Business

LA startup looks to extend concierge medicine to surgery

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From left, doctors Gil Tepper, Dan Kelly, Ron Kvitne and David Ghozland announce the launch of Prime Surgeons, a new concierge surgical firm in Beverly Hills. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) SOURCE/CREDIT: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-concierge-surgery-20160615-snap-story.html

By  Samantha Masunaga

Sources close to Concierge Medicine Today and our other publications note that because there is no official federal or state registry, it is hard to pin down exactly how many physicians have switched to Concierge or direct-pay practices. Today, it is estimated that as many as 12,000 physicians operate using private subscriptions practice models across the U.S. For example, we estimate a count of around 140 verified Subscription-based Medical practices (a global term encompassing both Concierge and Direct Care offices) in the New York area and perhaps as many “under the radar” offerings, since concierge medicine for now remains a branded business model and not a certified designation. Nationally, we can project that there are as many as 6,500 concierge doctors with perhaps as many “under the radar” offerings. That’s how we get to the 12,000 number. This estimate is based upon industry interviews with hundreds of doctors, thought leaders, marketplace consultants and investors looking to capitalize in the sector over a period of several years. That is still only a minute [mahy-noot, -nyoot, mi-] percentage of the roughly 904,500 actively practicing physicians in the United States today. Given the modern-day variations in the business models and the ill-defined nature of these healthcare brands defined healthcare, it is impossible to calculate a precise number at this time. Medscape’s recent Physician Compensation Report (http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2016/public/overview#page=19), stated that Concierge Care alone in particular, has stayed at around 3% annual growth for the past 3 years. We believe there may be slightly more growth than that, but conservatively no more than 5% to 6%, based on what industry sources tell us they personally experience and the increase in physician interest about the business model since the passing of the ACA in recent years.

Sources close to Concierge Medicine Today and our other publications note that because there is no official federal or state registry, it is hard to pin down exactly how many physicians have switched to Concierge or direct-pay practices. Today, it is estimated that as many as 12,000 physicians operate using private subscriptions practice models across the U.S. For example, we estimate a count of around 140 verified Subscription-based Medical practices (a global term encompassing both Concierge and Direct Care offices) in the New York area and perhaps as many “under the radar” offerings, since concierge medicine for now remains a branded business model and not a certified designation. Nationally, we can project that there are as many as 6,500 concierge doctors with perhaps as many “under the radar” offerings. That’s how we get to the 12,000 number. This estimate is based upon industry interviews with hundreds of doctors, thought leaders, marketplace consultants and investors looking to capitalize in the sector over a period of several years. That is still only a minute [mahy-noot, -nyoot, mi-] percentage of the roughly 904,500 actively practicing physicians in the United States today. Given the modern-day variations in the business models and the ill-defined nature of these healthcare brands defined healthcare, it is impossible to calculate a precise number at this time.
Medscape’s recent Physician Compensation Report (http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2016/public/overview#page=19), stated that Concierge Care alone in particular, has stayed at around 3% annual growth for the past 3 years. We believe there may be slightly more growth than that, but conservatively no more than 5% to 6%, based on what industry sources tell us they personally experience and the increase in physician interest about the business model since the passing of the ACA in recent years.

JUNE 17, 2016 | LA TIMES – Los Angeles company is looking to expand the field of concierge medicine to include on-demand surgical care.

Prime Surgeons has launched a beta test of its concierge surgery business in L.A. County.

The group of 16 surgeons will initially specialize in orthopedic sports, spine surgery, gynecology and robotics procedures.

Concierge medicine is a small but growing concept in which doctors, typically in primary care, focus on a smaller, wealthier clientele who pay a membership fee to get on-demand access to their physicians.

Through Prime Surgeons’ website or app, patients who already have had surgery or want a second opinion on whether to have surgery can reach out directly to set up a consultation with one of the network’s surgeons, said company Chief Executive Gil Tepper.

“We want the public to be able to choose the surgeon’s surgeon,” he said.

If they’re approved for surgery, patients can then choose an appointment that fits their schedule and customize payment packages that include varying levels of access to their surgeon and potentially postoperative care.

The basic membership level, which allows patients to schedule appointments within two weeks, is $99 a year. Concierge level membership, which includes the highest access to physicians and appointment scheduling within 24 to 48 hours, is $2,500 a quarter.

Trade publication Concierge Medicine Today estimated that there are as many as 12,000 concierge doctors in the U.S., still just a small percentage of total physicians.

But a concierge surgery model poses different challenges than primary care medicine, said Nadereh Pourat, director of research at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. For one, surgery is often a one-time event.

“Surgery is not the same as primary care, where you know you’re going to need it,” she said.

Prime Surgeons says it’s looking to capitalize on the projected growth of the orthopedic surgery market, reflecting an aging population.

SOURCE: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-concierge-surgery-20160615-snap-story.html

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