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ACP looks at ethical and other aspects of ‘concierge’ practices

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On your way to your doctor?

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has released a policy ¬†paper on direct patient contracting practices (DPCPs), or “concierge” practices, looking at medical quality, cost, access and workforce.

Medscape noted that key factors in favor of concierge care, according to the ACP, ¬†are that “physicians can spend more time with patients, patients can see their physicians any time they like, and physicians are more satisfied. Factors against the model include the potential of excluding low-income patients, who may not be able to pay the fees up front, and downsizing patient panels at a time when primary care demand is expanding, both of which create ethical considerations.”

“The paper gives some examples of ways to counteract the potential of exclusion, such as waiving the concierge fee for lower-income patients or having a sliding-scale fee.”

“The ACP includes several recommendations for physicians in the new policy paper, including that physicians should consider the patient-centered medical home as a practice model that has been shown to improve physician and patient satisfaction with care, outcomes, and accessibility, and has been shown to lower costs and reduce healthcare disparities.”


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