LAST UPDATED: APRIL 18, 2016
By DPC Journal Staff
There’s simply more to Direct Primary Care (DPC) than meets the eye. The media coverage and many of the physician owner/operators in the past year in DPC will tell you that.
Planning which events to attend with the diversity of agendas circling the niche and currently being designed right now is critical to learning and objectivity. Even more crucial is the business-side of the discussion in DPC and the content offered from event organizers. Below, we have assembled a growing list (check back regularly for new event listing updates) and the six steps we recommend you consider to help ensure your attendance at healthcare conferences is beneficial.
Know Where Your Information Deficiencies Are. Stay Focused On Answering Those Questions.
“Good understanding brings forth favor …” ~Proverbs 13:15 NIV
Did you know that technology has entered DPC in a big way since 2013? However, in late 2015, much of the technology solutions targeting the DPC patient and physician audience have subsequently, left. So why did so many technology providers see opportunity in DPC come and go so quickly? Well, one reason is that the technology developers over the past two years saw DPC as an emerging marketplace ripe to acquire marketshare and become a really innovative disruptor in the national primary care space. It did not occur as quickly as some investors and developers had hoped. Today, many of those same technology solution developers operate in other healthcare areas and have left the DPC space with the hopes that soon, DPC will reach a market maturity worthy of more capital expansion.
“That’s not to say it won’t grow,” says one investment firm in an interview with The DPC Journal in February of 2016. “It is just not as large as we’d like and our shareholders and investors in technology are not willing to risk the long-term play at this point in time.”
Still, some of the technology and solution providers currently operating in DPC have really done a great job of targeting their products and services to meet the specific needs of this unique niche in primary care. Many of those you will no doubt see and talk to as you attend upcoming 2016 and 2017 events.
Content Matters. So, Understand Where The Conversation Is Travelling.
One of the most fascinating data points about DPC right now (2016) is when we see that one of the top reasons cited by former DPC physician readers that “tried and failed” to make the leap into DPC since 2013 to present is they mentioned “lack of business acumen …” was a crucial determinate in why they did not succeed in DPC.
“I finally brought my idea to life. The smiles on the patients’ faces say it all. It’s why all the hours and stress of innovation are worth it …” ~E.C.T., MD, MPH
There obviously is a lot of topics to consider. It is important to remember that some of the best content and education will come from some of the more unlikely sources. Did you know that nearly 40% of DPC doctors polled by The DPC Journal in 2015 said they “plan to partner” with employers but have “no strategy” to do so?
“The MD2B topic we’ve been talking about for the past year is a really important component to the scalability of DPC,” says Michael Tetreault, Editor of The DPC Journal in a recent interview with a California newspaper. “Larger DPC facilities have already made the shift and have more than a half-dozen locations throughout a particular metropolitan area. They are looking at proformas, analyzing employer needs realizing they must focus less and less on individual consumer, walk-in and one-time referral memberships. Think of it this way: connecting employees, their kids and teenagers to a consistent doctor who believes in prevention and also believes in saving employer healthcare costs is something the DPC community can do that nothing else in our current healthcare culture does.”
DPC JOURNAL & IHC PANEL DISCUSSION — MAY 24 | Atlanta, GA | The DPC Journal Employer Panel and The IHC.
On Tuesday, May 24, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm, The DPC Journal and the IHC will bring together a Special Session entitled “Outlook for Employers Contracting With Direct Primary Care or Concierge Medicine” to be held at the IHC FORUM & Expo in Atlanta.
