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Boutique Options Offer Greater Choice in Medical Care
- Model one: The yearly $600–4,200 retainer fee covers some extra services. The physician bills for separate visits and some physicians accept insurance.
- Model two: The yearly $1,500–5,400 retainer fee covers all the patient's costs and the physician doesn't bill insurance or Medicare.
- Model three: Physicians offer a retainer option in their practice.
Equal Care for All?
Do You Want to Make the Switch?
- Learn about the doctor’s experience and credentials.
- Ask if the practice accepts your insurance plan and find out about their billing practices.
- Be cautious of practices trying to have it both ways, with some patients receiving boutique access and others not.
- Look for extra value, such as comprehensive exams and wellness plans.
- Stay within your budget.
American Medical Association http://www.ama-assn.org
United States Department of Health and Human Services http://www.hhs.gov
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca//
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Conway C. Physician ownership of hospitals significantly impacted by health care reform legislation. University of Houston Law Center. http://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/perspectives/2010/%28CC%29%20Stark.pdf . Published April 2010. Accessed September 17, 2012.
Franklin D. Morning rounds: boutique hospitals and health insurers. National Public Radio website. Available at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/07/morning%5Frounds%5Fboutique%5Fhospit.html . Published July 13, 2010. Accessed September 17, 2012.
Silva C. Concierge medicine a mere blip on Medicare radar. amednews.com. 2010 Sept 30. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/09/27/gvse0930.htm. Accessed September 17, 2012.
US ‘boutique medicine’ could threaten care for the majority. Br Med J . 2002 Jan 26;324.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012
- Update Date: 09/17/2012