Insights & Analysis

What is Concierge Medicine? Glossary, Terms, Stats and More. Updated for 2019

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Last Updated: December 2020

By Concierge Medicine Today

Oversimplified … Concierge Medicine is a subscription-based or membership medicine healthcare delivery business model where the Physician is purposeful and intentional about blending certain characteristics of service and medical expertise into the rhythm of his/her organization and medical practice environment. That may include:

  • Finding unique ways to collaborate and communicate with Patients more thoroughly and effectively;
  • Address specific healthcare needs and questions whenever they arise;
  • It is a place where the Physician partners with each Patient individually to create a preventive lifestyle planning solution that is flexible and obtainable;
  • It is a safe, comfortable, inviting, friendly and professional medical environment;
  • It is a setting whereby the Physician loans his/her time, talent, expertise and resources to needs of the Patient.

There’s obviously a lot more to it than that so watch more here to further unpack this modern, subscription-based healthcare delivery model in practice today.

We must be doing something right if we officially “made it” into the TIMES SQUARE on the busiest day of the year, Thanksgiving and during the Thanksgiving Day Parade a few years ago!!!! “Doctor’s Guide to Concierge Medicine” (Courtesy: Times Square, New York, PR Newswire; Concierge Medicine Today. Photo above from Thanksgiving Day Parade, starting at 8:57AM EST) !!!

 

Introduction

Michael Tetreault, Editor of Concierge Medicine Today and Host of the 2020-2021 Concierge Medicine VIRTUAL Forum this Nov. 12-Dec 31, 2020

Editor’s Note

“Concierge Medicine, like it or not, exposes what has yet to be accomplished between the Patient and the medical practice and Physician. In this way, this unique version of healthcare delivery creates a healthy sense of organizational discontent. Change is hard. That’s why we’re all here talking about it. We can’t ignore what’s happening to Physicians and Patients. Neither today are satisfied and leaving the medical office exam room satisfied. Have you ever sat on the other side of the exam room across from a Physician lately? Have you listened to the frustration inside the waiting areas? We have. And what we discovered year after year is that change is critical to bringing the Patient and Physician closer together. It’s easy to keep slipping into old patterns that seem to work or reimburse at this rate or that rate but we never see or experience real change. Change is and can be a means to an end. Today, Patients want their Doctor to change the way they communicate with them. Change in healthcare today is modeled here in Concierge Medicine by marrying the Hippocratic Oath with the Golden Rule. That should be the reality and example every of Patient-Physician encounter in our communities. These Doctors, this industry, are simply early innovators leading by example. They’re living, breathing story tellers that Patients are embracing with arms wide open.”

~Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief, Concierge Medicine Today, Author, Host of the Concierge Medicine Forum, FOR Doctors


Outline

  1. About Concierge Medicine Today, the FORUM and Available Industry Resources
  2. What Is Concierge Medicine?
  3. History of Concierge Medicine
  4. The Cost of Concierge Medicine
  5. FAQs and Myths
  6. Typical Services Offered
  7. Checklist: 50 Questions Every Patient Should Ask Before They Join A Concierge Medicine Subscription Program
  8. Info-Graphics, Illustrations, Surveys, Industry Polling Insights & Popular Industry Trends
  9. Differences Between Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care (DPC)
  10. Glossary of Terms

About Concierge Medicine Today, the FORUM and Available Industry Resources

ATLANTA, GA USA | By Concierge Medicine Today Staff

Updated: December 1, 2020

Concierge Medicine Today and its family of independent healthcare trade publications is the educational and news resource for thousands of Physicians and Consumers of private medicine services … and is one of the most visible Private Medicine web properties in the world.

Join FREE Today … A Community in Healthcare Where Experienced Doctors Can Learn What’s Working, Trade Notes & Network.

Our flagship publication, Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) has recently hit (Summer/Fall 2020) over 1.4 million views on its main news and information/distribution site, www.ConciergeMedicineToday.org. We’ve racked up 619,092+ unique visitors/readers over the past several years, 100,000+ eJournal Physician Subscribers, 154 million minutes in total reading-on-site time, published nearly 10,000 articles/stories in longer-form investigative and educational journalism, talked with Physicians who’ve been a part of Netflix healthcare documentaries, presented and explained complex Precision Medicine and Genetic concepts, interviewed/recorded 300+ podcasts with subject matter Physician experts accumulating more than 18,000 hours of educational content exclusively FOR DOCTORS.

Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) is a news organization and the Concierge Medicine industry’s oldest national trade publication for the Concierge Medicine and Membership Medicine marketplace. Its web site is the online destination for businesses, consumers, physicians, legislators, researchers and other stakeholders to learn about the history of this industry, various business aspects of the marketplace, trends, breaking news and more that drives the conversation that Concierge Medicine and free market healthcare delivery is creating on a national and international level.

And that’s just our day-job.

NOV. – Dec 2020 | A Six Week Long Event, 100% Virtual Conference entitled the Concierge Medicine FORUM – FOR DOCTORS, Nurses, PAs, Office Managers and More … Get A REPLAY PASS HERE to ACCESS 100+ Breakouts, General Sessions, Exclusive Webinars and Learn More About This Innovative Industry in Healthcare …

We also host an annual conference each year FOR DOCTORS that brings together Entrepreneurial Physicians from across the U.S. and abroad entitled the Concierge Medicine Forum. Over the years the CMT Concierge Medicine Forum has grown into the biggest concierge medicine communications and educational event of the year. This year it brought CMEs to the community as well as a diverse group of speakers, educators, medical faculty and innovative company CEOs and Founders to its stage. It’s not only a place for Physicians to gain practical customer service and communications training, but it’s a welcoming place where Doctor’s, staff, Nurses, PAs, RNs and others can connect and collaborate with a community of like-minded people who do what you do and do it happily.

“One of our advisors to this event this year said something a few weeks ago that really resonated with our team and Physician speakers. ‘When the Doctor becomes personable, he/she becomes memorable … and when the Physician in our lives becomes memorable, they become invaluable. That is truly remarkable and worth remarking to others about,’” quoted Tetreault. “I’m well aware of the tension that exists in healthcare and the bristle that some out there give when confronted with two of healthcare’s most polarizing words, ‘Concierge Medicine.’ I welcome these conversations and will talk to anyone who will listen about this tension that exists. At the end of the day, we might not agree and that’s okay. But we all know that it might be something we want for our own mother or our very own kids. These are great Doctor’s who are constantly innovating. They’re learning the social graces (e.g. kindness and creating a better way or a closer relationship with a Doctor) necessary to compete for the trust and friendship of their Patients now and in the future. We’re simply here to share their stories and make sure others know about what great things they’re doing in this space as well.”

We also have a plethora of stories, industry polls, patient and physician surveys, news stories, Podcasts and exclusive video and webinar interviews with Doctors, for Doctor who want to learn about this unique space.

Additionally, in order to reach new and younger Physician audiences — our sister publication, The DPC Journal also has over half a million views and just over 40% of our DPC Journal Physician readers are under 40 years old — it’s a growing Physician audience we don’t ignore either.

We are also a place where Doctors from all specialties and unique backgrounds come to listen, learn, watch and expand their knowledgebase on how healthcare ‘could be’ and ‘should be’ delivered in the future. With as many as 200,000+ sent eJournal news Bulletins and Alerts sent each month, our industry trade publications provide powerful mediums by which to consistently put your name in front of this highly-targeted, niche specific, hard-to-reach audience. With an open rate average of 17.8%, it is well above the industry average of 15.2% resulting in more exposure to this targeted demographic.

Join CMTs All-New Concierge Medicine,
“For Doctors Forum”
(FREE TRIAL) …

 

Enroll in CMTs “FOR DOCTORS FORUM” – a Virtual online community for Doctors — with online/on-demand courses and interactive video training, marketing and growing your healthcare practice with insight from YOUR PEERS, physician leadership and business advice, surveys, checklists, polls and insight on how to thrive as an entrepreneurial Physician — Sign Up Free, Browse Courses — Start Growing Today … FREE Trial!

