A Concierge Medicine Benefit: Cell Phones…Use or Abuse?

Comments Off by in Industry Insights
January 25, 2014

When a potential physician-client contacts Specialdocs to learn more about transitioning to a concierge model, of course many questions are asked. However, one universal query is always part of the conversation…and it revolves around the physician’s cell phone.

One of the hallmarks of a concierge medical practice is that patients receive their physician’s personal cell phone number to ensure they can contact their physician directly at any time,   when there is an important medical issue to be addressed. Physicians always wonder – “Do patients who pay for enrollment in my practice feel entitled to call me at any time of the day or night even with non-urgent matters?”

We have found the opposite to be true. There initially may be a little “kicking of the tires” to see if the physician will actually answer their phone as advertised. However, once a patient realizes that when they make that cell phone call, they do not reach an answering service, a call center or an unknown associate, but rather they hear their own physician’s voice, they have an overwhelming feeling of confidence and security. Additionally, physicians report that because they have a relationship based on mutual respect, patients do not want to “disturb” their physician on a personal cell phone unless it is truly a matter of importance and urgency.

In fact, many of our “Special Docs” report that when it comes to cell phone use, patients often err on the side of conservatism. Many of our doctors have commented that they wish some of their patients would be more proactive about calling their cell rather than waiting until the next business day.

Concierge physicians and patients alike view direct contact via cell phone as an extremely beneficial offering and as an important investment in a patient’s overall health and wellness.