“The way companies and their employees get access to and pay for health care is evolving quickly,” said Catherine Sykes, Publisher of The DPC Journal in a recent employee benefits magazine interview. “Surveys show that many of the estimated 30 million people who gained insurance coverage last year under health care reform do not have a primary health care physician or do not use one. According to The New York Times, many opted for high-deductible health plans. This group is expected to become picky with the dollars they spend and to be less tolerant of the opaque pricing that is still the industry’s norm”
“We have a Third Party Administrator who immediately saw the benefits a corporate physician can bring to a self-funded employer,” said Bill Cossart, CEO/Founder of MedFirst Partners, a consulting firm that assists Direct Primary Care (DPC) physicians with their entry into DPC. “Even smaller companies can easily adopt DPC. The employer sees the rebates. The employees love the level of service with a 24/7 DPC Physician and the Doctor gets to practice medicine the way they always have wanted. Everyone wins. There are no losers in this arrangement.”MD2B EDUCATIONAL TOOL Designed For DPC Doctors RE: EMPLOYER PARTNERSHIPS by The DPC Journal
The “MD2B: Building Strategic Alliances With Employers” 45-minute educational MP3 is a first-look inside the analysis that every HR Manager does and supports these needs with current DPC industry research to help identify employer wants and needs.
There is also more to learn about the business side of DPC aside from the consumer subscription vs. employer discussion. General business acumen outside of employer partnership strategies is also really important.
Who you learn from and who currently understands and operates in these areas is also critical to your success. For example, are you thinking about: the transition; your realestate footprint; funding sources; the consultants you need to work with; legal underwriting work; the individual patients impacted; the Health Insurance Marketplace; Medicaid; Medicare participation; tiered payment model for employers, depending on the needs of employees; and not to mention, many larger DPC offices are making the exit from individual memberships to meet the needs of local companies with questions about how to tie together new health care innovations that are cropping up in hospitals and primary care settings.
Be Intentional With Your Questions.
Consumers will expect more from their physicians in the months to come. Recently, several patients in a hospital telemedicine program rated videoconferencing more personal than an actual bedside visit by a physician. Why? Because the physicians being beamed in to the room were focused, undistracted by phone calls or pagers, and not in a hurry to complete their rounds.
“Wise physicians will take heed,” says Terry Bauer of Stroudwater based in Atlanta, where he leads the Strategy Practice Team at the firm. “With rising consumerism and transparency in healthcare, competition is rising, too. The most engaged and engaging physicians will be the winners.”
- Leaders are readers … so we encourage you to read different books. A “Recommended Reading List” is available at The DocPreneur Institute Book Store.
- Be ‘that guy/girl!’ You know who we’re talking about. The person who seems to try everything and talk to everyone. To be “that guy/girl”, stay mentally active during the event. Take a walk around the venue, talk with every exhibitor at the hotel, mingle the coffee and vendor areas. Try new activities and participate in the demonstrations. Take their literature back to your room and before you check-out, leave the literature and materials your not interested in inside your hotel waste basket. That’s how professional networks do it and you should to!
- Here’s a good rule of thumb … ‘never eat lunch alone …’ Meet new people.
- Ask questions, lots of them! Think “How?” or “Why?” vs. “Can’t” or “Why not.”
“You can’t grow professionally without connecting relationally,” says Catherine Sykes, Publisher of The DPC Journal and Faculty Member at The Docpreneur Institute. “We’ve found after years of talking with physicians one-on-one, and at various events, that if you want to be successful in this space, you need to have intentional relationships with other people who have the same goal. Conferences are an ideal place for that. Many of the events, seminars, conferences and gatherings below help doctors in various parts of the country meet with other like-minded physicians and industry influencers and experts who may share your same vision you have for affordable healthcare delivery. Young or old, physician or non-physician, dentist, family medical practitioner, or getting ready to retire, there is a place for you to connect, grow and learn.”
Know When You Are In The Minority, Even When You Know Your Are Right.
“The best way to find out whether you are on the right path? Stop looking at the path.” ~Marcus Buckingham
Regardless of your stance on provider rankings and online patient reviews, one thing is certain: They are only going to become even more prolific in 2016. Like it or not, the argument that they empower patient decision-making and hold providers accountable will be increasingly difficult to dispute.
For residents, students, and young physicians, or if you’re under 45 years old — essentially, young enough to be considering DPC as a career option, understand that the pathway before you is full of both successes and failures. In fact, in a recent DPC Journal poll conducted over the past two years, those physicians that have “been there, done that …” are evenly split, 50/50 on why or why not residents should enter DPC right away. Another point, 67% of DPC physicians polled from 2013 to December 2015 noted that they went into debt to startup a DPC practice.
