The Active Living Concierge Community offers a unique blend of home ownership which is preferred by most consumers and a health care delivery system known as ConciergeMedicine .
The ConciergeMedicine concept has been tested and well-received in focus groups. It will be comprised of three critical components:
- Access to nearby health care facilities
- Navigation via personalized hands-on care
- A Physician and Nurse on call 24/7
We envision the physician’s office will be either on site or in close proximity to the planned community.
Nationwide, only twenty percent (20%) of the age and income qualified households move to the typical Life Plan Communities that include independent living, common areas and amenities as well as health related services such as assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and nursing care. The number one reason Residents move to Life Plan Communities is for future care of self or spouse in an on-site health center. However, the younger Boomer generation want to own their homes (not pay a non-refundable entrance fee in most Life Plan Communities and they do not want see health care on site. An Active Living Concierge Community answers both concerns..
The reasons only 20% of the age and income qualified households move into Life Plan Communities are due to several factors:
- Most offer non-refundable entrance fees.
- Monthly service fees often include meals and services the residents may not want or may not participate in.
- Most are managed by professionals that come from a health care/nursing home background.
- A large percent of the ‘activities’ are geared towards older, less active adults.
- On site health care reminds many residents of pending health decline.
History and Appeal of Concierge Medicine
ConciergeMedicine , also known as personalized medicine, retainer-fee practice, direct care, membership medicine or boutique medicine, began in 1996 when a Seattle doctor decided to ask his patients to pay a flat fee-or retainer-in exchange for what he called “highly attentive medicine”. This allowed him to not have to rely on fees-for-service that were regulated by insurance companies. Basically, it’s a system where patients pay an added fee in exchange for more personalized care and better access to their doctors. Doctors carry less of a patient load in return. Currently, only 30 percent of all physicians in the United States practice primary care and are being replaced with new physicians going into specialty care. Fifty years ago, 70 percent of physicians practiced primary care.
The benefits of ConciergeMedicine are many. In a traditional practice, physicians are trying to manage 2000 – 2500 patients on average. This means they are seeing on average one patient every 10 –15 minutes with an average visit of 1.6 times a year. Insurance reimbursements are such that doctors have to see a high number of patients in order to make ends meet. During these visits, the patient may feel like the doctor is rushed and the experience may seem very impersonal. In a concierge practice, the physician will keep its patient count to under 500. In most cases, 300 is the minimum and depending on staffing, may go up to 600. In this type of practice, the doctor spends an average of 35 minutes per visit with patients averaging about 4 visits per year. In addition, a concierge practice will offer specialized services like guaranteed same day visits, 24-hour access to the doctor, short waiting room times, phone, email, texting options and sometimes even house calls.
Another benefit of ConciergeMedicine is the trust factor that is developed between the doctor and patient. The longer visits with the physician create more personalized attention allowing for a more thorough exam and can even help with preventative health care. In a traditional practice, it is built for the physician – the schedule was set for the physician, the parking places were set for the physician and the access was not direct. In a concierge practice, everything is centered around the patient. The patient has direct access 24/7. Efforts are made to enhance the patient experience the moment the patient walks through the door. In a recent survey, 90 percent of concierge patients were satisfied with their care compared with about 67 percent in traditional healthcare. And almost all – 97 percent – think their doctors take a personal interest in their health care, more than a third higher than those in a regular practice.
So how does the financial model work? ConciergeMedicine is based on a membership model, where the concierge physician receives a monthly or annual fee to subsidize amenities not offered in most primary care offices. In addition, the concierge practice may bill the insurance company or Medicare for billable events, such as bronchitis, etc. Some concierge practices charge a higher retainer fee with no billing for anything. Since people have to have insurance any way for specialty care and hospitalization, some practices think it makes sense to have a lower retainer fee and utilize the patient’s insurance as well. Retainer fees can range anywhere from $1,800/year to $18,000/ year. The retainer fee financial model helps concierge practices generate more income than many standard primary care practices. If the patients are paying annual retainer fees, the physician does not have to see 20 or 25 patients per day to cover overhead and generate income.
ConciergeMedicine practices work hard to deliver an excellent patient experience. Some practices offer drinks and comfortable lounge areas, called greeting rooms instead of waiting rooms. Some offer valet parking. In addition, good concierge practices not only offer great primary care, but excellent care coordination and preventative health care as well. Time is a precious commodity and the more time the doctor has with the patient, the more satisfying the experience. It should come as no surprise, then, that the number of Americans signing up forConciergeMedicine services is surging. People ages 50 plus make up most of the clientele for these practices, which tend to be concentrated in states that have a higher number of older adults. The desire for ConciergeMedicine is growing daily due to the many benefits and its focus on patient-centered care resulting in a much better overall experience.Contact Bobby Sumner Consulting to learn more about our ConciergeMedicine concept and product. It may be just the answer you’re looking for your Active Adult Community.
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