Concierge Care: Not Just for the Wealthy

What do you value most in your healthcare? Most people’s care values are shaped by their quality of life and their health and wellness experiences.

Increasingly, patients who seek the “gold standard” in personalized healthcare for themselves and their families choose concierge medicine.

A concierge practice gives patients 24/7 access to a physician, with same-day appointments and minimal wait times. Lab work, x-rays, wound care, preventive care, and referrals to specialists are all managed in a prompt and personal way, at the patient’s convenience.

It’s quite unlike what most people experience in a traditional healthcare setting.

Individualized attention is possible in our practice because our concierge doctors have patient panels that are one-tenth the size of a doctor’s panel in a traditional practice. We give each patient the focused, one-on-one attention they deserve. We’re easily accessible, and we’re trusted advocates for their needs.

But there are still misconceptions about concierge medicine. Perhaps the most familiar: Concierge medicine is “only for the wealthy.”

We want to dispel this myth once and for all.

Quote: Concierge Care: Not Just for the Wealthy

The Cost of Concierge Care

The U.S. healthcare system is broken in terms of what most citizens spend with respect to the treatment they receive. Additionally, there is a bottleneck that delays or prevents patients’ access to their primary care doctors. Concierge medicine is like a “pressure-relief valve,” giving patients a novel way to bypass that bottleneck.

While every practice is unique, a concierge membership typically costs between $2,000 and $5,000 per year — about the annual cost of a cable bill, a five-day-a-week Starbucks routine, or regularly dining out.

Is concierge medicine for people on a limited budget? Probably not. But it’s affordable for many average-income patients. At Signature Healthcare, our members include contractors, teachers, delivery drivers, and others who prioritize their health — and health care — over perhaps an upscale car or golf club membership.

A small patient base means we see far fewer patients in a day; therefore, we have limited insurance billings. To cover our overhead, we must charge an annual fee.

But we also have more time in our day — and at every office visit — to support your health and focus on prevention and wellness. And, yes, we file insurance and work to keep treatments in-network for our patients.

Infographic: Concierge Care: Not Just for the Wealthy

The People We Serve

Concierge care plays a vital role in treating people with complicated health issues, especially those who can’t get the attention or advocacy they need from a traditional medical practice:

  • The aging patient who feels the effects of multiple health conditions over time. A 15-minute office visit at a traditional practice can’t truly address this patient’s issues.We devote one to two hours per visit to each Signature Healthcare patient to understand their needs, discuss their concerns, and answer their questions.
  • The younger patient with a complex medical condition. Primary care doctors are often overwhelmed by the number of patients they see daily. It leaves them little time to fully address complicated cases. They may refer the patient to separate specialists for each issue, but those specialists don’t interact with each other.You’ve got 12 cooks in the kitchen trying to manage the soup, so to speak, which doesn’t always benefit the patient!At Signature Healthcare, we act as quarterbacks to manage our patients’ interactions with specialists. Advocating for our patients helps avoid problems like duplication in their work-up, interactions between medications prescribed by different doctors, and even unnecessary procedures.
  • Super-busy people. Many patients have demanding schedules — an executive at the airport running for a plane to Seattle, a parent managing their preschool-aged kids, a caretaker for aging parents, etc. If one of them suddenly contracts a painful sinus infection, they might wait a week to 10 days for an appointment with a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner, throwing their schedule off entirely. They may even seek a quick solution at an urgent care clinic.But in concierge practice, this is unacceptable. At Signature Healthcare, we evaluate you within 24 hours, deliver a clear diagnosis, and address your pain immediately.
  • Patients with a sentinel event. During a routine checkup, a primary care physician may discover a medical issue and refer the patient to a specialist for further treatment. A busy doctor may not have time to check if the patient ever saw the referred doctor or to learn how it went.But this lack of follow-up could turn a small health issue into a major threat. If the patient hasn’t visited the specialist, they may suffer a catastrophic medical issue that lands them in a hospital, or worse.This scenario is far less likely to happen with a concierge physician. Your Signature Healthcare doctor is always in close contact. We’re familiar with your unique medical history, have the time to listen carefully, follow up on your lab tests and referrals, and advocate on your behalf whenever needed.

Your Concierge Doctor Is the Hub

Picture a bicycle wheel composed of a hub and multiple spokes. If a patient requires several specialists, each specialist is like a spoke in the wheel — they perform separately and not as a team.

Signature Healthcare’s physicians are the central hub, interconnecting specialists to ensure the patient receives safe, high-quality care. Some examples:

  • A specialist inadvertently recommended that one of my patients follow a course of treatment that was inappropriate for them. Reaching out to that practice, I explained the patient’s needs, changing the specialist’s mind about the treatment protocol. Advocacy at this level doesn’t happen within a traditional care practice.
  • In another instance, our patient was taking medication a cardiologist had prescribed. The physician wasn’t aware of the patient’s rheumatologic condition, which the prescription might worsen. I worked with the cardiologist and a rheumatologist to devise a more suitable treatment.

It’s not about overriding other doctors. It’s about connecting the dots around a patient’s needs, advocating for proper treatment, exploring options that move the patient in the right direction, and averting situations that might cause problems.

Concierge Care: A Smart Choice

Signature Healthcare is Charlotte’s premier executive and concierge medicine practice. Knowing that you value quality of life and a long, healthy lifespan, we deliver the gold standard in personalized service that traditional care models can’t.

We’re readily accessible, and we serve as advocates for the patients we treat.

Is it time to schedule a catch-up with your Signature Healthcare physician? We’re here when you need us, and we’d love to hear from you.

A headshot of Dr. Marshall Silverman, a physician at Signature Healthcare.

Dr. Marshall Silverman

Dr. Marshall Silverman, MD, a board-certified internal medicine specialist with over two decades of experience in Charlotte, combines his clinical role with academic pursuits as a clinical associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. His diverse interests span from disc golfing and woodworking to playing the violin and authoring illustrated children’s poetry books, reflecting a unique blend of medical professionalism and creative expression.