Written by Jeffrey Carr, Senior Vice President of WorldClinic
Embarking on a journey into the realm of healthcare, we find the landscape of concierge medicine evolving at an unprecedented pace. From on-demand retail offerings to bespoke concierge membership models, the surge is propelled by the dual forces of consumer demand and a growing appeal among physicians. As we delve into 2024, here are five compelling trends that promise to redefine the narrative of concierge care.
Key concierge medicine trends to expect in 2024
1. Growing Options: A Plethora of Choices
2024 holds the promise of more organizations embracing membership models, causing the continued expansion of concierge care. Many leading health systems are launching and others gearing up their existing concierge programs to unveil additional expansion of locations, signaling a nationwide increase. From lower-cost retail membership models like One Medical to high-end boutique concierge offerings, both consumers and healthcare providers are set to enjoy a multitude of increased choices.
2. Diverse Models: A Shifting Landscape of Care
In the early days of concierge care, national organizations sought to convert targeted non-concierge physicians into their national or regional umbrella of practices and business models. Under many of those models, the national organization would take a percentage of the annual membership fee paid by the member for practice management functions like billing and marketing. Today, the landscape has evolved. Hospital-employed models are on the rise, providing physicians with an option for a better work-life balance and the stability that comes with employment. With a continued increase in various national concierge networks, physicians and consumers can now choose models that align with their preferences, enhancing patient care through smaller practices, lower patient ratios and deeper physician-patient relationships.
3. Telehealth Integration: A Virtual Transformation Unfolds
The aftermath of Covid-19 has propelled the integration of telehealth into concierge practices. The acceptance of virtual visits, coupled with technological advancements, has led to increased utilization and even adherence to quality measures like accreditation. As we navigate 2024, observing how concierge practices leverage technology, particularly Telehealth, will be paramount in understanding their approach to treating illness, injuries, and promoting longevity.
4. Geographic Expansion: Beyond Coasts and Borders
While concierge care traditionally thrived on the East and West coasts, a shift is underway. The Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Northwest coasts remain robust, but the Rocky Mountain Region, Texas, and pockets of the Midwest are witnessing a rise in concierge practices. With national and global travel gaining momentum, for some consumers the appeal lies in finding on-demand concierge care models that transcend geographical boundaries, catering to the needs of high-net-worth individuals and families wherever they go in the world.
5. The Importance of Ratios: A Balancing Act for Quality Care
Patient-to-physician ratios, often overlooked by consumers, hold the key to understanding the dynamics of concierge practices. From non-concierge practices using more nurse practitioners to membership models with varying physician specialties and physician-to-patient ratios, the landscape is diverse. The importance lies in comprehending these ratios, as they directly impact access, cost, and the levels of care provided.
In the realm of concierge medicine trends, 2024 ushers in a plethora of choices for consumers, employers, and physicians. From membership fees to services offered, the opportunities to compare and receive recommendations are on the rise. As we begin the new year, the evolving landscape promises more options and a nuanced understanding of the pros and cons within the varying tiers of concierge medicine.
About the author
Jeffrey Carr, an accomplished healthcare expert, helped launch and operationalize one of the largest health system concierge models in the US. Currently serving as the Senior Vice President of WorldClinic, the country’s only Telehealth concierge practice, Carr brings a wealth of healthcare experience, including expertise in consumer trends, employer collaboration, hospital operations, mental health initiatives, accreditation processes, and physician collaboration to the market.