Concierge

I’m conflicted about the growing trend for Concierge or Boutique medicine.

It’s clearly something that is valued by some, but how about all the rest of humanity that can’t even pay for bad health insurance? If you haven’t looked at the links, or haven’t heard of it before, the basic idea is you pay out of pocket (no insurance) for premiere healthcare. You have a physician or small group of physicians that you have 24/7 access to via phone, email, text, smoke signal, etc. You will have guaranteed response in minutes if not hours. The response may include a housecall if you’re so inclined.

We have thousands of people in the US without healthcare, and chronic conditions they can do nothing to address. No money to pay for insurance, or a co-pay assuming they did have it. Sure, there are free clinics that the working poor can go to.

Let’s have a quick look at the “free” part of that though: take a day off of work, so you lose a day’s wages (assuming you aren’t fired outright for not being there); spend hours and hours waiting; bring food or be forced to pay for something there; arrange for childcare before, after, or during the normal workday hours; if you’re not seen by the time the clinic closes, you have to return for another “free” visit.

Not looking so free anymore, and that’s just a very quick rundown of obvious costs.

On the other side of the equation, not everyone has running water either. Should those of us with that new-fangled “indoor plumbing” rip it out because our brethren don’t have it?

I keep switching sides on the Concierge approach. It both horrifies and excites me. Man, I wish I could afford it. No! Bad man! A housecall! No! Must. Not. Give. In….

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