If you’re considering taking on additional debt, talk with at least nine (9) individual physicians [in DPC] and consider their experience and advice carefully. ~DPC Journal, March 2016
If you’re in another category entirely, you’ve most likely attained a level of stature and a good reputation in your community as a physician. Most of you reading this, probably fit into this category. Here are some other considerations for you to consider while you are mingling and learning at these events in the upcoming months.
- 20% of DPC physicians who told The DPC Journal that they had to close their practice said it was due to: “My Rural Demographic(s) Couldn’t Support It.” 30% said it was because of “Lack of Interested Patients,” and 15% said it was because of “Bad Judgement/Bad Advice I received from a colleague who was already doing it.”
Remember, you’re always in learning mode.
Regardless of your situation, its you and your spouse who have to shoulder the wins and losses, so get many opinions, do proformas and fight the battle on paper first.
Be mindful that not everyone is an expert and not everyone who is invited to speak on a podium should. Use your own gut feelings and discernment before you sign up for anything. “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”
Last, a napkin is not a business plan.
Have fun and be creative.
Subscription-based Medical Care is a relatively new, fun and free market delivery innovation. In fact, physician satisfaction in DPC’s familial membership medicine business model, Concierge Medicine, is over 96%. Physician satisfaction scores in DPC are still too young to determine, but we at The DPC Journal see no reason why after year 3 that your career satisfaction levels shouldn’t be just as positive.
Much like the popularity of other service subscriptions in the marketplace like Prime, Netflix or Costco, Subscription-based medical care performs the functions of several different services. For patients, it provides a fair amount of selection, cost-saving deals, family discounts, and its ultimately up to you to decide each month, quarter or year if you want to keep the same doctor. It puts the patient in control and tells them how much it costs. Look for more subscription-based telehealth services from doctors, PAs and NPs in the months to come. The growth of retail clinics, the public acceptance of telemedicine, the large-scale employment of physicians by hospitals to develop Concierge Medicine Programs and the accelerated operational improvement inside more and more local DPC practices will set many physicians and healthcare professionals onto the right path for a fulfilling career in medicine.
Monthly Educational Resources Available
The DocPreneur Institute is a entrepreneurial business coaching and insight education hub created by the leadership at Concierge Medicine Today and The DPC Journal. It is primarily for: business leaders; physicians; staff;and investment clientele … interested in meeting and learning regularly with other like-minded free market healthcare delivery professionals. They offer a variety of White Papers, books, eBooks, Podcasts, downloadable MP3 audio series, hourly educational insight meetings, and monthly business coaching.
- To schedule a meeting with one of their Faculty Members or learn more, visit: www.TheDocPreneur.org
- Their resources can be found at: www.DocPreneurPress.org
Upcoming 2016 Events We Think You Should Consider
Here’s a summary of the ANNUAL events coming in 2016 and 2017.
NOTE/DISCLAIMER: In reviewing the content and reviews from former attendees and taking many of the recommendations of our readers, some of these events may greatly benefit your knowledge-base in a variety of ways. If marketing is your focus, there is an event for you. If startup insight is your need, there is a platform for that content. We also know and have heard from our readers that a lot of their individual success was because they sought the company of others outside the industry in the areas of business, accounting, operations, marketing, and financial insight. There are events in this list that may not discuss DPC whatsoever, but they made our list below because of reader recommendations, specific topics covered, business acumen or their free market healthcare delivery and entrepreneurial spirit. Regardless of where you go and which event you choose, each of these industry-relevant events should be informative, well-organized and provide you with very different and unique guidance and education from various industry physicians and topic-leaders from all parts of the country.
In closing, check back regularly for new event listing updates and choose wisely!
