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What are Premier Care Memberships or “Concierge Medicine?”
Patients pay an annual or monthly fee for access to their doctor. This covers primary care procedures — things like physicals, tests for strep throat, and stitches.
Patients also get 24/7 access to their doctors, more time with the provider, and same-day appointments.
Still bills insurance (if insured) but uses the membership fees to provide patients with greater access and to pay for procedures often not covered by insurance.
Here are some things you need to know about paying cash for medical care.
- It allows consumers to be more cost-conscious.
- Doctors won’t have to deal with nearly as much bureaucracy. Bypassing the third party means doctors don’t have to dedicate as many resources toward filling out unnecessary paperwork and learning the various rules and regulations that come with dealing with a third party. As a result, it can be cheaper for a patient in a cash-based system to obtain various tests or procedures
- Doctors that take only cash typically charge monthly or annual fees for “unlimited access.”
- The cash-only model allows doctors to spend more time with their patients.
- The main benefit of not billing through the insurance company is that we no longer work for the insurance company, we work for you.
- Putting customers in charge. A big part of the model is price transparency, which puts more control back in the hands of the consumers.
- Practices list membership fees on their website and clearly explain what patients get for their money — no surprise bills when an insurance company says a doctor’s visit wasn’t covered.
Cash-only doctors do still recommend that people buy catastrophic health insurance with high deductibles.