Concierge Nursing: 6 Things Patients Need To Know

127
Female healthcare worker filling in a form with a senior woman during a home health visit

Being admitted to a hospital, whether due to a medical condition or an accident, can be pretty unnerving. You’re worried about what will happen next or where you’ll go from there. There’s also concern about your finances and, more importantly, whether you’ll be able to recover quickly. Simply put, when it comes to being hospitalized, there is a lot to process.

Fortunately, hospitals nowadays are well-equipped to help every patient recover. If you are the patient, you can put your mind at ease because doctors, nurses, and all other healthcare providers will prioritize your health and well-being above all else while you under their care in the facility.

However, what’s going to happen once you get discharged from the hospital? Will you be able to get the same level of care and treatment from your caregiver at home?  

The quick answer is yes.

Post-operative and post-hospitalization care is readily available and accessible for everyone.  And there are numerous ways to do so-from your family and friends as primary caregivers, doctor follow-up visits and treatments to online consultations. It’s only a matter of knowing which ones to choose to increase your chances of recovery.

Various medical service models are currently used in both inpatient and outpatient care. Traditional and concierge nursing, also known as direct primary care (DPC), are the two most common models of care delivery. 

What is the Traditional Model of Patient Care?

The traditional patient care model is the classic, reactionary, and ‘as needed’ method of healthcare delivery. In simpler words, it is the typical ‘I’m sick, so I’ll go see my doctor’ approach. The patient acts as a consumer, receiving advice or guidance from his or her physician focused on the patient’s current diagnosis.

Moreover, since the traditional model is reactive—that is, the patient only sees their doctor when they’re feeling unwell—the subsequent and associated treatments that they will receive will be based on their existing health insurance policy. This means that everything not covered by their insurance provider will have to be paid for separately.

Patients who are having financial difficulties may not have as much freedom in selecting the doctor who will treat them. As a result, scheduling an appointment with a doctor who’s accredited by their insurance provider can be difficult and time-consuming. The patients tend to be waitlisted, making immediate care quite impossible.

What is Concierge Nursing?

Concierge nursing, also known as direct primary care (DPC), is a type of medical service that aims to provide patients with individualized and holistic care. It is the opposite of the traditional model, which is restrictive and dependent on a patient’s health insurance policy.

Concierge nursing, in contrast to the traditional model’s reactive approach, is more proactive in the sense that the patient buys into the practitioner’s service. Instead of being a consumer, the patient participates in the discussion of the course of treatment and care delivery. The on-demand feature allows for a focused and tailored checkup, a detailed assessment and diagnosis, and treatment for clients who choose this type of service.

The rise of concierge medical services serves as a fix to the ongoing problem among medical practitioners concerning government- and insurance-provider-mandated protocols that make healthcare rigid and impersonal.

Is Concierge Nursing the better option?

While the traditional healthcare model has been tried and tested, the benefits of concierge nursing should not go unnoticed. Here are some of the key points that patients should be aware of about this new approach of care delivery.

1Concierge Nursing Is Patient-Centric

As previously mentioned, the traditional model is mainly dependent on the patient’s current condition. This implies that the patient’s control over their treatment options is limited and restricted. The same may be said of their doctors, as both are constrained in some way.

Furthermore, because traditional care is dependent on the patient’s insurance policy, comprehensive care and facilitation are sometimes overlooked. This could be because doctors’ insurance reimbursements are based on the number of patients seen in a specific timeframe. As a result, some doctors may tend to rush appointments to accommodate more patients. Thus, doctor-patient relationships are not fully established.

In contrast, concierge nursing provides patients with a more personalized and focused patient experience. It is also not dependent on their insurance coverage. Hence, doctors are also not limited by any insurance protocols and restrictions.  Registered concierge nurses are trained to provide and oversee this personalized care delivery whether in-home or in-facility. Concierge nurses could be self-employed individuals or affiliated with companies like Luxe Concierge Nursing. These companies can customize their services depending on the patient’s condition, other needs aside from medical-related and also take into consideration your budget. 

