The conference took place in Costa Mesa on July 25-26. More educational events are scheduled to take place in collaboration with Concierge Medicine Today and other partnering physicians in other cities 2015.
JULY 28, 2014 – The recent Concierge Medicine Event in Costa Mesa gave attendees an overview of the current state of direct pay, or concierge medicine, while focusing on different business models and emerging trends, as well as on practical issues of reimbursement, contracting and legal aspects.
Dr. James Lindberg, a practicing concierge physician with PersonalCare Physicians in Orange County, co-presented with the CEO of PersonalCare, Troy Medley. Both emphasized the importance of a solid vision, strategy and understanding of the market.
Access to care is no longer a point of differentiation, according to Medley. As the industry is starting to grow and mature, he said, there would be more segmentation in the market, with bigger players moving in. Finding a unique niche will be critical for those entering the space.
Differentiation will be key for physicians when choosing a concierge model, Medley said. He noted that his company, PersonalCare, realized that hospitals might become the biggest competition to individual concierge practices, so they made a decision to partner with a hospital when targeting the executive health sector. Smaller practices can always outcompete bigger systems by providing things that are unique. Medley referred to Dr. Marcy Zwelling-Aamot, an internist with a concierge practice in Los Alamitos, who mentioned that she has patients stop by her house when they have an issue and “happen to be in the neighborhood.” Larger systems can never compete on that level of personal care, Medley said.
Dennis Jordanides, MD, an Orange County internist who started transitioning his practice, IM365 (Internal Medicine 365), to a concierge practice just 10 weeks ago, told PNN that the conference gave him an opportunity to hear about a “number of innovative solutions that address many of the pitfalls of our current primary care delivery system.” He said his personal decision to make a switch was based on his patients’ requests to develop “a comprehensive, highly coordinated and patient-centric medical model” with “around-the-clock availability, unhurried office visits, expedited care and enhanced patient communication via email, text message and cellular phone.”
“When primary care physicians take responsibility for reforming our broken healthcare system, a truly viable model will emerge that will care for our patients with collaboration, compassion and dignity,” Dr. Jordanides said.
A lot of discussions centered around converting to concierge practice on one’s own, as opposed to entering into a contract with a company that helps with the conversion but has a long-term contract that includes taking a share of revenue.