The concierge model is a great option for physicians seeking more control over their time, their professional lives, and their ability to care for patients. But it is by no means a financial cure-all, says Marcela Dominguez, MD, a family physician in Mission Viejo, CA, who started a concierge component in her practice earlier this year.”My life is so much better now. It’s a big improvement. I’m enjoying the benefit of more time for my family and my kids, more time to do administrative stuff during the workday rather than after-hours. But it’s not like my financial woes suddenly disappeared, especially during this first year.”
Dr. Dominguez, who will share her lessons-learned at HPC’s upcoming Heal Thy Practice conference, says the shift to concierge requires careful preparation. “There are a lot of transitional stages, and you have to be ready form them.”
From the outset, she knew she wanted a hybrid practice in which non-member patients could still come to Complete Care Family Medicine, and use their insurance. But rather than seeing Dr. Dominguez regularly, they would get one yearly visit with her, and all subsequent care from her NP or her physician-partner.
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