Access to a private, dedicated community platform so you can focus on your practice without getting distracted by social.You want to feel like you’re not alone. You want people who “get it” to bounce ideas off of. You want steady reminders for how you can take what you’ve built and make it stronger, healthier, and more.

Enroll in CMTs “FOR DOCTORS FORUM” – a Virtual online community for Doctors — with online/on-demand courses and interactive video training, marketing and growing your healthcare practice with insight from YOUR PEERS, physician leadership and business advice, surveys, checklists, polls and insight on how to thrive as an entrepreneurial Physician —

To locate a concierge medicine or cash-only physician or learn more, click here.

A Panel of Physicians Discuss Concierge Medicine at the latest NATIONAL CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM Hosted By CMT. LEARN MORE …

“More than twenty years later, the bustling and innovative Concierge Medicine space is inviting Doctors everywhere in to lead by example,” said Michael Tetreault, Host of the #conciergemedicineforum Virtual Conference from Atlanta, GA USA and Editor of Concierge Medicine Today (CMT). “You must be a good leader to be a great Doctor and this unique niche in healthcare will test you and bring out the DocPreneur inside every Physician, if that’s what they want. Concierge Medicine has become the conscience [an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior …] by which many Physicians in healthcare today routinely measure their own personal career satisfaction in medicine. It might not be right for you now but ultimately later in life we find Physician’s decide how satisfied they are in their own career and consider the option of moving into a Concierge Medicine or some form of subscription-based healthcare delivery business model that is rewarding to themselves and their patients.”

(C) 2007-2021 | By Concierge Medicine Today | Last Updated, December 2020

NOTE: To assist you, we have provided a Glossary of Terms in last section of this book. Please reference this Glossary to help define/explain terms such as ‘concierge medicine,’ ‘boutique medicine,’ ‘direct care,’ and others.


What Is Concierge Medicine?

“Some have said, ‘We’re in the Golden Age of technology but Dark Ages of delivery.’ We have resources but no time to utilize them to their highest & best use.” ~Dr Andrea Klemes, physician and MDVIP Medical Director, said to Medical Economics.

At the latest CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM in Atlanta, GA USA. LEARN MORE about the upcoming Dates and Topics TBD at the Next NATIONAL CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM in ATLANTA …

Concierge Medicine is not a new experiment. Physicians, CMT-CMF speakers and many organizations familiar with the space will explain to you that ‘It is the modern version of how healthcare was delivered decades ago.’

“I became a concierge physician for the same reason I became a doctor – I want to help people. With this model, I can continue to help people even when traditional medicine changes significantly. When a patient has a “one more thing, Doctor…,” the last thing I want to do is to cut the patient off. Patients deserve to be involved in their care and receive the valuable service of planning for optimal health with the guidance of a family physician who is dedicated to the care of the patient.” ~Dr. Brian Nadolne, MD, Marietta, GA

Concierge Medicine is a form of membership in which doctors provide medical care to Patients generally providing 24/7 access, a cell phone number to connect directly with their physician, same-day appointments, visits that last as long as it takes to address their needs and varying other amenities. In exchange for this enhanced access and personal attention, the Concierge Doctor receives a fee (most fees average between $125-$500/mo., Source: ConciergeMedicineToday.com) which enables them to increase the amount of time they spend with Patients.

“One of the most significant disruptions in healthcare delivery will come increasingly more consumers expecting healthcare to offer the same convenience, access, and customer-centered experiences they receive from the restaurant, retail, or mobile technology industries,” said Dr. Kyra Bobinet, CEO of FreshTri and a Keynote Speaker at a recent CMT Hosted Concierge Medicine Forum annual Conference. “Concierge practice in all of its forms will naturally increase in demand and, just like all innovations that start with early adopters, it will mature and expand to more patient segments in 2019 because of increased demand and increased interest. In this growing market, patient engagement and behavior change will be requisite skills for physician-entrepreneurs to offer value to their patients.”

cropped-cropped-cropped-informed.jpgMD² pioneered the concept of concierge medicine in 1996, and the Seattle-based company has since expanded to 13 offices in 11 well-traveled cities, with a business model that was purposefully designed to meet the needs of the high net worth sector. While a small percentage of Americans fall into this category, the demand is just as great for a stellar concierge medical practice that can accommodate the unique needs of busy executives with significant constraints on their time and demanding travel schedules. Individuals who cannot wait to secure appointments, whose privacy and confidentiality are high priorities, and most of all, for those who expect precision.

