Indulge Patients, Compete with Health Centers

Physician's Money Digest, November 2007, Volume 14, Issue 11

Patients looking for more pampering in the doctor's office are beginning to turn to alternative health and wellness centers. A recent Health article takes a look at wellness centers that are starting to compete with practitioners with their all-inclusive spa and health treatments. These medi-spas provide patients with a nutritionist, gym, urinalysis, yoga class, mammogram, and massage during one visit. The price is pretty steep, because insurance companies do not cover most of the luxuries provided, but patients who have left their physician's practice for the personal attention of a health clinic doctor claim the cost is worth the service. The medi-spas are enticing customers with no-wait doctor visits, including a full check-up and routine tests, and an appointment with a dietitian for advice and perhaps a Greek salad. Although most wellness center patients can't afford the sultan treatment on a regular basis, consumers partial to this type of service are pushing physicians for more personal attention.