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GUEST POST: Pros and Cons of Switching to Concierge Medical Practice

April 18, 2013

Dave Anderson

As part of Anderson Interactive’s ongoing effort to provide educational and networking resources to the healthcare industry, we invite subject matter experts across healthcare, IT and the revenue cycle to participate on the AI blog with their own article submissions. The following post is a guest blog submission by Software Advice, the medical review publisher:

Software Advice

Pros and Cons of Switching to Concierge Medical Practice

The most common medical practice size is 2,000 to 3,000 patients. With so many patients to see, a doctor has limited time to spend on each person, making it difficult to establish strong doctor-patient relationships. This is why concierge medicine is gaining popularity. With this model, doctors are able to provide more attentive care while maintaining the same revenue flow.

There are many factors to consider before a traditional medical practice can make the switch over to concierge medicine. The medical review publisher, Software Advice, recently wrote an article that weighed a few of the pros and cons of this approach. You can check out their suggestions below.

PROS…

1. A different model, less patients
Concierge practices require patients to pay a retainer fee. Therefore, the number of patients in a concierge practice drops significantly depending on what type of payment model the practice uses. This allows for concierge doctors to spend more time with patients and accommodate last minute appointments.

2. Equal pay, more satisfying work
Since patients in a concierge practices pay an annual, monthly or quarterly retainer fee, doctors are able to see less patients and still make the same amount of money. For instance, if each patient is charged $1,500 a year, then a concierge practice with 1,000 patients can bring in 1.5 million a year. Additionally, with a lower patient count, there is less staff needed which also lowers administrative costs.

CONS…

3. Not ideal for all practices
A major downside of this model is that it doesn’t work in all types of healthcare. According to Dan Behroozi, EVP of business development and operations at MDVIP, the physician needs to be a general practitioner for the model to be successful. Unless there is a primary care relationship, this model is not an ideal fit.

4. Requires more marketing
The single biggest challenge of concierge medicine is marketing. Since concierge medicine is still gaining popularity, doctors have to invest more time and money into attracting new patients and raising awareness about the business model. Some doctors have found success with ads in a country club newsletter while others seek speaking engagements with men’s group. The method is all dependent on the target patient audience. But anyone who wants to do well in the concierge medical field has to prepare for the marketing commitment.

You can check out the original post by Alan Horowitz on the Profitable Practice blog.

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