LOS ANGELES, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SignatureMD, a leading provider of retainer-based, personalized health care in the U.S., announced today "Affordable, Portable, Personalized Care," or APP Care, a program designed to address the needs of the middle class while helping to ensure the future of primary care, private practice physicians.
"The standard concierge medicine program is designed to be exclusive rather than inclusive. Typically, when a doctor converts to a retainer-based practice model, patients are given one choice: pay up or drop out. APP Care ensures that all patients can continue to see their primary care doctor, even if they opt not to join the program," says Matt Jacobson, CEO, SignatureMD.
Those who do join enjoy a suite of services not available under traditional health care including 24/7 email and phone access to their doctor, no-wait doctor appointments, executive-style annual physicals and extended doctor visits.
The average concierge retainer for a doctor affiliated with SignatureMD is $1,650 per patient with substantial discounts for families. Concierge patients keep their insurance policies, which still cover prescriptions, radiological studies, hospitalizations and catastrophic illness. In fact, an average family of four can actually save money with APP Care by adjusting their existing insurance coverage to a plan with a higher deductible and using the savings to pay for the retainer.
"For so many people, the concept of concierge medicine seems elite – designed only for the rich. In reality, the vast majority of our concierge patients are middle class. In an age where the average doctor's appointment is now only 8 minutes, people want a more personalized approach to health care that focuses on long-term prevention of chronic conditions rather than merely the treatment of symptoms," explains Jacobson.
For physicians SignatureMD's APP Care offers a recurring income stream that is not dependent on the vagaries of government and private insurer reimbursements. SignatureMD physicians deliver superior patient care and wellness planning by limiting the size of their practices to no more than 600 patients whereas traditional primary care practices are often saddled with 3,000 or more patients .
"Today's healthcare system leaves physicians as frustrated as patients. It completely changes the dynamics of health care when doctors have the time to focus on each individual patient's short-term and long-term goals. Our concierge plan gives both doctors and patients choices," says Jacobson.