“Data supporting the cost-effectiveness and affordability of Concierge Medicine and other free market healthcare delivery models is intriguing,” said Tetreault. “Long-term data on these particular subscription-based Patients is still being compiled. Further analysis is encouraged and supported by marketplace consultants and physicians. More data to support these common observations should be analyzed and published. What we do know today is that Concierge Medicine, retainer medicine and boutique physicians that have a long, relational history with their Patients often have high annual retention rates. Based upon observation of these trends year after year, these [Concierge] practices are reporting levels or percentages at or exceeding traditional primary care and family practice patient retention and care expectations.”

Peter Hoedemaker, CEO at MD²

“Health care is not and should not be a one-size-fits-all solution. Continual innovation is what will ultimately save a crumbling health care system and the more options there are to serve the needs of Americans the better. MD² is the result of fearless trailblazing by one man. Others need to follow suit to bring new methodologies, technologies and models that will serve other consumer sectors and free the medical paradigm from it’s current spin-cycle with insurance and billing.”, says MD²’s CEO, Peter Hoedemaker.

Monica E. Oss said in a 2019 Executive Briefing article she wrote entitled Should Your Organization Sell Health Care Subscriptions? … How many subscription memberships do you have? With very little thought, many come to mind—Netflix, HBO, Hello Fresh, Amazon Prime, Kindle Direct, and Consumer Reports to name a few. And the subscription market is expanding—bacon, clothing, shoes, beauty products, wine, and more. The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% a year over the past five years, with the largest players reaching $2.6 billion in sales (see The State Of The Subscription Economy, 2018). Now, consider subscription health care, where consumers can pay a weekly, quarterly, or yearly fee to receive some type of health care services. These models give consumers a way to budget for specific health care costs and gives provider organizations a consistent, reoccurring stream of revue. Subscription health care can take on many different forms to cover a variety of different services, including software, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, concierge care, and direct primary care (see Subscription Medicine: On-Demand Healthcare For Everyone and Digital Healthcare In A Subscription-Based Economy). – This reprint appears with the permission of OPEN MINDS. For more information, visit their website at www.openminds.com. To contact the author, email openminds@openminds.com.

“We have many physicians just outside the major metropolitan areas; including some in smaller, more rural towns,” notes Julie Robinson, Vice President of Operations at Cypress Concierge Medicine, a healthcare company based out of Nashville, TN specializing in providing direction and support for physicians who have a desire to convert their traditional practice to personalized healthcare. “Concierge Medicine isn’t just for ‘big city’ folks that have a lot of disposable income. Patients all over the country are looking for they type of care a concierge physician offers – more time, individualized proactive care, and an alternative to the less personal, hurried, reactive care that physicians are being forced to provide.”

Marni Carey and Michael Tetreault address a large group of Concierge Medicine Physicians. Marni Carey is the Executive Director of AID (left) and Michael Tetreault (right) is the Editor & Host of the Annual CMT Concierge Medicine FORUM.

“We must remove every possible obstacle from the walkway of the worried, restless, irritated, annoyed, fretful, angry, depressed, concerned patient,” says Michael Tetreault, Host of the CMT Concierge Medicine Forum and Editor of the international trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today. “The exam room, the staff, the hallway, the front office and even the parking lot must be ready to serve and receive every Patient with a smile … without frustration, without waiting or last minute interruption. This is hard work. It requires an extra step in preparation which most medical offices and corporate leadership running medical offices are simply unwilling and don’t want to do. It’s different I get it. But this is how we lead Patients into a trusted and confidence-based relationship with their Doctor … by removing every possible obstacle on their path, one day, one step at a time. The goal is progress, not perfection and we must continue to lean in and support Doctors and teams that are will to do what’s difficult and raise the standard of care to a higher level.”


