Inside A Practice

EDITORIAL: Another reason to hate concierge medicine, patient retention.

By Michael Tetreault, Editor

41 concierge doctorOCTOBER 16, 2013 – While most concierge medical practices maintain a very high patient retention average of approximately 92%-94% (Source: ConciergeMedicineToday.com, March 2010-2013), I think it’s important to tell you about what we hear each week from patients reading our stories, news articles and people across the U.S. looking for doctors.

When patients inside concierge medical programs were asked to weigh-in on why they chose concierge medical care versus continue to see their traditional managed care/insurance primary care physician, they responded by saying:

•      34% said price savings was the main reason they chose concierge medical care
•      17% said Medicare acceptance/participation was the main reason they chose concierge medical care
•      6% said more time with my doctor was the main reason they chose concierge medical care
•      29% said insurance compatibility was the main reason they chose concierge medical care
•      6% said less office staff to deal with was the main reason they chose concierge medical care
•      2% said limited/no waiting was the main reason they chose concierge medical care

The takeaway here is that while price is important, it’s the additional selling features that help build your brand and make you more attractive to patients. The second takeaway here and important to note is that a lot of concierge practices focus on limited or no waiting at their office. While this is a nice feature of the practice, it was the least important aspect as to why patients choose concierge care for them and their family.

Related Story .. “Annual Analysis of Average Patient Wait Times Finds We’re Waiting Longer”

We have found that patient retention among concierge medical physicians remains 7 to 9 years, two years longer than traditional, insurance based primary care practices, this according to Concierge Medicine Today.

marketing concierge medicine bookThis number is expected to increase as more time passes and more data becomes available about this relatively young, boutique industry.

Inside a concierge medicine business model, a physician is free to create transparent pricing structures that meet their local demographic demands without the intrusion from insurance and thus avoiding the provision of “hamster healthcare,” which in today’s healthcare marketplace only allows doctors to spend 6 to 12 minutes with their patients.

Regardless of how you describe it or the term you associate with concierge medicine, the public’s perception of these healthcare delivery models is changing for the better.

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