Harvard Business Review Is Burning Up Concierge Medicine Blogosphere

In case you missed it, Harvard Business Review (HBR) published a new article about “Patient-Centered Care.”

It’s concerning to concierge medicine, though, mostly since the three writers NEVER MENTION OUR FIELD AT ALL. Brian Powers, Amol S. Navathe and Sachin H. Jain do encourage the medical field at large to take note of the service industry, though. Their points are valid, and worth a read. Although they sound faintly reminiscent of a “rally-the-troops” speech that a CEO gives his employees at the beginning of the fiscal year. It’s impassioned, and sounds well-versed, but it’s not always clear what will ACTUALLY CHANGE.

Another good read that’s highlighted in the article is a post by James Rickert on Health Affairs blog. In his post, he quotes his Editor-in Chief, Susan Dentzer, saying, “It is well established now that one can in fact improve the quality of health care and reduce the costs at the same time.” He then adds that this is the BIG IDEA behind patient-centered care. Later on he summarizes patient-centered care as “a method of care that relies upon effective communication, empathy, and a feeling of partnership between doctor and patient to improve patient care outcomes and satisfaction, to lessen patient symptoms, and to reduce unnecessary costs.”

That could be the wordiest way of saying concierge medicine, without saying concierge medicine.

The troubling part is that concierge medicine is IMPROVING PATIENTS’ HEALTH, and reducing costs. And helping big insurance cut future costs by preventing long-term health problems. And it does this through PATIENT-CENTERED CARE. However, James Rickert’s article also fails to include the terms “concierge medicine” or “direct primary care” anywhere. I thought it would be totally apropos. Guess they both felt otherwise.

Concierge medicine is picking up steam. However, articles like these point out that there are still plenty of mountains to climb.

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