History of Concierge Medicine and the Subscription-Based Healthcare Delivery Marketplace (1996-Present) Abridged

Below is an Abridged History Of Concierge Medicine and The Private, Subscription-Based Healthcare Delivery Marketplace.

Did We Miss Something?

We recognize a lot has happened in the past 20+ years. It’s virtually impossible to capture every moment in one document. As you may be aware, this document is routinely updated by Concierge Medicine Today and edited. If we missed something, please, let us know by emailing CMT and our sister publication, The DPC Journal directly at editor@ConciergeMedicineToday.com. Thank you!

  • 1996: Dr. Howard Maron and Scott Hall, FACP established MD2 (pronounced MD squared) located in Seattle, Bellevue, WA and Oregon. They charged an annual retainer fee of $13,200 and $20,000 per family.
  • Click Here to Read “Concierge Medicine, 20+ Years Later …”

    1999: Medical Professionalism Project-consisting of members of the internal medicine community, including representatives of ACP and the American Board of Internal Medicine, set out to draft a charter that could serve as a framework for understanding professionalism.

  • 1999: Institute of Medicine releases the now famous report of medical errors, Patient safety, and professional integrity that caused further probing in physician exam rooms.
  • 2000:    Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA began operating concierge medical services within its facilities and used some of the profits from the 5 physician practice to subsidize other programs and indigent care services.
  • 2000:    MDVIP, founded by Dr. Robert Colton and Bernard Kaminetsky, in Boca Raton, FL. A brand of Concierge Medicine practice and management firm which has set-up more than 700 concierge medical practices with offices in almost every State across the U.S. Update: In April 2014, Procter & Gamble announced the sale of MDVIP to a private equity firm, Summit Partners.
  • 2001:     American Medical Association writes concierge physician guidelines: PRINCIPLES OF MEDICAL ETHICS.
  • 2002:    ACB Foundation , ABIM Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine defines ethical principles and responsibilities contracts between Patient and physician, which is in a language that suggests both parties have equality, mutual interest and autonomy.
  • 2002:    Medicare addresses Concierge Medicine and retainer fees.
  • 2002:    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, CMS, outlined its position on concierge care in a March 2002 memorandum. The memorandum states that physicians may enter into retainer agreements with their Patients as long as these agreements do not violate any Medicare requirements.
  • 2002:    Pinnacle Care establishes Patient care with a one-time membership fee for access to VIP service.
  • 2002:    The AMA counsel on medical services issued a report in June 2002 on Special Physician-Patient contracts. It concluded that retainer medicine was a very small phenomenon.

“When you think of Andy Griffith-style medicine, the doctor had a clinic in the local town. It’d be strange for him to say, ‘What kind of insurance does Opie have?’” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor in Chief, Concierge Medicine Today

    • 2010:     ASCP to SIMPD reorganizes, expands its vision, and rebrands itself the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP).

      2003:    American Society of Concierge Physicians was founded by Dr. John Blanchard. The association later changed its name to SIMPD, Society for Innovative Practice Design.

    • 2003:    AMA issued guidelines for boutique practices in June 2003.
    • 2003:    Department of Health and Human Services rules the concierge medical practices are not illegal and the federal government the OIG, Office of the Inspector General, takes a decidedly hands off approach.
    • 2003:    American College of Physicians writes doctors struggle to balance professionalism with the pressures of everyday practice.
    • 2003:    June 2003 the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs outlines guidelines for “contracted medical services”. The AMA House of Delegates approves these guidelines.
    • 2004:    GAO, General Accountability Office writes 146 concierge physicians in the U.S.
    • 2004:    Harvard University study finds that 55% of the respondents are dissatisfied with their health care, and 40% of that 55% agreed that the quality of care had worsened in the previous five years.
    • 2005:    The AOA, American Osteopathic Association adopts not to recommend and an official policy on concierge care.
    • 2006:    MDVIP, a concierge physician practice management firm, reports that 130 physicians within their network treat up to 40,000 Patients worldwide.
    • 2007:   Concierge Medicine Today, a concierge medical news agency opens its doors to be an advocate for news pertaining to the Concierge Medicine, retainer-based, boutique, private medicine and direct care industry.
    • 2007:    The term “direct practice” was first used in legislation in Washington in 2007 that clarified these practices were not insurance companies under state law-but they do provide basic, preventive medical care.
    • 2008:    Boasting an estimated 35 concierge physician practices, Orange County, CA appeared to be a leading hub of Concierge Medicine.
    • 2008:    Concierge Physician of Orange County (CPOC)– a non-profit group of existing concierge physicians was founded.
    • “The Collective” was Concierge Medicine Today’s research side of the international trade publication. Today, the name and utility has been rolled into several of CMTs publication topic-focused Physician Reader “Sections” of CMTs publication(s).

