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While the number of concierge doctors remains small, it’s growing at a rapid clip. In the U.S., there were about 4,400 private physicians in 2012, a 25% increase from 2011, according to the American Academy of Private Physicians. That’s out of some 600,000 practicing doctors nationwide. At an average of roughly 350 patients per concierge doctor, that means more than 1.5 million Americans are under the care of a physician who provides an additional level of service in exchange for a fee.

Concierge medicine’s perceived advantages will only grow in the coming years, experts say, as the traditional health-care system becomes even more strained. The full implementation of the Affordable Care Act next year is expected to bring more than 20 million formerly uninsured patients into the health-care system through 2022, exacerbating an existing physician shortage.

What’s more, proposed changes to Medicare could cut doctors’ reimbursements, further squeezing their revenue. Concierge doctors make the case that their fee cushions them, and by extension their patients, from these changes looming on the health-care horizon.

The free market working against a bloated bureaucracy which will grow even faster after 0-care is fully implemented.

MDVIP is the country’s largest network of private physicians, with about 560 affiliated doctors and 200,000 patients in more than 40 states and Washington, D.C. The company has reported revenue growth of approximately 20% per year over the past 3 years, according to a spokeswoman. Since 2007, the number of doctors and patients is up 200%, according to CEO Dan Hecht. “The more chaotic it is in health care, the more changes, the more desirable it is to have confidence in the doctor/patient relationship,” Hecht said.
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