Friday, March 19, 2010

Concierge Cardiology

Concierge medicine is not just for internal medicine or primary care any more, it seems the concept is starting to take hold in cardiology, too:
Starting April 1, patients at Pacific Heart Institute can choose one of four plans for care. In the first option, they pay no "participation fee." In the next, called "Select," they pay $500 a year for priority appointments, warfarin adjustments, defibrillator and pacemaker follow-up, notification of non-urgent lab, and test results, according to Pacific Heart Institute.

In the third, called "Premier," they pay $1,800, for everything in "Select," plus e-mail communication with their doctor, same-day visits during regular office hours, priority lab testing and scheduling of diagnostics, free attendance at speaker seminars on cardiovascular issues, and a dedicated phone line to reach an institute nurse.

In the fourth, "Concierge," they pay $7,500 for everything in "Premier," plus direct 24-hour access to a cardiologist via pager, e-mail, text message, plus the patient's PHI cardiologist's personal cell phone, annual personalized cardiovascular wellness screening, night and weekend access to a PHI cardiologist for hospital or emergency services, (regardless of whether he or she is on call) same-day visits with the cardiologist, evening and weekend office appointments and personal calls from the cardiologist.


The Happy Hospitalist said...

Beautiful. Who says specialists can't run a concierge practice.

Anonymous said...

the cardiologists there don't go on vacation?
what is this 24 hour access thing? don't they have 24 hour access already?

Anonymous said...

Dr Wes, can you explain how this house vote and recon is going to affect doctors? I note that in a MSNBC article they say they'll increase primary care reimbursments for MediCAl to that of Medicare in 2013,so are they leaving specialists, proceduralists out of this deal? where would the Primary refer the patient if specialits don't take the MediCAL? Would this reform have impact on doctors pay? Insur, Drug companies, Hospitals all seem Ok with it's passage.

Danimal said...

Is that a bad thing? As a patient I have no problem with that. You guys deserve to make a living too, and it's not going to come from insurance, that's for sure.

#1 Dinosaur said...

Hmm; $7500 a year to be at someone's beck and call, 24/7/365 with no call coverage/vacation exceptions? Isn't that something like Eliot Spitzer's arrangement? Far more lucrative, though.

What happens if you're on the phone with one Concierge customer (sorry; you're no longer talking about a "patient", if defined as someone who needs medical care instead of just someone who wants it) and another one calls?

Anonymous said...

Having worked in this geographic area, I can tell you that $7500 would not be enough to compensate for the numerous calls and visits from some of their clientele.