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Concierge Medicine: An Elite Prescription for Your Health

Concierge Medicine: An Elite Prescription for Your Health

January 04, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • For a fee, you can get access to often exceptional doctors with relatively small rosters of patients—enabling shorter wait times, longer visits and significantly more-personalized care.
  • Concierge medicine can even address longevity planning—the steps you probably need to take in order to live to age 100 (and beyond) in good health.
  • Technology-enhanced medical care is at the cutting edge of concierge medicine.

At the world’s best hotels, there’s always a concierge on call to give you the best advice and tips for having a great experience—and to get you into the top restaurants, shows, sporting events and other attractions that most people find difficult to access. 

Likewise, the VFO Inner Circle community has a concierge service that offers “skip the line” access to the top resources that can have a big impact on your wealth—and your life.

Well, that concierge service approach has now come to the world of medicine—and it’s giving many top business owners and their families access to state-of-the-art health care that is more efficient, effective and responsive than anything they’ve ever experienced before.

Here’s a look at how you can join them and get the benefits of truly elite health care that could very possibly add many healthy years to your life—and the lives of the people you care about most.

A membership model for advanced health care

It’s been said that a healthy person has 1,000 wishes, but a sick person has only one. And that’s where concierge medicine comes in. 

Concierge medicine is an umbrella term covering a wide variety of health care delivery models. At its core, however, concierge medicine is a membership model: For a fee, you get access to “boutique” medical practices with a relatively small ratio of patients to physicians—enabling shorter wait times, longer visits and significantly more-personalized care given (in many cases) by physicians with greater expertise than the typical provider.

Example: When John engaged a concierge doctor, he went from working with a provider serving 2,400 patients to one who works with a select group of just 300. That, in turn, has enabled him to receive faster and better care—as well as access to top specialists his concierge doctor has partnerships with.

Increasingly, individuals and families with enough wealth are turning to concierge doctors to address their health care needs. One reason, of course, is the ever-growing frustration with the traditional health care model and all it entails—long waits to get in to see a doctor, coupled with short visits that often feel cursory at best and fights back and forth with insurance companies to cover any exams and treatments.

In contrast, concierge practices offer truly independent and comprehensive health care that is tailored to you. The concierge doctors do what the hotel concierge does: provide you with access to the best resources, quickly.

The three models of concierge medical care

Is concierge medicine right for you? It may be, if your health and the health of your loved ones are of paramount importance to you.

To decide, it’s helpful to understand the three basic approaches that concierge medicine offers:

1. Private health advisories. This model supports the more traditional health care approach by providing services such as electronic medical records, access to second opinions and help with complex disease management. The fees for this model may be a few thousand dollars a year or more.

2. Private physician practices. This is essentially a doctor on an annual retainer to provide rapid callbacks and a higher level of personal interaction. The fees for this model run the gamut—from perhaps, $1000 a year to well into the millions if you are Super Rich and want a personalized physician on call just for your family. While having your own high-caliber physician is the optimal model, the costs are generally extreme.

3. Total care platforms. The most comprehensive form of concierge health care for the great majority of people, the total care platform, is the Saleen model of medical care that includes all the services already noted plus a number of additional ones such as custom medical contingency plans and calendared longevity plans. The most compelling and personally tangible additional service these concierge health care providers deliver is immediate routine and emergency tele-diagnosis and treatment. That means you can always get your provider on the phone for a diagnosis. A total care platform fee might start at around $10,000 a year or more.

Why concierge care is in demand

There are four primary reasons you might consider becoming a patient of a concierge medical practice:

  • You need to better deal with a current health care concern for yourself or loved ones. A diagnosis or a set of symptoms has you looking for better options and well-grounded second opinions. You want to rely on physicians who are truly committed to your health and will act as health care advocates for you in dealing with specialists and medical facilities.
  • You are uncomfortable with the quality of the traditional primary medical care that is available. You recognize the considerable limitations of the traditional primary care medical system, and you simply want to make sure you and your family have high-caliber physicians and medical facilities for yourselves whenever the need arises.
  • Your primary care physician is transitioning his or her practice to concierge medicine. More physicians are moving to a concierge approach, driven by the model’s ability to deliver superior patient care. These physicians are antagonistic to “seven-minute” and assembly line medicine. They want to do what they believe is best for their patients—which periodically conflicts with insurance reimbursements, the bureaucracies at hospitals, and the like. If you are a current patient of such a physician, you probably see the value of being a patient of a concierge medical practice.  
  • You want to live a very long and relatively malady-free life and want the same for your loved ones. Advances in medicine are increasingly extending people’s life spans, and this is a trend that is likely to accelerate. Proactively taking steps to live a long life free from illness is referred to as longevity planning. Unfortunately, longevity planning is not characteristic of the traditional health care system. But it is embraced by many concierge medical practices. Longevity planning in many cases is aimed at helping you live to age 100 and even beyond—and stay in good health.

Dan Carlin of WorldClinic

One of the best providers of concierge medicine today is WorldClinic, a medical practice of veteran emergency room and other types of doctors providing proactive, on-demand health management for time-pressured individuals and their families. 

Daniel Carlin, MD, founder and president of WorldClinic, is a pioneer in the field of “total care” medicine. The continuous communication base care model he created includes the patient, his or her medical records, monitoring of chronic problems, formal calendared health planning, and immediate tele-diagnosis and treatment.

The technology that often ties all those things together is the client’s own smartphone. “By providing customized prescription medical kits with 24/7 phone and video access to a team of physicians who have a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s medical situation, we’re able to deliver emergency care that has been proven to save lives time and again,” explains Dr. Carlin. “It’s the combination of the efforts of a lot of people on both sides of the phone, supported by a sophisticated service model that makes this form of tele-medicine so powerful.”

An emerging part of Dr. Carlin’s model is the use of simple, unobtrusive monitors that can be used to track a patient’s vital signs and the behaviors that can improve his or her health. With the smartphone acting as the bridge, the information generated by these devices is tracked by WorldClinic physicians—who can then respond clinically to the patient’s progress, often prescribing new therapies and stopping ineffective ones.

Says Dr. Carlin, “Right now, inside WorldClinic, we are running a small smartphone-based ‘virtual’ clinic for our patients with hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias. The data these monitors generate is far beyond what we would get in an office-based practice. Not surprisingly, our clinical decisions are better, but most important, we see the immediate effect of our management decisions. This is a big deal. In the very near future, we’ll be able to, in real time, monitor and manage a patient’s health status to maximal effect.”

The end result: “The benefit to the patient will be measured not in years but in decades of meaningful life.”

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA / SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through NewEdge Advisors, LLC, a registered investment adviser. NewEdge Advisors, LLC and Congruent Wealth, LLC are separate entities from LPL Financial.

VFO Inner Circle Special Report 

By Russ Alan Prince and John J. Bowen Jr.

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