The Growth and Future of Concierge Medicine
While the number of concierge doctors remains small, it is growing at a steady pace. For Medical recruiters, this is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a practice that's making a comeback.
According to Concierge Medicine Today, a national trade publication, it is estimated that there are currently 12,000 physicians practicing concierge medicine. This figure is based on interviews as there is no federal registry or official database collecting this information. It represents a small percentage of the roughly one million licensed physicians in the U.S. However, this subscription-based private medical service is growing by 3% to 6% annually. While the rise has been primarily in internal medicine and family medicine, specialty physician participation is also on the rise.
Why are physicians and practices drawn to the concierge model?
(1) Patients pay a flat membership fee in advance for medical services. According to Tom Blue, executive director of the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP), this fee ranges from $50 a month to $25,000 per annum, with $135 to $150 per month being the national average. Depending on the number of patients signed up, it guarantees the physician a minimum income and predictable revenue. The average salary for a primary care physician is $294,000 while the average salary for a concierge physician is $300,000. Concierge physician salaries are on par with their colleagues without the overhead of a brick and mortar office.
(2) Concierge physicians usually have 80 to 90 percent fewer patients compared with more traditional practices. This allows doctors to spend quality time with their patients and provide more personalized care.
(3) This reduction in patient load reduces the potential for burnout and allows concierge physicians to focus on personal interests and family.
Physicians, typically age 45 or younger, are more likely to consider a concierge care practice. Recruiters would do well to include concierge physician recruitment as part of their business offerings.