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Doctors criticize Michigan Medicine concierge medical plan

March 9, 2018

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan’s health system is being criticized for a concierge medical care pilot program that gives patients perks for a large annual fee.

Michigan Medicine’s Victors Care program offers personalized service, reduced wait times and preferential access to physicians.

The program’s annual fee is currently $2,700, though it’s slated to increase to $3,600 in July. The fee isn’t covered by insurance and must be paid directly by patients. The program is currently enrolling patients.

The university’s doctors are worried the program deviates from the institution’s public mission.

“The University of Michigan is a public institution and our commitment is to serve the public, not a private few,” faculty said in a January letter to UM Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Marschall Runge and Executive Vice Dean for Medical Affairs David Spahlinger.

The letter urged officials to focus on improving access for all patients.

“We need greater efforts to improve infrastructure, space, and clinic support for all,” the letter said. “We are eager to promote and strengthen primary care services at the University of Michigan, but we feel strongly this should be done for all patients, not based on their ability to pay.”

The program won’t adversely impact access for other patients and will provide a valuable alternative option for patients, said Michigan Medicine spokeswoman Mary Masson.

“Some faculty have raised concerns. We’ve listened to them and are working together to come up with solutions that are mutually satisfactory for the benefit of our patients,” she said.

Massachusetts General Hospital and the Mayo Clinic have similar programs.

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