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Rise Of Concierge Healthcare – The Right Investment?
21 September 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as longer-term trends such as ageing populations have put healthcare front and centre of concerns for many HNW individuals and their advisors. The field known as “concierge healthcare” is a growing one. Fuelled by the realisation of how fragile good health can be and the drive to enhance immunity amid the pandemic, this surge is showing no signs of slowing and the market size is expected to reach $1.93 trillion by 2025. In addition, for those starting to travel again, whether that be for business or pleasure, then concierge healthcare could be a timely investment. With the emergence of new variants, uncertainty around border restrictions and the varying success of vaccination rollouts across the globe, there is still a great deal of risk involved.
In this article, Annabelle Neame, director of business development, HCA UK Concierge Centre, considers the field of concierge medicine, referring to eye-catching statistics on the way. The editors hope readers find this article valuable and invite insights. The usual editorial disclaimers apply. To comment and respond, email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Concierge healthcare, which offers personalised medical services and direct access to physicians, has boomed during the pandemic. In fact, such doctors saw a 21 per cent rise in new patients during 2020.
The ongoing pandemic has undoubtedly triggered one of the most disruptive periods on record for the healthcare sector which has had a significant impact on traditional primary care practices. Whilst physicians adapted at pace, shifting to telemedicine and online appointments, many elective procedures and routine examinations were postponed. Today, the number of people on England’s NHS hospital waiting list has exceeded five million for the first time.
Amid this backdrop, it is unsurprising that interest in concierge medical services continues to grow. However, whilst the past 18 months have highlighted the importance of having access to top class healthcare practitioners, there are key factors to consider before deciding whether it is the right investment for you.
The key benefit of concierge healthcare services is that they provide a single point of contact. Rather than having calls fielded by administrators or having to wait months to see a specific doctor, concierge healthcare provides direct access to healthcare practitioners; it should make it easier to get high quality medical care, often providing same-day appointments or the ability to text and video chat. For example, at HCA UK our Rapid Response Referral responds to requests for complex healthcare support within two hours, ensuring that patients receive a seamless service, removing the stressful and time-consuming process of finding and arranging their own healthcare.
Moreover, concierge healthcare offers the certainty of remaining under the care of, and having around-the-clock access to, the same physician allowing patients to become familiar and comfortable with their doctor. This increased familiarity not only helps to reassure patients that they will receive the care they need, exactly when they need it, but it also makes it easier for practitioners to provide preventative care to help stop individuals from falling ill in the first place.
Typically, we have seen older patients with multiple chronic conditions benefit from concierge healthcare services. However, the benefits of a more personalised approach to healthcare also ring true for younger generations, especially for those with a complicated medical background requiring more than a standard 15-minute appointment to address all their concerns with their doctor.
Having the right concierge provider is key when repatriation is a requirement as it’s not something all concierges are equipped to handle, with many focusing on lifestyle enhancements over medical expertise and experience. For international travel clients should consider a concierge healthcare provider that is fully equipped to navigate the additional challenges of providing emergency cross-border healthcare and arranging ICU-to-ICU transfers all over the world.
However, despite the benefits for individuals if they experience trauma or are ill overseas requiring a transfer to the UK for medical treatment, concierge medicine may not be the right investment for everyone. For one, it can be expensive and, in many instances, the associated costs can be prohibitive. As a result, it might not be the most practical investment for younger patients or those without complex health conditions who require considerable medical attention. For example, people who are typically healthy and only visit a doctor once or twice a year may be suited to a more traditional healthcare practice.
As with any investment, the key factor to consider here is the initial financial outlay versus return. Those who don’t need to see a doctor regularly are not going to make the most of their investment. Moreover, additional costs for specialist consultations, prescriptions and hospital visits may not be covered by the service and, depending on locality, concierge options may be limited.
Therefore, review their credentials carefully and make sure that any concierge healthcare service aligns with your anticipated level of support before committing. At the end of the day, you will be trusting them to direct your healthcare.
Ultimately, the pandemic has overhauled the landscape for patient care. Individuals are now much more preoccupied by their health and are increasingly seeking out ways to establish a strong and long-term connection with their doctor.
Through providing uninterrupted, direct access to a physician and offering a more holistic approach to patient treatment, concierge medicine is rapidly becoming the answer to individuals across the globe. Therefore, whilst typically perceived as a luxury amenity, the narrative has started to shift, with many considering it as an essential. However, whilst many are expecting to see the demand for concierge practices outlast the pandemic, it has to be the right investment for you, your health needs and your finances.
The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as longer-term trends such as ageing populations have put healthcare front and centre of concerns for many HNW individuals and their advisors. The field known as “concierge healthcare” is a growing one.
Fuelled by the realisation of how fragile good health can be and the drive to enhance immunity amid the pandemic, this surge is showing no signs of slowing and the market size is expected to reach $1.93 trillion by 2025.
In addition, for those starting to travel again, whether that be for business or pleasure, then concierge healthcare could be a timely investment. With the emergence of new variants, uncertainty around border restrictions and the varying success of vaccination rollouts across the globe, there is still a great deal of risk involved.