Jan 29, 2016
American Association of Physicians and Surgeons – Thrive, Not Just Survive XXIII – Orlando, FL
Jan 27-29, 2016
Montana Academy of Family Physicians – Big Mountain Medical Conference – Whitefish, MT
Feb 20, 2016
Direct Primary Care Ohio UnSummit IV – Columbus, OH
Feb 26-27, 2016
American Academy of Private Physicians Spring Conference on Private Medicine – San Diego, CA
March 08, 2016
Colorado Managed Care Collaborative – Denver, CO
Children’s Hospital Colorado | Healthy Patients + Happy Doctors = Direct Primary Care
“Start with the end in mind. Simply attending one event for the year, just won’t cut it. Physicians have a lot questions that need to be answered. We’ve realized over the past several years that there is just too much going on for one host company to cover every topic in detail in a 12 to 18 hour, in-total, event. There is an even great responsibility this year and weight on the shoulders of event organizers, or at least there should be, to deliver engaging content. With most [DPC] physicians reporting to us that they are moonlighting to make ends meet in the first two years of startup in this sector, hosting organizations and speakers need fresh, appropriate material and more creative voices that know what it takes to move the needle. They need superstars and more voices to champion DPC.” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor, The DPC Journal
March 24 @ 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
Health Innovators: How Internet of Things Will Revolutionize Healthcare – Cambridge Massachusetts
March 24, 2016
Telehealth Industry Trends: What’s New in 2016 – Webconference
March 24, 2016
Hospital of the Future – Webconference
April 5 – 6, 2016
Health Experience Refactored Conference – Boston, MA
April 13-15, 2016
Patient Experience Conference 2016 – Dallas, TX
Patient Experience Conference is the largest independent, non-provider or vendor hosted event bringing together the collective voices of healthcare professionals across the globe to convene, engage and expand the dialogue on improving patient experience. At this interactive conference, you will identify strategies and discover solutions to help start your journey, or to advance your program to the next level. Come prepared to network and build professional relationships, and leave inspired to further your commitment to building the field of patient experience.
DPC Journal & IHC FORUM & Expo Health Care Consumerism – Atlanta, GA
On Tuesday, THE DPC JOURNAL Leadership alongside The IHC bring together a special panel discussion talking about: “Outlook for Employers Contracting With Direct Primary Care or Concierge Medicine“ to be held at the IHC FORUM & Expo in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 24, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm.
May 24, 2016 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The Future Leaders Summit – Chicago Art Institute, Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room
Tomorrow’s leaders must think differently and possess a different set of leadership skills. They must be agile, creative, multifaceted and able to build an adaptive trustworthy team. They must also be gifted at internal communication, bringing others down the path of change and managing internal complexity. No company is immune to change and attracting and retaining your talent is vital to growth. The Future Leaders Summit serves as a catalyst raising the bar for tomorrow’s leaders while discussing how to attract, develop and retain talent.
May 27, 2015
The Future of Digital Health Conference – New York, NY
Annual American College of Private Physicians (ACPP) Meeting
Call: (855) 332-5120https://form.jotform.com/60805692313959
August 12–13, 2016
The CMT/EXL Concierge Medicine ASSEMBLY – Atlanta, GA
Conference Organizers: EXL Pharma/EXL Events/CMT – A two-day Educational Setting.
Last year (July 31-Aug 1, 2015), the two-day Annual 2015 Concierge Medicine Assembly was the largest gathering of physicians and professionals on the topic of Concierge Medicine. It attracted specialty physicians, general internists, family medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, hospital executives, investment executives, practice management advisors, attorneys and others. Operating on the premise that “circles are better than rows,” our setting offered guests the chance to have one-on-one conversations with industry professionals and successful physicians who understand what it takes to go from good to great, and provided an intimate expert exchange session with concierge medicine veterans.
At the 2016 Concierge Medicine Assembly, we will focus on What Great Doctors Do. With rising consumerism and transparency in healthcare, competition is rising too. Concierge Medicine Doctors have an important role and an advantage. They’re creative, innovative and early adopters of new technology, testing and evidence. In the year ahead, the most engaged and innovative physicians will be the winners. That’s why we feel it’s important to create an environment that supports and celebrates the creative voices leading the way. We look forward to seeing you in August in Atlanta.
Sept 22-24, 2016
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Annual Meeting – Oklahoma City, OK
Health 2.0 10th Annual Fall Conference – Santa Clara, CA