Concierge Medicine: The New Movement for Physicians

Have you considered the benefits of adding a concierge medicine practice to your current business or perhaps switching over entirely?

3 reasons why physicians are considering concierge medicine.

1. Popularity

The number of physicians in concierge medicine remains small, but it’s growing rapidly. In 2012 there were 4,400 private physicians practicing concierge medicine, a 25% increase from 2011, according to the American Academy of Private Physicians, that includes some 600,000 practicing doctors nationwide. At an average that are roughly 350 patients per concierge doctor, meaning more than 1.5 million Americans are under the care of a physician who provides an additional level of service in exchange for a fee. Clearly, a segment of the population is embracing this model.

In the typical concierge setting, the practice accepts insurance for routine services, and also charges a non-reimbursable fee that pays for amenities including 24/7 access to the doctor, same-day appointments, longer appointment times, and a greater degree of personalized attention.  Originally, the fees charged for this type of service were quite high and only the affluent signed up. Presently, they average from $1,000 to $2,000, allowing middle class consumers to share in the luxury of these services.

Concierge medicine’s perceived advantages will grow in the coming years. Currently there is a well-documented shortage of primary care physicians that will be further strained with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This program will bring more than 20 million formerly uninsured patients into the health-care system through 2022, exacerbating the existing physician shortage.

2. Revenue Enhancement

The economic math is pretty straight forward: if one hundred of your existing patients signed up for the service and your fee was $2,000 you’d have an additional $200,000 of revenue. You would have to reduce your current patient load and leave slots available for these patients and provide them with the other services mentioned above.  Remember they paid you an additional fee for the extra services.

3. Focused Patient Care

The net result is that you can start to practice the way you were trained — taking the time to really talk to your patients and use your skills to their fullest extent. Instead of the rushed 10-15 minute appointments, typically a 45-60 minute visit is offered allowing you to really delve into your patients’ problems, and craft individualized treatment and prevention plans. You can lead a better life style. Fewer patients mean fewer calls, less traffic, and a lot less paperwork.

You can phase in the concierge service gradually so you don’t risk losing your current patients.  You can simply market the program to your existing patients and prospects. The key is to make sure you can deliver the services you have promised for the additional fee. In order to gain more time in your schedule, consider bringing on midlevel providers. These providers can help take on part of your existing patient load. With the aforementioned possibilities that a concierge practice brings, you should really consider it for the future!

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