Why More Vermont Physicians Are Making the Switch to "Concierge" Practices

Some key quotes from this week's issue of Seven Days (a local weekly):

The 59-year-old family practitioner says he was driven more by a desire to regain his “autonomy” as a physician and get back to the basics of why he got into medicine 27 years ago.

“I enjoy caring for my patients, which means being available to them and on call when they’re in trouble or have questions, and I don’t want them to be limited to a 15-minute visit,” she adds. 

Local concierge doctors such as Cunningham say they’re treating a broad demographic of patients and medical conditions. Equally important, she says they’re doing something the Affordable Care Act, and the insurance companies, have yet to accomplish: They’re increasing the quality of care their patients receive while simultaneously controlling costs.

A five-year study of “personalized preventive care,” published last year in the American Journal of Managed Care found significant reductions in patient hospitalizations, elective and nonelective surgeries, and unavoidable admissions. For some patients, especially those on Medicare, the rates were nearly 80 percent lower than those not receiving “managed care.”

I didn't bother to quote some of the classic objections ("...it's only for the rich!"), I'm just glad to see a glimmer of understanding that this a viable and sustainable method for providing some medical care.