Saturday , October 24 2020

What is a Personal Medical Concierge and how do you get one?

What is  a Personal Medical Concierge  and how do you get one?
Photograph by John Robins

The reinvention of healthcare by Reliance Medical Centers means that many seniors can now get their own Personal Medical Concierge. To find out more and understand the benefits of having a PMC I decided to visit Reliance Medical Centers to interview two PMCs and find out what they do and how patients benefit.

Q: “What is a Personal Medical Concierge?”
A: “I always tell my patients to think of me as their personal assistant for all their healthcare and wellness requirements. No matter what it is; whether they are feeling unwell, want to know about the medication they are taking or if they need to make an appointment with their Medical Doctor, all they have to do is call me on my personal number at any time, and I will help them in whatever way they need. Once assigned to a patient it is my job to get to know them, understand their conditions and circumstances and then be available to them any time to help them in any way that I can. In short, I work for the patient.”

Q: “What qualifications do you need to be a Personal Medical Concierge?”
A: “The minimum requirement is to be a qualified Medical Assistant with a minimum of three years of experience. As you can imagine, being able to provide patients with the information and support they need whenever they need it means being qualified is essential.”

Q: “What is the benefit of having a PMC?”
A: “Actually, there are many benefits, but probably one of the main benefits is the fact that my patients have my direct contact number; someone they know personally always available to help them with their healthcare and wellness needs 24/7. For example, with many medical centers, you can only reach them when they are open. Also, you do not have one specific person that you can speak to, you have to ring the reception and whoever picks up the call ends up dealing with you. A receptionist is unlikely to be medically trained and will not know who you are from a medical standpoint, so all they can do is take your details and refer you to someone else, get someone to call back or make an appointment for you. When a patient calls me, I know exactly who they are and what their medical status is. It means I can start to help my patients directly the minute I pick up the phone.”

Q: “Can you give me an idea of the range of things you do for your patients as a Personal Medical Concierge?”
A: “It really comes down to the individual needs of each patient. My job description is simple, provide whatever support I can to keep the patient healthy. It is my job to get to know the patient and help them as required, both reactively and proactively. It can be as simple as following up with our in-house pharmacy to see if a prescription is ready for delivery, or it can be more complex such as discussing their medication and making sure they know when it needs to be taken.”

Q: “What do you mean by proactively?”
A: “In addition to taking calls from patients and helping them, because I am always aware of their medical status at any given time, I put time into my schedule to follow up with them as and when needed. I make sure that they are feeling well, perhaps call to find out if they have any questions or even follow up with them in the event they have had an appointment or procedure with an external provider. I do what I can to take care of my patients and ensure their best health outcomes.”

Q: “How are you able to keep up to date on the status of any given patient?”
A: “I am one member of an eight-member Care Focus Team. All patients get allocated one of our Care Focus Teams, and each team is headed up by a Medical Doctor, i.e. the Primary Healthcare Physician of the patient. Each morning and regularly in the evening we all meet to review our patients and make sure that each of us in the team is following through on what needs to be done to ensure that our patients are getting the VIP medical service that they deserve.”

Q: “Who can apply for a Personal Medical Concierge?”
A: “Any senior can apply for a PMC. If they have an approved Medicare Advantage plan, then they can immediately sign up to one of our Care Focus Teams, which includes a Personal Medical Concierge. If the patient does not have a Medicare Advantage plan, then they can meet with our Patient Navigator; he will help the patient review all the different options so that they can make the right choice for them.”

Q: “How does a senior apply for a Personal Medical Concierge?”
A: “That’s simple; they just have to call our main switchboard, explain that they would like to find out about how they can get their own Personal Medical Concierge assigned to them and come in for a discussion and tour of the facility.”

The above Q and A covers just a small portion of my interview. Having listened to everything the Personal Medical Concierges had to say, I only have one thing to say about getting a Personal Medical Concierge – I want one!

Reliance Medical Centers

3655 Innovation Dr.
Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Lab: 7am – 4pm

Winter Haven
111 Avenue A SE
Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm
Lab: 7am – 4pm

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