The Pros and Cons of Concierge Medical Care

Nice article on The Pros and Cons of Concierge Medical Care, mentioning some of our local private internists.


Here is how it begins:

A friend on the Upper East Side who described her long-time primary care physician as “my example of a perfect doctor” recently received a letter from her doctor explaining that due to the increasing number of her patients she was not able to provide each individual with quality time and care. Therefore she was going into a “concierge practice” and charging each family an annual fee, a move that would decrease her patient load, make it possible for her to spend more time with patients, and cover her expenses.

More and more New Yorkers are receiving letters like this, with annual fees ranging from as little as $200 per year up to $25,000 a year. The typical annual fee is about $2,000. Concierge care (also called boutique medicine; membership, retainer or platinum practice; and contract care) is relatively recent: The first such practice in the U.S. was established in 1996; between 2005 and 2010 the number of concierge physicians grew 900 percent. Over the past year the number increased 30 percent, especially in big cities.

Barbara Lovenheim, editor of, had to make this decision when her trusted doctor of 25 years went concierge. Since Barbara and her partner considered her doctor thorough, responsive, and trustworthy—and knew that he was overworked—they decided to pay the fee (a two-for-one of $1,000 each). And since her MD accepts Medicare and other insurance for procedures and does not charge for an annual physical exam, the new fee is affordable and well-worth the improved service.”


Sally Wendkos Olds is the author or coauthor of 11 books and hundreds of articles, many of which deal with physical and emotional issues at different stages of life.