this fact. Practising in my own field of Rheumatology, knowledge of specialist areas such as osteoporosis lis an interesting example of this. I can provide a greater depth of knowledge on this area than the majority of general practitioners, based on my own experience of working in an osteoporosis clinic.

Simple pragmatic interventions, in the absence of national guidelines, or the correct implication of those national guidelines through systematic practice can only improve medical care. The exact way to do this (in terms of concierge medicine) remains a debate.

Dr James Bateman MBChB MRCP
Managing Director www.medicaleducator.co.uk
info@medicaleducator.co.uk

I should add that this is the first time that Ive heard concierge medicine as a phrase as a UK practitioner. I Suspect it will not be the last time!

Dr James Bateman MBChB MRCP
Managing Director www.medicaleducator.co.uk
info@medicaleducator.co.uk

Our results indicate that a red light dose of 70 J/cm2 may be sufficient for effective topical ALA-PDT of disseminated, mild to moderate AK on the face and scalp.

10.28 | Unregistered Commenterfree ipod

When I first heard of this kind of surgery I was very against it... like many. But over the years and realizing some of the social conditions it can help to alleviate I believe it has it's place in our modern society.... So to all the surgeons... keep up the good work and stay ethical :)

I have been looking for information regarding concierge medicine, thank you for this article.

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