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Is Boutique Medicine Worth The Price?

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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Two friends of mine recently received the same letter in the mail from their internists: Fork over $1,500 or you're out of my practice.

Of course, they didn't say it quite that way. The doctors said they'd be cutting their practices down from around 2,500 patients to 600 patients. Those willing to pay the annual fee were promised primo service in return: The doctor's cell phone and/or pager number; "same day or next day appointments that start on time and last as long as needed" and a "full, thorough, comprehensive physical examination that is typically not given in most traditional primary care practices."

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