You all know that I can’t stress enough about the importance of prevention. My motto has always been about being proactive, not reactive or retroactive. In order to maintain optimal health, we need to plan how to implement good habits into our daily lives in order to provide our body with the defenses that it needs in times of stress. I always joke with my patients and say, “Don’t come see me when you are sick.” Sometimes the reaction to this humor is a blank stare, but then again, I know where this comes from. Our society has programmed us to think that we only need doctors when we are sick. This could not be further from the truth. Come see me when you are feeling well too, so that I can help keep you feeling that way. When my patients realize what I truly mean, they often give me a big smile. Not too many doctors cordially invite their patients to visit them on a routine basis.
A great statistic that I want to share with you today comes from an evaluation of concierge patients. The results of this evaluation showed that concierge patients had 61.3% fewer hospitalizations compared with similar patients in commercial insurance plans, and 74% fewer hospitalizations compared with Medicare patients of similar age, gender, and disease risk. Severe hospitalizations could be avoided if patients had greater access and communication with their physicians, according to a an article from Concierge News. This article also states, that “through prevention rather than just treatment alone, concierge medicine will hopefully keep patients out of hospitals and emergency rooms and keep healthcare costs down.” So, the old adage does ring true, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Although concierge medicine has often been associated as a perk for the wealthy, we know this not to be true anymore. More and more concierge practices, like Physician’s Promise, are offering comprehensive healthcare services with 24 hour/365 day coverage with executive style physicals all for around the same cost per day as a large cup of coffee at Starbucks. I’m just really glad that evaluations like these are out there to reassure concierge patients that they are making a great investment in their health and as the studies are starting to show, saving them money in the long run.