Fierce Healthcare April 1, 2024
Phil Galewitz, KFF Health News

Nonprofit hospitals created largely to serve the poor are adding concierge physician practices, charging patients annual membership fees of $2,000 or more for easier access to their doctors.

It’s a trend that began decades ago with physician practices. Thousands of doctors have shifted to the concierge model, in which they can increase their income while decreasing their patient load.

Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, University Hospitals in the Cleveland area and Baptist Health in Miami are among the large hospital systems offering concierge physician services. The fees, which can exceed $4,000 a year, are in addition to copayments, deductibles and other charges not paid by patients’ insurance plans.

Critics of concierge medicine say the practice exacerbates primary...

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