Where Have All Those Doctors Gone?: Coming Back in Boutique Medicine?
With acknowledgment to Pete Seeger :
“Where have all the humanistic doctors gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the beloved doctors gone?
Long time ago
Where have all those doctors gone?
HMOs have picked them every one
And set benchmarks but not for patient benefit
When will HMOs ever learn?
When will the doctors ever learn?
When will they ever learn?”
On the other hand, there may be some doctors who have learned and are returning to private practice. Debra C. Cascardo writing the Medscape article back in 2003
tells us about the “new” concept in medical practice to which physicians are now migrating out of HMO’s into “Boutique Medicine: A New Concept Based on Traditional Ideals”
She writes: “One of the newest trends emerging in medical care is based on one of the oldest business concepts -- exceptional customer service. So-called "boutique" medical practices are borrowing a page from small specialty shops by finding their niche: patients who want specialized services and amenities and are willing to pay extra to receive them. Also referred to as concierge or retainer practices, these medical practices offer patients these extra services for a monthly or annual fee.
Some of the usual services to which the ‘membership’ fee entitles patients are:
· guaranteed same-day appointments;
· email and phone access;
· extended time with the physician;
· specialty newsletters;
· wellness programs; and routine checkups that might not be covered by insurance"
Read the complete article and return to discuss the issue. This thread might tie in to the discussion in the Comment section of the last thread. ..Maurice.
ADDENDUM: To read the Medscape article you may have to register. A research article on boutique medicine (also known as retainer or "concierge" practice) which surveys both retainer and non-retainer physicians regarding their practice and considers the ethical aspects of this type of practice can be read free at PubMed Central.