Hospitals Cash in on Concierge Care

Nonprofit hospitals originally created to serve the poor are now offering concierge physician services for annual membership fees exceeding $2000. Critics argue that this trend exacerbates primary care shortages and benefits only the affluent, driving up healthcare costs. Doctors limit their practices to a few hundred patients to provide immediate access and longer visits. Tax-exempt hospitals benefit financially from the concierge model by recruiting and retaining physicians who bring in well-insured patients. Some studies have shown higher costs associated with concierge medicine, but patients value the personalized care and easy access. Hospitals defend the practice, stating that they still provide quality primary care for those who cannot afford concierge services.

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