Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “concierge” practice?
A concierge practice, also referred to as “personal care,” is a more direct form of care that re-establishes the physician-patient relationship that is so important in the delivery of healthcare. In this model, the typical doctor cares for a limited number of children, usually between 400 and 600, rather than the usual panel of 2,000 to 3,000 or more in the traditional pediatric practice. This allows the doctor to provide more personal service and better care with the convenience for families of unlimited access to their doctor, including out of office care, such as when you are on vacation.
What services are provided?
All children will receive the standard schedule of well-child visits based on the periodicity schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition, children will be seen for minor, acute care visits, some medical procedures, diagnosis and treatment of school performance problems, mental health conditions and chronic illnesses. There is a special emphasis on preventive care and identification of risk factors for preventable and treatable diseases such as obesity, asthma and allergies. ICON Pediatrics also offers unique services such as Cogmed, an evidence-based program that improves working memory in children with ADD/ADHD and other school performance problems.
How does the program work?
Concierge practices require parents to pay an annual or monthly membership fee. In return, patients have unlimited office visits and unlimited access to their pediatrician by phone, texting, email and other modes of electronic communication. Office visits are unhurried and untimed. The membership fee can be applied to your insurance deductible or your health savings account. Patients will still have insurance for certain medical services such as vaccines, hospital visits and surgery, but they will not have to pay a copay at the time of office visits.
Do I still need insurance for my child?
Yes, there are certainly some services that will still need to be covered by insurance. If your child needs emergency care in a hospital, elective or non-elective surgery, prescription, medications, etc., you will still use insurance in the usual way. Our office staff will work closely with you to make sure that you fully understand how your insurance will still work for you.
Does that mean that my child’s care will now be even more expensive?
In most cases, it means just the opposite. With ICON Pediatrics’ personal concierge service, you will most likely spend less per child on healthcare. If you child has an acute illness requiring multiple visits, you will not have to pay a copay each time you come in for care. Because of the close and personal relationship with Dr. Hamilton, it is rare that you will feel the need to go to an emergency room or urgent care facility after hours or on weekends saving you thousands of dollars for a single visit. In addition, your close, personal relationship with a single provider will likely result in fewer expensive and sometimes unnecessary lab tests or procedures. Studies have also shown that concierge doctors are less inclined to prescribe medications when calm reassurance and a good listener are all that are required to help you and your child recover from an acute illness.
My child is healthy and only goes to the doctor once a year for a physical. Is a concierge pediatrician really necessary?
Absolutely! Healthcare today is comprehensive and focuses on much more than just the physical health of your child. The pediatrician is there for you to address the social, emotional, educational and even spiritual needs of your youngster from birth to college. Because you never know when the unexpected will present itself, you need an ongoing relationship with your pediatrician. As your child reaches adolescence, that relationship needs to transition to the child and their doctor, gradually, as we prepare for the eventual moment when she leaves for college. In the concierge model, it is very unlikely that you will only have contact with your doctor once a year. You will have the comfort of knowing that you and your older child can contact your doctor at any time for most any reason because your child is an exclusive member of ICON Pediatrics. Healthcare is personal, and it should feel that way.