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Hospitals cash in on private equity-backed trend: Concierge physician care

April 30, 2024
Daily Kos
Summary
Nonprofit hospitals, traditionally focused on serving lower-income populations, are increasingly adopting concierge physician practices that charge significant membership fees for enhanced access and personalized care. This trend, exemplified by major hospitals like Northwestern Medicine and Penn Medicine, involves fees that can surpass $4,000 annually, on top of regular healthcare costs. While this model can reduce doctor workload and potentially improve care for wealthier patients, it raises concerns about exacerbating primary care shortages and increasing healthcare inequities, as it limits access to those who can afford the high fees, therefore possibly redirecting resources away from general patient care. Critics argue that this approach not only strains the availability of primary care for the average population but also prioritizes higher-income individuals, hence contradicting the foundational mission of nonprofit hospitals.
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