Healthcare Leaders Worry That Boutique Medicine Will Exacerbate Physician Shortage

More physicians are moving into boutique practice, in which patients pay an annual fee on top of insurance in exchange for more personal care and better access to their physicians, according to a Boston Globe report.

According to a survey commissioned by a congressional agency last year, there were 756 concierge physicians in the country, an increase of 610 since 2006. By choosing boutique practice, physicians generally shrink their workloads and collect compensation in the form of the annual fee, which offsets losses from decreased case volume. The move to concierge medicine is driven in part by decreasing reimbursement and the necessity of long hours, according to the report.

Some healthcare leaders worry that more physicians will choose boutique medicine as reimbursement drops. When one physician moves to boutique practice, hundreds of patients are left without a physician — a problem considering the already existing shortage of providers.

Read the Boston Globe report on boutique medicine.

Read more on concierge medicine:

-Concierge Medicine Could Create "Insurance Caste System," Critics Say

-Physicians Rethink Traditional Practice, Consider Hospital Employment in Increasing Numbers

-5 Questions to Ask When Considering Concierge Medicine

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