Medical Practice Business Transformation – Concierge Practice (Part 3 of 4)


(Part 2 reviewed the concierge practice stats and models commonly used)

Innovation Model:

Without a doubt, beginning your new medical practice using a concierge model avoids having to accumulate a large herd of patients and then converting them to a “direct primary care practice” later on. The big disadvantage is that the startup of a medical practice requires money, usually a fairly good bundle. Just picture the lender’s face when you explain to him that you have no job and that you have a left-over debt of $150,000 from your education—and are asking for another $50,000 to get started on top of the other debt. Thank God you have a rich uncle to help you financially.

Of course, you’ll have that same problem with the bank no matter how you begin your practice. You could join an HMO, gather the money up, then start your private practice. Maybe there’s a group practice you can join first already employing a “retainer-based” method of practice, and go from there.

Transformational Model:

So, you’ve been in practice 15 years already. It must be disturbing for you to see the decrease in income earned by physicians (8% decrease average over the past 10 years according to the AMA studies, among others). Then you wise-up and ask yourself if you know for sure whether your practice is growing…… know, the number of patients joining minus the number leaving monthly. Or, haven’t you done that? Or……. maybe start now?

Most physicians see what’s happening now in the world of medical practice-and it ain’t good. Choices for medical practice careers haven’t changed, really. But, the consequences of those choices now are very different, and are important to know about for medical practice business reasons.

Transforming you practice is not easy. Some follow the hybrid model to transition and some flat set a date to stop your regular practice and begin their concierge practice. We’ll talk about the issues related to that

move in another article.

Private Practice Group Model:

Luckily, there are a good number of medical group practices who have come together in a concierge practice in this country, which you might choose to join. In addition, with the gradual dissatisfaction with the health care system and the gradual increase in numbers of patients looking for alternatives, the concierge practitioners, already solo or in a group, will be looking for physicians of a like mind to join them. Practice overhead will be reduced proportionally by adding a new doctor to the staff. Retiring physicians leave openings for new physicians.

Solo primary practice physicians in private practice, especially in rural areas, are disappearing. But if they join together in group practice, this attrition would be far less common.

Commercial Model:

Concierge Choice Physicians (CCP), a medical practice consulting company, is one of the several groups who offer a turnkey solution to physicians who sign up for their assistance and joint venture. This company splits the annual patient concierge subscription fee with the doctor and also provides all the marketing services paid for by the subscription fee arrangement. CCP has special interest in working with the Hybrid Model.

Other physicians have created joint ventures with large businesses which refer large numbers of their employee patients to the concierge physician practice in return for providing office space, equipment, supplies, and other necessities. The employees pay the annual subscription fee to the doctor and the company has saved thousands of dollars spent on large health insurance plans which are much more costly and administratively complex.

Be creative and create your own special joint ventures. I know! I’m getting to that next.

The where and how elements of concierge medical practice:

The most common reason that a concierge practice fails is lack of income. The lack of income to sustain the practice comes when a concierge practice is not able to recruit enough patients. Success requires about 300 patients, per physician, enrolled, at least. As with any regular medical practice, you don’t make money or earn an income without patients. But, you already know this.

The topic brings us back to what is critically important and what most physicians neglect before starting a medical practice-Demographics.

Considerations to face head-on if you want a successful concierge practice:

• Big enough population to attract enough patients: I haven’t seen any studies concerning this issue, but, my belief is that you should have no serious problem launching a practice in any urban area of one million population-where you will be the only concierge physician for that population. This criteria has to be modified by the affluence of the area, local industries and businesses, availability of educational and recreational facilities, and the average income of the population, among others.

Because of the scarcity in the present day (2010) of numbers of concierge physicians, the competition for patients should not be an issue in this population for the next decade.

• Professional Competition: Contacting various resources available on the Internet which provide such information is easy to find. For example, in February 2010 an informal one-year summary of findings related to the concierge medicine marketplace was released.

¼ Over 66% of current U.S. concierge physicians in practice are internal

medicine specialists.

¼ Second in rank are family physicians.

¼ Since early 2009, there has been a steep rise in numbers of concierge dental and pediatric

practices-understandable, because they are primarily office based practices with large volumes

of patients.

One shouldn’t leave out the increasing numbers of plastic surgeons using this same game plan. As the antagonism between physicians and government interference in health care increases, the high probability of physicians opting out of commercial health insurance programs and government Medicare and Medicaid will happen. It’s reported now that 30% of physicians have already stopped seeing Medicare/Medicaid patients. Does that send you a message?

Keywords = concierge medical practice,retainer based practice,concierge group practice,concierge physician practice,medical practice business,direct primary care practice,medical practice careers

Source by Curtis G. Graham

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