A few years ago USA Network began airing a show called “Royal Pains.” It follows a doctor in the Hamptons who caters to an elite group of patients, and in all fairness, it produces some fantastic plotlines. While the program can be entertaining, it truly puts a dramatized spin on how these kinds of doctors practice in real life. The situations in Royal Pains have very little in common with the type of concierge medicine Miami residents receive. Sometimes referred to as “boutique doctors,” these practitioners still care for people from all walks of life, and everyone involved benefits.
- Doctors Have More One-on-One Time with Patients
“Progress” has drastically changed the way medicine is practiced. There was a period when a doctor could spend time getting to know each patient who came into his practice. He had plenty of time to discuss the patient’s concerns and ask probing questions to get to the root of a problem. If you’ve been to a modern practitioner lately, you understand that this setup left healthcare long ago. A recent study indicated that new doctors are spending as little as 12% of their time with patients. In some cases, that works out to just eight minutes with a person. A whopping 64% of a doctor’s time is spent performing administrative duties. Overall, 40% of his day is spent on a computer, managing a myriad of duties necessary just to be able to accept patients. Medicare alone has some 7,400 tasks for doctors to perform. Using the model of concierge medicine, Miami doctors are able to reduce their overall patient-base, as well as the administrative time spent, and reallocate it for direct care.
- Patients Have Direct Access to their Providers
It always seems to be that a cold or infection strikes when we settle in for the night or over a weekend. In traditional settings, doctors are not available to help during these periods, which means patients are then forced to choose between waiting or accepting substandard care from an urgent care facility or emergency department. The biggest problem is that these places are designed to purely handle the immediate issue, so they don’t look for underlying causes. Their goal is usually just to stabilize and release you. On the other hand, a boutique doctor is available to his patients, and they can often speak with him whenever they need to, regardless of the time or day.
- Wait-Times are Drastically Lessened
A recent survey looked into healthcare wait times across the country, and Miami didn’t fare particularly well. It takes an average of 12 days to get in and see a family practitioner, though certain practices had a 56-day wait period. Alarmingly, it can take as much as 129 days to see a dermatologist. Another company looked into how much time patients spend waiting in-office for the doctor. People in the cities with the shortest delays still had to wait about 16 minutes per visit, and the state with the longest periods exceeded 23 minutes. Again, boutique doctors see fewer patients, so there is far less time spent in limbo.
On the whole, what these three indicators mean is that those who sign on with a concierge facility receive superior care. When patients receive better preventative and diagnostic services, they also spend less time in emergency rooms and being ill in general. Considering that a single hospital stay can cause huge issues for a family, securing quality care in advance is a far more practical way to go, and it may help you avoid a medical crisis altogether. While Hollywood would like you to believe that enhanced care can only be provided to an elite class, that simply isn’t so. Across the country, patients and doctors alike are moving to the concierge model because it provides these benefits and reduces financial burden overall.