When you first started practicing medicine, how did you picture your practice? Was it the fast-paced daily whirlwind of patients with whom you spent a meager 5-10 minutes?
Most new doctors imagine a practice where they build relationships with their patient base and spend plenty of time providing care. The reality, for many doctors and their patients, feels more like a conveyor line.
If you dream of more time with patients, less overhead, and increased profits, have you considered concierge medicine?
Starting a concierge medical practice can offer these benefits and more. Read on and explore the first steps for doctors planning to open or convert to a practice where patients pay an upfront fee for physician’s services.
How Does Concierge Internal Medicine Work?
Concierge medicine, also called retainer-based medicine, charges patients a monthly fee, or retainer. They pay the same dollar amount every month regardless of how often they visit the doctor.
In exchange for their monthly payment, patients receive primary and preventative medical care. The retainer doesn’t include visits with specialists, out-of-network care, or trips to the emergency room.
If your patients carry health insurance, there is no reimbursement for the monthly concierge fee. However, patients can use funds from their health savings account to cover the retainer.
Strategize with a Consultant
Before starting your new practice, consider working with a consultant. Most doctors prefer to spend time perfecting their patient care skills. It’s not that they can’t crunch numbers, but why not let a consultant share their expertise?
You’ll want to hire a consultant who brings plenty of experience to the table focused on helping doctors open private practices. When you open a new practice, you’ll deal with compliance, auditing, and multiple other medical practice management issues.
For an excellent example of how a consultant can help, learn more about doctors-management.com before you see your first patient!
The Concierge Medicine Business Model
Concierge medicine isn’t a new fad! Since the 1990s, health care providers have looked to it as a viable structure for managing a medical practice.
The traditional model of healthcare hinges on patient co-pays and billing insurance providers. Concierge medical practices bill patients directly through a monthly retainer. From the patient’s point of view, they pay for a membership in the practice.
A typical concierge practice model features the following patient benefits:
- Limited Patient Load
- Highly Personalized Care
- Quick Response Time
Concierge doctors also enjoy several advantages. The retainer-based payment structure offers a more predictable revenue. Doctors have time to develop better relationships with patients.
With more time to devote to each patient, these doctors have opportunities to deliver higher quality care than they might when using a fee-for-service structure.
Ready to Explore a New Way of Healthcare?
We hope we’ve given you some food for thought. If you’re starting a new practice or considering converting from a traditional to a concierge medical practice, you’ll enjoy the benefits of closer relationships with patients and more independence as a physician.
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