“Medical concierge” physician practices are growing in popularity with both physicians and patients. In this type of practice, patients pay a set fee that entitles them to much quicker access and more dedicated time with their physician as well as the opportunity to participate in additional diagnostics, wellness services and preventive care programs.
Patients can still use their existing insurance for covered expenses, however membership fees ranging from $150 to $400 per month are collected to cover services not covered by insurance. While some medical concierge practices have suggested that membership fees are approved medical expenses by the IRS to be paid through a health savings account, the IRS has ruled that such expenses are not covered. The IRS views the medical practice membership fee in the same category as a health club membership, which is also not an eligible health savings account expense.
While a typical medical practice may have 2,700 patients and the physician spending an average of eight minutes per visit with patients, a medical concierge practice may limit the number of patients to 300 or 350 to expand the physician-patient visit and allow physicians to take more control of the treatment and counseling process. These practices tend to combine conventional medical treatments with holistic and preventive services, and are most often located in metropolitan areas.
If you have a question about eligible healthcare expenses that can be applied to your health savings account, be sure to ask your Rea advisor for clarification.
– Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)