Inside this Article:

smiling male doctor and elderly woman

What was once a healthcare model exclusively for the wealthy is becoming a much more popular option for many people in the U.S., including seniors. Learn about concierge medicine in Florida and how it can benefit seniors across the state.

What is Concierge Medicine?

Concierge medicine is a model of healthcare in which the patient pays an upfront monthly or annual membership fee to access unlimited personalized care from a primary care physician.

This could include unlimited in-office or Telehealth visits without copays or charges, 24/7 remote access to a doctor, and referrals to other specialists coordinated by a doctor.

Concierge medicine—sometimes referred to as boutique medicine, concierge care, retainer-based medicine, direct primary care, or platinum practice—allows doctors to keep their patient lists small and therefore offer their patients more personalized care and attention. 

What is the Difference Between Concierge Medicine and Traditional Primary Care?

smiling doctor and elder touching hands

Concierge medicine is different from traditional primary care in several ways. 

First, a doctor’s patient load is much smaller in concierge medicine than in traditional primary care. 

As an example, a traditional primary care physician could see up to 40 patients a day and have a patient panel of up to 4,000 people, whereas a concierge doctor usually sees between 6-10 patients a day and has a patient panel of up to 600 people. 

A primary care physician is normally only able to spend about 15 minutes with a patient, but concierge doctors are able to spend an average of 30-60 minutes with a patient. That is because along with having fewer patients, they also do not have to spend a significant amount of time dealing with insurance or Medicare billing.

Additionally, traditional primary care usually involves co-pays, health insurance plans or Medicare plans, but concierge healthcare does not involve health insurance or copays for standard office visits at all – though regular health insurance is still required for hospital stays, testing, or visits to referred specialists. 

Finally, a traditional primary care doctor is only available during business hours, but concierge doctors are available around the clock via text message, email, phone call, office visit, Telehealth appointment, home visit, or other options depending on the doctor.

How Much Does Concierge Medicine Cost?

The cost of concierge medicine can differ drastically – with yearly fees falling into the wide range of $1,500 to $10,000 a year. 

In Florida, concierge medicine usually ranges between $3,000 and $6,000 per year.

Is Concierge Medicine Covered by Insurance or Medicare?

Concierge healthcare fees are not covered by regular health insurance or Medicare. However, you can still use regular health insurance to pay for certain procedures or prescriptions that are not included in your concierge medicine plan.

What are the Pros and Cons of Concierge Medicine?

doctor doing a home visit to patient

There are both advantages and disadvantages of concierge medicine. It is important to weigh both the pros and cons of concierge medicine to determine if it is right for you.

Benefits of Concierge Medicine

Some of the pros of concierge medicine are as follows:

  • More access to care: Concierge medicine allows patients to schedule same-day or next-day primary care appointments. It also guarantees a patient’s access to primary care around the clock by offering access to the doctor’s direct phone line and messaging systems. 
  • More personalized care: Because a concierge doctor has significantly fewer patients than a traditional primary care doctor, the care they provide is much more personalized. They are able to spend more time with their patients and get to know them and their medical histories more thoroughly.
  • Unlimited primary care visits: By paying a monthly or annual fee for concierge medicine, patients can have unlimited visits or Telehealth appointments with their doctor without co-pays or fees. This is especially helpful—and often cheaper in the long term—for people with certain health or chronic conditions who require many primary care visits. 
  • Convenience: Many concierge healthcare facilities offer certain lab testing and imaging onsite that a patient can go to during their visit. Thus, the patient only has to go to one location to get the tests done that they need. Patients also enjoy the convenience of not having to schedule their appointments months in advance, or wait long periods of time to get their health issues checked. 

Drawbacks of Concierge Medicine

Some of the cons of concierge medicine are as follows:

  • You still need regular health insurance: Concierge medicine does not cover hospital stays, prescriptions, tests, or visits to specialists. Thus, concierge healthcare is not a substitute for regular health insurance.  
  • Cost: Unsurprisingly, boutique healthcare comes at a cost, especially on top of the price of regular health insurance.
  • Fees increase with age: Like some types of insurance, including long-term care insurance, the fees of concierge medicine increase with age. That means the older you are, the more expensive it will be.
  • Some areas do not have many concierge doctors: Many states have plenty of concierge doctors available, especially with this model of healthcare becoming more and more popular. Luckily, Florida has hundreds of concierge doctors available across the state. However, some more rural areas of the country are less likely to have a large number of concierge doctors available, making it a less viable option for some.

Is Concierge Medicine Good for Seniors?

doctor and elderly woman patient

Seniors can benefit greatly from a concierge medicine model.

Certain chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and osteoporosis become more common with age. Therefore, it may be helpful – and more cost effective – for seniors with chronic conditions to invest in a concierge medicine plan so they can access unlimited primary care services whenever they need them.  

Additionally, some seniors with mobility challenges can use concierge medicine to get unlimited remote access to their primary care physician via Telehealth or phone call, without having to leave the house. Similarly, many concierge doctors offer home visits as part of the membership, which is an added layer of convenience for seniors, as well.

How to Decide if Concierge Medicine is Right for You

Concierge medicine could be a good option for you if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Having 24/7 access to a primary care physician is one of your priorities
  • You have a chronic condition that requires frequent medical visits
  • You can afford a monthly or yearly fee on top of the cost of regular health insurance
  • You live in an area where there are numerous concierge doctors available to choose from 

How to Find a Concierge Doctor in Florida

Not all concierge doctors are the same. It is important to research numerous options to find a concierge doctor that best fits your needs and budget.

For example, if leaving the house is difficult for you, look for a concierge doctor that offers home visits or Telehealth appointments.

Some concierge doctors specialize in different age groups, like geriatric concierge medicine. Additionally, some concierge doctors have a more holistic approach, while others have a more traditional approach, so be sure to determine your priorities and values when looking for a concierge doctor. 

Also be sure to inquire about the fees of the concierge medicine membership at each practice and compare your options to see if a plan fits your budget.

Click here for an online directory of concierge doctors in Florida, or consult local experts like Florida Senior Consulting to help you find the best option in Florida. 

Concierge Medicine for Florida Seniors Aging in Place

elderly woman sitting in a lawn chair with daughter

Concierge medicine can be a great option for many Florida seniors. 

Concierge medicine is an especially appealing healthcare option for seniors who choose to age in place in their own homes rather than move to an assisted living facility

Seniors can enjoy a convenient lifestyle filled with more frequent, personalized health care available to them 24/7, even without having to leave the house.

In situations like these, it is always wise to get help from an expert.

Florida Senior Consulting’s team of Aging in Place Consultants are experts in the field of senior care. We can help you determine if concierge medicine is right for you, and help you find the best option for your needs and lifestyle.

We even offer a fully custom Comprehensive Aging in Place Plan, offering seniors personalized guidance, consulting, resources and plans about safely aging at home. 

To get started on your journey of concierge medicine and aging in place, call our experts at (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com.

Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.

Contact Florida Senior Consulting

(800) 969-7176