What is Direct Care Group doing and how distinct is it from concierge medicine? Or more broadly, what is primary care / direct care, and how is it different from concierge medicine?
We frequently receive this question. Since we operate in a relatively new niche within a growing industry many terms are used to refer to our business. The automobile sector was at a comparable point of growth a century earlier and their goods bore several common labels. Motorcycles. Cart cart. Taxi. Driver. Jalopy: Jalopy. It is generally understood that “private , personal, internal combustion transportation machine” is synonymous with each of these terms. Feel free to click on anchor for additional information.
References to concierge medicine in the medical industry include: direct primary care, celebrity medicine, private doctors, personalized medicine, private medicine, elitist-sounding phrases or (as we prefer) direct care. Direct primary care is just another term for concierge medicine (or simply direct care).
Several key attributes include a broad definition of concierge medicine. By any name, it is a format in which: doctors see fewer patients; patient access to a doctor is enhanced in person, by phone or by email; a ‘executive physical’ is included; and patients are charged an annual or monthly fee. Patient benefits consist of a better relationship with their doctor, more preventive medicine including wellness and nutrition, and an enhanced overall well-being as shown by fewer hospital trips. Doctors see an improved lifestyle, ability to concentrate on their craft, and income stability.
There is little to no differentiation or coherent mark identity within the current discussion and nomenclature surrounding the product. There is no requirement for a concierge “premium” package nor is there a simple “entry level” option. There is currently little product development or promotion beyond simple, popular themes. However, as the industry grows, those types of distinctions will become increasingly apparent and dichotomies will evolve.
Currently price is the most easily identifiable differentiator. Independent doctors charge $1,000-$6,000 per patient each year, MDVIP doctors charge $1,500-$2,000 and MD Squared costs about $50,000 each person each year at the high end. Features and advantages appear to some degree to correlate with the spending. But …… but … Those practices are referred indiscriminately to as concierge medicine, primary care, and so on, irrespective of price or offer.