The Velvet Rope Economy: The Doctor can be In. Co-Pay? $40,000.

Not to be outdone, Lenox Hill Hospital in fresh York recently hired a veteran of Louis Vuitton along with also Nordstrom, Joe Leggio, to create an atmosphere that will would likely remind V.I.P. patients of visiting a luxury boutique or hotel, not a hospital. “This kind of can be something that will patients asked for, along with also we want to go coming from three-star service to several-star service,” said Mr. Leggio, the hospital’s director of patient along with also customer experience.

In its maternity ward, the Park Avenue Suite costs $2,400 per night, twice what a deluxe suite at the Carlyle Hotel down the street commands, however that will’s not a problem for well-heeled fresh parents. Beyoncé along with also Jay Z welcomed their baby, Blue Ivy, into the entire world at Lenox Hill, as did Chelsea Clinton along with also her husband, along with also Simon Cowell along with also his girlfriend.

which has a separate sitting room for family members, a kitchenette along with also a full wardrobe closet, the suite overlooking Park Avenue can be a world away coming from the semiprivate experience upstairs at the hospital, where families share an old-fashioned room divided by a curtain. Slightly less exalted however still private rooms in Lenox Hill’s maternity ward range coming from $630 to $1,700 per night.

As the stream of celebrity couples suggests, there can be plenty of demand for these upscale options, crowding out traditional maternity wards. Lenox Hill can be replacing some of its shared maternity rooms with private rooms, a far more profitable offering for hospitals since patients pay for them out of pocket, not through insurance plans that will can bargain down rates.

Hospital executives argue that will giving the well heeled extra attention can be a way of keeping the lights on along with also providing care for ordinary middle- along with also even upper-middle-class patients, as reimbursements coming from private insurers along with also the federal government shrink. “I need to succeed to pay for the children we are bringing in coming from all over the entire world along with also treat for free,” said Dr. Angelo Acquista, a veteran pulmonologist who leads Lenox Hill’s executive health along with also international outreach programs.

Then there are the red blankets that will some big Stanford benefactors receive when they check in as patients. For doctors along with also nurses, This kind of can be a quiet sign of these donors’ special status, which can be also noted in their medical records.

“You don’t get better care,” Dr. Jones said. “however maybe the dean comes by, along with also if This kind of’s done well, This kind of’s done invisibly. This kind of’s an acknowledgment of a contribution to the organization.”

Valuing Relationships

Rex Chiu, an internist with Private Medical in Menlo Park, spent more than a decade as a doctor on Stanford’s faculty. “I loved my time at Stanford, however I was spending less along with also less time with patients,” he said. “Fifteen or 20 minutes a year with each patient isn’t enough.”

“We all say we should get the same care, however I got sick along with also tired of waiting for that will to happen,” he added. “I decided to go for quality, not quantity.”

Besides more money, the calmer pace of high-end concierge medicine can be also a major selling point for physicians — Dr. Matles said he never made This kind of to an event at his children’s school until he joined MD Squared. however for Dr. Sarah Greene, This kind of wasn’t genuinely the money or the lifestyle that will led her to Private Medical.

“I genuinely have time to think about my patients when they’re not in front of me,” said Dr. Greene, a pediatrician who joined the company’s Los Angeles practice in October. “I may spend a morning researching along with also emailing specialists for one patient. Before, I had to see 10 patients in a morning, along with also could never spend that will kind of time on one case.”

Getting from the door as a fresh hire isn’t easy. When This kind of comes to credentials like college, medical school along with also residency, Dr. Shlain said, “at least two out of the three need to be Ivy League, or Ivy League-esque.”

In many ways, today’s elite concierge physician provides the same service as the family doctor did a half-century ago for millions of Americans, except that will This kind of can be reserved for the tiny sliver of the population who can pay tens of thousands of dollars annually for This kind of.

“I didn’t know This kind of level of care was possible,” said Trevor Traina, a serial entrepreneur here who can be a patient of Dr. Shlain’s. “I have a better relationship with my veterinarian than the doctors I went to from the past.”

What about everyone else? Mr. Traina doesn’t see much future for the conventional family doctor, except for patients who go the concierge route.

“The traditional design of having a Great internist can be dying,” said Mr. Traina, a scion of a prominent family here that will arrived with the California Gold Rush. “Even the 25-year-olds at my company either have some form of concierge doc, or they’ll just go to an H.M.O. or a walk-in clinic. No one here includes a regular doctor anymore.”

Photo

A CityMD walk-in urgent care facility in Queens.

Credit
Leslie dela Vega/The fresh York Times

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The Velvet Rope Economy: The Doctor can be In. Co-Pay? $40,000.

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