KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Low-Cost Concierge Care, Social Media Among Changes In Practice Of Medicine

News outlets examine trends such as doctors' use of social media to explore medical information and the growth of relatively low-cost concierge medicine, where patients may pay $50 a month for unlimited doctors' visits and calls.

Medscape: Oncologist, Primary Care Physicians Don't Tweet
One in 4 physicians uses social media either daily or multiple times a day to scan or explore medical information, and 14 percent contribute daily, according to a survey of 186 oncologists and 299 primary care physicians. However, the surveyed physicians selectively use social media. For example, only 33 of the 485 total respondents (6.8 percent) use Twitter, which was dwarfed by the 252 (52 percent) who use online physician-only communities such as Sermo, Ozmosis, medical society membership sites, and Medscape Connect (Mulcahy, 12/10).

WBUR: New Trend In Health Insurance: Low-Cost Concierge Medicine
A recent survey of physicians by the consulting firm Accenture found that one in three independent doctors is thinking about no longer accepting health insurance and going into what’s been called concierge care, where they cap the number of patients they see, and patients  -- who pay them as much as $30,000 a year -- get to see the doctor whenever they want. But Bloomberg Businessweek reports that a new trend is emerging: low-cost concierge care, such as Atlas MD, a family practice in Wichita, Kansas, which charges most of its adult patients just $50 dollars a month for unlimited visits, free medical tests, house calls … you even get the doctor’s cell phone number (WBUR, 12/10).

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