What makes this model also unique is that patient assistance goes beyond the walls of the hospital. Even post-hospitalization, the concierge nurse can attend to other needs on top of their ad hoc responsibilities. 

2Concierge Nursing Is Round-The-Clock

The phase of patient recovery is critical. Because the body is still not working normally, recovery must be accompanied by attentive and immediate assistance.

This is why having a 24-hour option for patients, particularly outpatients whose recovery process can be highly unpredictable, is critical. Concierge nurses are well-equipped to deliver this type of on-demand care.

Furthermore, patients often feel that they are a burden to their families and friends. While it is okay to seek assistance from family on occasion, knowing how much their recovery process is impacting them can have a negative effect on the patient’s mental health.  With concierge nursing, designated nurses can relieve or perhaps take over the responsibility of caring for them till they have made a full recovery.

3Concierge Nursing Can Educate Patients And Their Families

The recovery process is the first step towards regaining normalcy in the patients’ lives. For some, it may take time and will require their family members and friends to continuously provide care and support post-hospitalization.

Concierge nurses are capable of educating those around the patient to provide a safe environment and guide them on the do’s and don’ts. Concierge nurses can also facilitate family group discussions, which can also be done with the patient.

Furthermore, friends and family members can seek advice and ideas on how to assist the patient in their recovery. This is important because patients must feel that they are not being singled out because of their condition.

4Concierge Nursing Can Provide Post-Op Travel Assistance 

Post-operation travelling can be difficult for medical personnel and frightening for patients and their families. After all, a lot of things can happen outside the hospital.

That said, concierge nurses can assist patients with post-op travel arrangements. They can arrange for equipment such as wheelchairs and nebulizers, among other things. This ensures that patients and family members are at ease and the patient returns home safely.

Family members can coordinate ahead of time with the concierge nurse to ensure a safe and well-planned journey.

Concierge nurses are trained in aviation physiology or flight physiology, so they understand the impacts of flying on the patient’s condition. This is especially important for patients who must take a flight home. They also make as good travel companions for patients who want to embark on a trip as part of their rehabilitation.

5Concierge Nurses Can Communicate With The Patient’s Healthcare Provider

Having to talk to doctors or sticking to scheduled appointments can be difficult at times, especially while patients are recuperating.

Concierge nurses can assist doctors in communicating with patients and relaying essential information. They can simplify medical terms so patients and their families easily understand the situation and what needs to be done. 

This can be more beneficial because both doctors and concierge nurses are professionally trained and speak the same language, making communication between the parties easier. This also fosters trust and confidence, which improves the doctor-patient relationship.

Aside from representing the patient, concierge nurses can sometimes “stand-in” for doctors. They can perform a variety of medical procedures that do not need to be signed off by a doctor. This includes but is not limited to general assessments, nursing diagnoses, and simple treatment plans. 

This can save patients’ time and physical effort, especially if travelling is troublesome for them. After all, the patient’s experience is important.

6Concierge Nursing Is Separate From The Patient’s Insurance Policy

One pressing challenge when it comes to healthcare is finances. Indeed, healthcare can be, at most times, expensive. That’s why a lot of people opt for having health insurance, to ensure that they get the medical assistance when they need it. 

In the US alone, 67.5% are privately insured while 20.5% of the population are publicly covered by their policy, based on a 2020 survey of the National Health Interview Survey. This implies that more than half of the population are aware of how important healthcare is. 

It is important to note that a concierge nursing service is not part of an insurance policy. Concierge nurses are not permitted to submit claims in place of the patients. Although concierge nurses can provide a superbill, this does not guarantee that the patient’s insurance provider would cover them.

Although the additional expense of using a concierge nursing service may appear discouraging, the value-added component of focused and personalized patient care is worth every penny. For one thing, the existing healthcare model is inherently constrained, thus additional costs may be inevitable.

Takeaway

Concierge nursing services is an excellent choice to get that unique, and personalized care. Recovery can sometimes make people queasy and anxious, but getting a more focused care delivery care can relieve some of those negative feelings. Especially for post-hospitalization, it doesn’t have to be a problem for the patient and their families.