      2009:    Concierge Medicine Today, announces the formation of The Concierge Medicine Research Collective.

    • 2009:    Concierge Medicine Today, reveals that concierge medical practices across the U.S. are thriving in a recession.
    • 2009:    Procter & Gamble Acquired MDVIP in 2009 – No less a respected corporation than Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) has staked out a major presence in Concierge Medicine. In 2007, P&G acquired a 48% stake in MDVIP, a Concierge Medicine company that was formed in 2000. Then, in December 2009, Procter & Gamble acquired 100% ownership in MDVIP for an undisclosed sum. This acquisition was reported by Dark Daily. (See “Boutique Medicine Venture Generates Marketing Intelligence for Procter & Gamble,” April 5, 2010.)
    • 2010:     SIMPD reorganizes, expands its vision, and rebrands itself the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP).
    • 2010:     Concierge Medicine Today, reveals the affordability of concierge medical and private medicine practices across the U.S. stating that over 62% of the programs offered to Patients cost less than $135/mo.
    • 2010:     American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP) forms first local chapter in Orange County, California called AAPP,OC (formerly CPOC)
    • 2010:     According to a 2010 American Academy of Family Physicians survey, three percent of respondents practice in a cash-only, direct care, concierge, boutique, or retainer medical practice.
    • 2012:     December 2012 – Study Proves Dramatic Reduction in Hospitalizations & $300 Million Savings for MDVIP’s Personalized Healthcare Model
    • 2012: Washington State OIC issued DPC Outlook in Washington State.  2012 direct practices report https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2012-direct-practices-report.pdf
      File Format: PDF; Direct Practices Annual report to the … practices evolved 11 Federal Health Reform 12 The Exchange…
    • 2013:     Three Year Analysis of Concierge and Direct Care Medicine Shows Encouraging Signs For Boosting Primary Care In U.S. Economy. Data collected from Concierge Medicine and DPC doctors show encouraging signs across the U.S. from December of 2009 to December of 2012.
    • Times Square New York, November 2015 During the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, CMTs First Edition of “The Doctor’s Guide to Concierge Medicine” was released and featured in Times Square, New York, NY.

      2013:     New Data on Concierge Medicine Physician and DPC (DPC) Clinician Salaries and Released by Concierge Medicine Today. Data also looks at career satisfaction among Concierge/DPC physicians.

    • 2013:     On August 2, 2013, the Dare Center, Seattle, WA, invited concierge physicians, hospital administrators and medical center executives from across the country to participate in a roundtable discussion. This inaugural event took place at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle.
    • 2013:    Family Physicians, Patients Embrace DPC … AAFP Recognizes Benefits, Creates DPC Policy
    • 2013: Comstock’s Magazine, April 1, 2014 Published a story with the insights of industry experts, physicians and Concierge Medicine today entitled Is it worth it? Here is a short excerpt/summary: Since concierge medicine is not insurance (it wouldn’t cover a trip to the hospital) many patients combine it with a high-deductible plan. Tetreault suggests that consumers think of health insurance more like auto insurance or fire insurance; it should be used for emergencies, not the day-to-day. You wouldn’t use car insurance to change your oil, rotate the tires or buy wiper blades. In the best-case scenario, the sum of the concierge fee ($150/month, for example) plus the bare-bones premiums for a high-deductible plan ($110-ish, theoretically) would pencil out to less than $328 per month, or what the Department of Health and Human Services cites as the “average” cost of health care.
    • 2013:     The DPC Trade Journal Launched. The DPC Journal works directly and indirectly with physicians, businesses and leaders, journalists and the media in the healthcare marketplace to help promote the distribution of news and information, policy initiatives and to reach out to physicians throughout the United States. DirectPrimaryCare.com.
    • The DPC Journal is an independent, trade publication reporting the news, happenings and trends in the small, but rising DPC space.

