A Word on Bipartisanship

Your mother may have told you something like, Never talk about politics or religion at the dinner table. I know mine did and she was assuredly right. These topics are notoriously divisive.

AtlasMD is proud to be an industry leader in the thriving concierge medicine industry. We offer benefits such as more one-on-one time with patients and 24/7 house calls, all for the less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day. It’s easy to see why our business model has garnered support.

However, as Obamacare approaches, a wholesome conversation at the dinner table can quickly escalate into a political debate. Politics are part of life, of course, but I encourage my patients to remember what’s most important — our health and longevity.

It’s opinion and conjecture that keeps us quarreling indefinitely. That’s why I wanted to take time to draw out some non-biased facts in case a less than desirable conflict arises. There is bipartisan agreement in many of the issues surrounding concierge medicine. Here are some facts that can keep people on both sides of the aisle in accord.

1) Concierge medicine can be surprisingly affordable.

There were some initial concierge services that targeted the wealthy — it’s true the service blossomed from a doctor who treated the Seattle Supersonics. However, the annual fee now amounts to roughly $4-5 per day. Middle class families can afford this and there are documented cases of patients choosing more frugal vacations or other budget-cutting measures to partake in this service.

2) A choice is exactly that, a choice.

Someone might accuses you of exacerbating issues like “Silent Flight,” where doctors abandon their traditional practices in fear of worsening conditions like patient flooding and more complex insurance billing. Please, remember that in a free market a consumer deserves a choice in where they buy a service. Regardless of your stance on mandatory insurance and the leverage of fines, people in this country ought to respect the power of choice in purchasing from a legally operating private business. They ought to especially appreciate a private business whose success comes from making people healthier.

3) Concierge medicine benefits both physicians and patients.

At large, concierge physicians routinely report greater job satisfaction because they can practice the way they were trained. I am proud to have the time to really talk to my patients and use my skills to the fullest extent. So you know, I took the Hippocratic Oath before I began practicing medicine. I promised that “I will prevent disease whenever I can, as prevention is preferable to cure.” Frankly, my business allows me to accomplish this, and provide affordable care more effectively.

4.) The industry is a molehill right now, not a mountain.

A common problem with media coverage is that they can blow things out of proportion. A recent study published by the concierge medical group MDVIP in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Managed Care showed that the number of concierge physicians is still relatively small (4,400 in 2012), and has increased 30% over the past year. It’s obvious our industry is growing. But if people accuse you of contributing to some pandemic, this fact is your ally in mitigating an otherwise inflammatory conversation.

The core value of my work is to keep people healthy, so that they can live more enjoyable lives. Of course, life includes arguments. But I want to make sure these arguments are healthy, even centered around topics that ultimately unify us — like who should have won March Madness or what will be this summer’s most exciting Hollywood blockbuster.