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Concierge, or membership medicine, means that patients pay a membership fee to join the practice, and their membership includes all office visits, plus ability to reach their provider 24/7 via phone, text or email. By using the membership model, we are no longer beholden to insurance barriers that dictate your care and require physicians to see an unreasonable number of patients in a day. Concierge medicine lets doctors and patients spend more time together to focus on prevention and overall wellness – not just treatment when you are sick. That’s the way I think medicine should be.
The Concierge medicine model means your primary care visits with your provider are covered through your annual fee. We work in partnership directly with you, and you use your insurance for needs outside of your primary care, such as for visits with specialists or hospitalization, if required. You also may be able to submit your membership fees to your HSA (all plans vary, so check with your administrator.) In some cases, we can provide an itemized receipt for you to submit to your insurance for out-of-network benefits. Some patients pair their concierge medicine membership with a high deductible/lower premium health insurance plan to help lower their overall out-of-pocket costs and see continued health savings.
Health insurance is important, and we absolutely recommend that patients have health insurance to help cover medical expenses, especially for specialty care and hospitalization. But the truth is, the out-of-pocket costs for patients are increasing year over year. Many patients – especially those with high deductible plans—never reach their deductible in a given year and essentially pay completely out-of-pocket for their care. However, these patients are still being cared for in an outdated and under-equipped model of traditional primary care. Today’s traditional, insurance-based, medical model works against patients. Doctors are expected to see 26 – 28 patients in a day, resulting in minimal time with each patient – the average visit? Just 10 – 15 minutes with their doctor. That’s barely enough time to address immediate health needs let alone focus on prevention and overall wellness. In fact, doctors are actually financially penalized when they do spend time providing preventative health care because more time with individual patients means seeing fewer patients per day.
Your concierge membership fee includes the cost of all your visits, and it takes out the middleman (health insurance). That means I am reachable 24/7 (through cell phone, email or text), same-day (or next business day) urgent appointments, little to no time in the waiting room, and more time together at every appointment (30 minutes to an hour). Plus, more time together means we can focus on areas that tend to be neglected in traditional primary care, like preventative measures, sexual health, cancer risk and more.
Membership in Lisa Larkin, MD, and Associates or Ms.Medicine is not considered insurance as recognized by the Affordable Care Act. In fact, we highly recommend that patients carry health insurance for services not covered under your primary care membership, such as visits with specialists or hospitalization. Many patients pair their membership with higher deductible insurance plans to reduce their total annual out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
Call us at 513.760.5511 to schedule.
Patients commit to an initial 6-month membership contract, and after that, you may choose to pay monthly, semi-annually or annually.
We would encourage you to consider the amount of money you’ll spend out-of-pocket in an average year for your healthcare needs. Also consider if you’re getting the kind of access, timeliness and care you want from your provider. Do you have chronic illness, a family history of illness or concerns about your health that you have not discussed with your primary care provider? Do you feel like you’re getting expert advice about preventative measures you should take to reduce your risk of illness? Does your doctor address issues such as sexual health, menopause, bone health, and cancer risk with you? Sometimes, the money you spend to prevent illness results in money saved should you become sick down the road and require extensive or long-term treatment. In fact, academic studies have shown that patients who belonged to a concierge practice had fewer emergency department visits and fewer in-patient admissions than those who did not. Good insurance coverage doesn’t always translate to excellent care.
Our providers have always had a special interest in women’s health in our internal medicine practice. Ms.Medicine is the first national concierge primary care model designed to address the complex medical needs of women (however, we do also see male patients.) Our physicians have received additional specialty training in women’s health, and our practices provide a level of care that addresses women’s unique needs, especially in areas such as menopause, bone health, breast cancer risk assessment, cancer survivorship and sexual health.