      2013:    First National Gathering Focused On DPC (DPC) Held In St. Louis: October 11-12, 2013. “This is the first national gathering of businesses and individuals interested in DPC,” says Dr. Erika Bliss, a Family Physician at Qliance Medical Group of WA and President/CEO of Qliance Medical Management Inc. “DPC is quickly becoming an important contributor to the transformation of our nation’s healthcare system. This conference will bring together key stakeholders to learn more about DPC and discuss its place in the future of medical care delivery.” “The DPC National Summit will bring together physicians, business leaders, policymakers and others from across the country,” added Bliss.  “DPC providers and supporters share the common goal of contributing meaningfully to the improvement of healthcare for all, and by building connections among like-minded people, we hope to accelerate progress toward that goal.”

    • 2013: Washington State OIC issued DPC Outlook in Washington State.  2013 OIC Annual Report; https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2013-OIC-Annual-Report.pdf; File Format: PDF; … State 2013 Line of Business Direct Premiums Written Direct … $7,184,458 85.14%Accident &
    • To learn more about the ACPP and its work with Concierge Medicine Doctors across the U.S. and abroad, visit: http://www.acpp.md

      2013: Concierge Medicine Today and its sister publication provided the subscription-based healthcare delivery marketplace with an Annual Report, summarizing the health of the marketplace. Here’s a brief excerpt: Overall, Concierge Medicine and DPC are thriving in major metropolitan markets. Four states that have a huge lead in the amount of active concierge or private-pay physician’s in practice as well as consumers seeking their care are: Florida, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Each of these States have a significant number of people, most are over the age of 50, seeking out Concierge Doctors and cash-only options. Fortunately, a sizeable number of Concierge Doctors are available to serve them, which is not the case in the more rural parts of the country. In these states is where we are seeing franchise Concierge Medicine fees increase and independent Concierge Doctor fees decrease due to increasing competition and Patient demand for more price transparency. Of great benefit to consumers, prices are dropping significantly due to increasing competition among physicians entering the marketplace, retail medicine pricing, price transparency demand from Patients and uncertainty about the implications of the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act has also created quite a bit of uncertainty among both Patients and doctors. The shoe has most certainly dropped and now more doctors than ever are considering a career in Concierge Medicine, DPC and retail healthcare.

“There are no insurance codes for ‘cure,’” says Dr. Garrison Bliss of Qliance, based in Seattle, WA.

  • 2014: New Association Formed, American College of Private Physicians (ACPP): Group to Focus on Credentialing Doctors, Advocacy to Employers, Unions, Government and the like to benefit industry nationwide.
  • 2014: P&G sells concierge medicine unit: P&G CEO — ‘Since returning as CEO last year, A.G. Lafley has said P&G will exit ventures that won’t help it grow.’
  • 2014: MDVIP to be Acquired by Summit Partners — ‘MDVIP will continue to be run as a stand-alone company …’ [May 2, 2014]
  • 2020-2021 HSA Updates — WATCH/LISTEN to ALL New Webinar Here … Annual Conference HSA 3-Part Series…

    2014: IRS asked to clarify HSA rules in letter: On June 17, 2014, Members of Congress wrote Commissioner of Internal Revenue John Koskinen asking for clarification on how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats DPC Medical Homes with regard to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who authored ACA Sec. 1301 (a) (3), allowing DPC practices to participate in health exchanges with Qualified Health Plans, took the lead on the letter and was joined by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jim McDermott, MD (D-WA), ranking member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.  The three WA state lawmakers point out that The ACA rules on the Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans Part I (CMS-9989-F) promulgated by HHS, clearly state that DPC is not health insurance, and that the law has its roots in a provision in WA state law (48.150RCW) defining DPC as a health benefit outside insurance. IRS Continues to give guidance that DPC plans are considered health plans under Sec. 223 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which prohibits HSA account holders with high deductible health plans from having a second “health plan.” DPC members have met with officials in the Department of the Treasury and continue to work with the administration and Congress to change the IRS definition so that DPC fees are qualified medical expenses under Sec. 213 (d) of the IRC and can be offered as a benefit complimenting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) paired with high deductible health plans.

