As health care trends lean toward a consumer-driven approach, many physicians are finding that concierge service may be the best way to keep their practices afloat. Rob Marsh, a Middlebrook, Virginia physician, has found that setting up a clinic in a busy truck stop for drivers in need of medical assistance an effective method for creating business that meets the demands of the market while proving lucative for himself.
Marsh's approach to health care finds him serving patients well into the evening, fulfilling the needs of patients who are on the road all day. He has essentially taken the concierge medicine model and made it mobile, offering home visits in the local community as well as convenient drop-in service at the truck stop for flu shots, mandated drug testing and physical exams. Health care trends indicate that as peoples' lifestyles continue to get busier, the need for quick and convenient health care like the kind Marsh is providing will be increasingly necessary.
Consumers are not only opting for convenience when choosing clinics and on-the-go physician practices, they are also seeking innovative health care plans as well. In fact, consumer-driven health care plans are not just on the rise but growing rapidly. In 2014, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reported that 67 percent of individuals opting for consumer-driven plans reported high satisfaction these plans and a willingness to recommend them to friends and family.
Health care trends further indicate that a radical overhaul of the customer service model is needed. Health insurance plans that allow customers to bypass insurance companies, avoiding high-deductibles using pre-funded payment models, are gaining popularity. On-the-go clinics that provide discounts for cash payments, whether in truck stops or local communities, may become the preferred option for people seeking protection against rising health care costs.
In the past, hospitals and physician's offices considered an insurance company as the primary customer. In recent years, health care trends show that the model is changing so that the patient is the primary customer and top priority. Many patients feel more comfortable with consumer-driven plans and concierge medicine models, as the spending power is in the hands of the consumer.
As a result, health care trends indicate that consumer-driven plans may be causing insurance providers to offer more competitive rates, due in part to the Affordable Care Act. Many insurance companies are bypassing employers and offering health care coverage directly to consumers just to remain competitive.
The innovative practice and services Marsh offers to on-the-road truckers may become commonplace and one of the most popular health care trends. Medical facilities are increasingly recognizing the need to ramp up their customer service, especially in a day and age where consumers have choices and seek the most affordable and convenient solution to medical care.
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