Monday, May 12, 2014

Online Firms Bring Concierge Medicine to the Middle Class

Kaiser Health News and Wired recently published a story, "Online Firms Bring Concierge Medicine to the Middle Class".

From the article:
Grand Rounds is one of many healthcare startups bringing on-demand, concierge-like services once reserved for the ultra-rich to the middle class – similar to what tech outfits like Google, Amazon, Uber, and Lyft have done for personal shopping and transportation.

These budding companies offer basic access to medical advice, appointments and other assistance. Some operate regionally, others nationally. Their services and prices vary substantially—but all aim to fill gaps in the existing health care system, in part by using the Internet.

Often they charge monthly or annual subscriptions – say $50 a month or $149 a year for primary care services -- although physical exams, surgeries, and second opinions from specialists can cost more. At Grand Rounds, an online second opinion runs $7500 and an appointment with a specialist is $200.
To the extent that the free market is allowed to operate, these services help bring quality care to willing consumers at a reasonable price.

I'd love to see these services take off (just as I'd like to see companies like Uber thrive).

Here's the official website for Grand Rounds.