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Doctors Adapting A Concierge Business Model

by: tommy harper

Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 05:14:37 AM CDT

( - promoted by mooncat)

My (former) Dr. went to this this business model a few months ago by limiting his practice to 600 patients who were charged $1500/yr. for the privilege of seeing him. Yesterday I saw an old friend who I, unfortunately, don't get to see often and he was telling me that his Dr. has gone to the same system and is charging $1600/yr. Another distant acquaintance was faced with the same prospect last month and is, apparently, going to pay the extortion in order to keep the same physician.

I'm not sure how this change is working for my former physician as he had to delay the implementation for several months. I figured that he was probably having trouble getting patients to fork over the fee. Since my wife and I both saw him it would have cost us $3000/yr. to continue seeing him and we each seldom went to his office more than 2 or 3 times per year. 

To tell the truth, I could not find it in me to wish him well!

tommy harper :: Doctors Adapting A Concierge Business Model
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I just got a call (4.00 / 1)
From Business Alabma a few days ago about this. Apparently a blog post I did 2 years ago was the only negative thing they could find on concierge medicine! It is a disaster and unethical practice. But we will see more of it until we get single payer.

$1,650 (0.00 / 0)

My doc of 20 years just announced his new business plan: charge $1,650 a year just to see him.  That was right after a glowing physical exam, which is about the only time I ever see him.

If you are sick, you still have to pay all the normal fees.  Most insurance programs will not cover the $1,650 "retainer". 

He's going to drop 2,600 patients and keep 600.  There are six other Huntsville docs already in the MDVIP program, now owned by Proctor & Gamble.  

Do the math: 7 primary care doctors dropping 2,500 patients each - that's 17,500 patients looking for new primary care in Huntsville alone.

If those 600 keepers are anything like me, my doc will only have to work 3 months a year.



An alternative (0.00 / 0)

See a licensed nurse practicioner.  A step below an MD but useful for the "garden variety" of ailments. 

I pay my LNP $35 per visit.  Period. 

In Alabama, NP's (0.00 / 0)
Must work under collaborative arrangement with MD. So if too many MD's go concierge and don't continue NP supervision, that won't be an option. Unless they can get independent practice rights as they ought to have

[ Parent ]
Yup. (0.00 / 0)

My NP works collaboratively with an MD, whom I've never met.  But I really don't worry too much about it. 

He also runs a soul food restaurant.  I can get a meal and a Rx at the same time!

[ Parent ]
Should have said (4.00 / 1)
I really didn't mean to use "adapting" in the headline. I meant to use "adopting", but all of the other thoughts remain the same. I really felt let down by my former doctor. He was never going to get rich off of me, but neither was I going to take up a lot of his time. From the very first I figured that he looked at a new airplane in his future that he didn't have to share with partners!

Concierge Medicine (0.00 / 0)
Is a violation of professional ethics. Your money, through Medicare, paid for his entire residency training. Without his fellow taxpayers, he would not be a doctor. So he owes it to at least accept insurance and most especially Medicare, as a form of repayment. I am ashamed to call these folks colleagues, so I will not-- they are no longer professionals but serve only Mammon.

[ Parent ]
Plus, it's probably more than the residency year. (0.00 / 0)

I'm sure that medical schools are heavily subsidized from Federal sources in varous ways such as construction grants, research contracts, student loans and a whole lot else.

And the FDA, NIH and other agencies do the heavy stuff that makes modern medicine possible.  Hey, even the military gets into the act.  They have a medical school of their own in Bethesda MD!

[ Parent ]
Residency (0.00 / 0)
Is three years (first year called internship but it is part of residency). For 4 years of med school, tuition paid by student, although substantial, is a fraction of the overall education cost, usually footed by the state in supporting the school budget, unless he went to a fully private school. Same for college 4 years. So all 11 years plus (unless went private) childhood education funded by taxpayers!

It would be a fraction of our national medical expense to just pay the whole medical education outright, since we already pay most. But that should come with a career long obligation to accept all public and military insurance.

[ Parent ]
I've heard from numerous sources (0.00 / 0)
that more doctors will change to this method of practice, or stop practicing medicine entirely, once the ACA goes into full effect.
Dr. Johnnie Strickland is one such doctor in the Montgomery River Region area who took this course months ago. You can learn about his practice on his website at http//www.medac4u.com/home/.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...."      Hosea 4:6



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