A new national organization has been formed to serve as an advocate and information clearinghouse for practitioners of concierge medicine-a controversial model of patient care that usually requires patients to pay an annual membership fee for such perquisites as customized-care plans and round-the-clock access to doctors.
Officials with the not-for-profit American Society of Concierge Physicians said doctors in about two dozen states offer a form of concierge service but remain a small fraction of all practicing physicians. An association spokeswoman said the group has 26 members, representing "10% to 20%" of doctors involved in concierge services.
John Blanchard, M.D., president and co-founder of the group and founder of Premier Private Physicians, said he expects the number of physicians involved in concierge services to grow dramatically because the model "allows (doctors) to practice medicine the way it was intended to be practiced-with the patient as the focus." The organization scheduled a conference for May 27-28 in Denver.