By Concierge Choice Physicians, Wayne Lipton
MARCH 23, 2016 – Concierge Medicine Today recently posted a graphic highlighting the movement of specialists into concierge care. This is certainly a trend we’ve witnessed at Concierge Choice Physicians. Over the last few years, we’ve had a steep increase in the number of specialists who have enrolled with us—mostly cardiologists, but also specialists like endocrinologists, rheumatologists, gynecologists and even hematology.
How does concierge care work for specialists?
Primary care physicians were the first to explore the concierge model because they were the first to suffer the effects of declining reimbursements and increasing requirements and overhead. Unfortunately, specialists are no longer exempt.
But specialists are not primary care physicians—the nature of their practices is fundamentally different. They only see a portion of their patients on an ongoing basis, and they rely on referral networks. For many specialists, a full model concierge program can be a risky endeavor. Do they have the patient base to support such a model? How will other doctors refer them new patients if everyone must become a member?
Fortunately there is a way for specialists to reap the benefits of a membership model without putting their practice at risk. The blended model of concierge care, known as the Hybrid Choice ™ model, is the solution. We are the national leader in hybrid concierge, and now are also the national leader in concierge care for specialists.
We understand the specific needs of specialists. They need to see patients for episodic care and consults. They serve as the go-to doctor for only a portion of their patient base. Often, they work in large group practices or they are affiliated with a large delivery system and can’t make structural changes to their practice without upsetting the larger business model. That’s why the Hybrid Choice model works so well for specialists. It blends seamlessly into any business model and allows the specialist to continue to see all their patients, and maintain important referral sources and insurance plans. The concierge program simply becomes an optional service within the practice the patient can choose.
And patients of specialists are making the concierge choice in high numbers. Patients, especially those managing chronic or serious conditions, need and want personalized, coordinated care. They want peace of mind knowing they have a strong relationship with a physician who knows them. Something that today’s healthcare landscape isn’t always able to make time for. As a concierge member, they can receive that high-level of service and advocacy from their trusted physician and the medical staff if it’s important to them. The Hybrid Choice model is one in which everyone wins—the specialist is able to experience the benefits of a new, private revenue stream and the patients get to choose a level of service that feels right for them.