Maintaining good health should be everyone’s top priority, but do we fully understand the health care options available to us? Our ability to access and utilize health care resources — and make the right decisions when it comes to determining a plan of care — can mean the difference between good health and catastrophe.
Accessing appropriate and cost-effective medical care has never been more complicated than it is today. Regulatory changes, rising health care costs, a diminished primary care physician base, and new medical technology all conspire to make decision-making more complex for employers and consumers alike. Knowing how to navigate these risks and opportunities makes for a brave new world of health care.
For years, affluent consumers have turned to specialty or “concierge” health care resources, both at home and abroad, to escape crowded waiting rooms, receive more personalized attention, and access a wider range of treatment options. This trend is accelerating in today’s health care environment. The marketplace is creating new alternatives to address consumer dissatisfaction and physician frustration. Some of these resources, which began as exclusive offerings for the wealthy, are making their way downstream in the form of more affordable options.
This paper explores the risks and opportunities associated with concierge medicine and its mainstream cousin, direct primary care, exploring the changing relationship between primary care physicians and their patients. It offers insights on what to do if your primary care physician “goes concierge” and suggestions on how to determine if these services are right for you. The paper will also review specialty medical services that are tailored to support you in times of crisis. These services range from customized treatment plans for catastrophic diseases to accessing emergency care when traveling overseas, an important consideration for today’s global executives and travelers. Getting the proper advice and counsel from a trusted medical advisor is becoming an increasingly important component in protecting one’s health and well being.