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Concierge medicine offers personalized care, more access - for a price

Joseph Barry, MDPressured to see more patients in less time, doctors struggle to avoid burnout and serve their patients adequately. One alternative springing up around the country is to charge an annual fee for “concierge” or personalized care to a small number of patients. Joseph Barry, MD, an internist who specializes in geriatrics in Camillus, says his personalized care includes short or no waits for appointments, sufficient time for patient-doctor visits, after-hours phone availability and free recreational events such as yoga classes or nature walks to encourage healthy living. Barry, who also maintains a more traditional practice, offers his views on changes in medical care and counters charges that concierge medicine is elitist by noting his annual fee is cheaper than a car‘s brake job. The concept of concierge medicine in recent years has expanded from primary care doctor's offices to hospitals, with Massachusetts General Hospital launching a concierge practice later this year.