Harry M. Walen, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Walen H.; Further Perspectives on Concierge Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:275. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-4-201008170-00019
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(4):275.
TO THE EDITOR:
I read Stillman's Perspective essay (1) with concern. He asserted that very little is known about such “luxury” practices and cites “well-written” articles that question the ethics of those who provide such services. An investigation of the subject reveals data that demand a very different opinion.
A statistical analysis by Applied Quantitative Sciences (Goldman E. MDVIP Hospital Utilization Data, Medicare and Commercial, 2004–2006. In preparation.) has shown that Medicare beneficiaries in such practices have only 56.4% as many hospitalizations as those of matched nonparticipating Medicare beneficiaries, and that commercially insured patients aged 25 to 65 years had 61.5% fewer hospitalizations. The total savings to the country if all 36 million Medicare patients were in such a program would be about $54 billion. Add to this the savings from the population aged 25 to 65 years, and the savings would be vast and would repay the public moneys spent on training internists many times over.
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