By Michael Tetreault, Editor
MARCH 21, 2014 – Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) caught up with Dr. Gorodetsky recently and asked him to contribute his insight into a special resource guide we’re writing and to be released in mid-April 2014. We asked him to discuss what he’s learned on his journey and what advice he would impart to aspiring DocPreneurs.
Editor’s Note: The If I Knew Then … Series, puts more-established direct-pay and concierge medicine physicians under the microscope — asking them what they would do differently if they knew then, what they know now.
“The conversion process is not an easy one.”
~Jeffrey S. Gorodetsky, M.D.
In 1990, I opened my Private Family Practice in Stuart, Florida. In December, 2011, after several years of research, I announced my conversion to a Concierge Medical Practice. In an attempt to alleviate any abandonment feelings from my established, large patient population, I opted for a “hybrid model”.
My staff and I tried to schedule selected hours for the concierge and non-concierge practice, but found over the first year this was difficult to manage. It also became a challenge to convert my non-concierge patients to the concierge model, as they were able to continue their relationship with me. Therefore, I made the decision, in January, 2013 to restrict my schedule to concierge patients and those individuals coming to the practice for an initial visit. Two Physician Assistants are assigned the balance of patients within the practice.
The conversion process is not an easy one. My staff and I are cognizant of the fact that we must consistently communicate the benefits of this choice in care, with the challenge to increase my concierge numbers and convert my non-concierge patients. Another issue that I faced was attempting this redesign of the practice following the economic meltdown. Many patients indicated their hesitancy to an additional expense due to financial considerations.
With the growth in popularity of the Direct Primary Care Model, I am now offering new concierge patients the option of paying their fee either monthly or quarterly, to alleviate the annual lump sum financial burden. I did experience some initial attrition within the first 12 months, however, this second year I am now seeing a growth to my concierge practice.
From my experience, I recommend that physicians contemplating a hybrid concierge practice restrict their personal patients to those who have chosen the concierge services, while assigning non-concierge patients to either another physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Also, the physician and staff embarking on the transition of a current traditional practice or the inception of a new concierge practice must now realize the importance of the role of marketing and sales to their success.
Jeffrey S. Gorodetsky, M.D.
Stuart, Florida Family Physician
433 East Ocean Boulevard
Stuart, FL 34994