  • In 2019, the Latest Edition of “The Doctor’s EXPANDED Guide to Concierge Medicine” was released. 700+ Pages of Education, Tips, Tools, Strategies and Insight Into Concierge Medicine and Building A Subscription-Based Healthcare Delivery Model …

    2014:    Second National Gathering Focused On DPC (DPC) Held In Wash., DC., June 2014.

  • 2014: DPC United, a new DPC Physician Association, launched by Dr. Samir Qamar of MedLion announces that it will provide resources for DPC physicians and consumers.
  • 2014: Michigan DPC Bill Introduced as Louisiana Passes Law: On September 9, 2014, Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) introduced S.B. 1033, a bill to amend the MI state insurance code to clarify that a DPC agreement is not subject to state insurance regulation.  DPCC has provided resourced to Sen. Colbeck, and we are watching developments in state legislatures around the country as they prepare for the coming sessions.      This summer, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) signed similar legislation; Senate Bill No. 516, making Louisiana the latest state to create law to define DPC practices correctly outside the scope of insurance regulation.   Stay tuned for further updates as the legislative sessions kick off in this coming January.
  • 2014:    DPCC member Iora health recently announced an exciting new partnership with Humana to treat Medicare Advantage patients in Washington and Arizona.   According to the Iora release, “The partnership launches Iora’s unique health care model in Arizona and Washington where Iora Health will open four new primary care practices – two in Phoenix and two in Seattle – under the Iora Primary Care brand.  The primary care practices are designed exclusively for Humana’s Medicare Advantage members and will provide members access to affordable, quality care.”
  • 2014: New Study Conducted by Optum and MDVIP Finds Personalized Preventive Care Significantly Reduces Healthcare Expenditures Among Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries
  • 2014:    September 2014, American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP) Course Corrects Physician Association, citing that the industry’s association is focusing on five key areas. Those include: legal compliance for doctors, innovative learning tracks at national meetings, physician networking, legislative and lobbying initiatives and staying up to date on new and emerging technologies..

“Your ability to withstand the pressure and overcome the obstacles of uncertainty and potential failure and see the other side before others do is what makes a successful concierge [direct-pay] physician …” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor, CMT and The DPC Journal, 2014

  • 2014:    In October 2014, at the AAFP Assembly, a DPC Track is added to the agenda in Washington, D.C. It was called the “Health is Primary” initiative, a key business model for success touted by the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians).
  • (C) 2019 The DPC Journal | Click to Enlarge

    2014: Washington State OIC issued DPC Outlook in Washington State. The OIC report insinuated that DPC is losing ground in terms of patients and that our monthly fees have been climbing (presumably as we head toward concierge medicine pricing); 2014 direct practices report; https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2014-direct-practices-report.pdf

    File Format: PDF; Direct Practices Annual report to the … practices evolved 12 Federal Health Reform 13 The Exchange…
  • 2014: In reply, The DPC Journal assimilated a DPC leadership response to the Washington State OIC Report publishing for legislators, payers, physicians and the like: ‘DPC Leadership Response To Washington State OIC Report: ‘Outlook for DPC is bright throughout U.S.’
  • In the Boston Globe, 2015, CMT Publisher, Catherine Sykes and Michael Tetreault discuss the trend of hospital concierge medicine programs as Mass General opens their new concierge medicine program in 2016. Read more …

    2014: The DPC Journal releases its industry-wide definition of DPC, the 5-Minute Guide: What Makes DPC Different From Concierge Medicine. Also releases 2-Year analysis of DPC marketplace data.

  • 2014: (November 4, 2014) Hospitals Take Cues From The Hospitality Industry | By Kaiser Health News
  • 2015: Michigan State Sen. Pat Colbeck, R-Canton, believes the path to providing Michigan citizens with access to higher quality, lower cost health care has been cleared following Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature into law of Colbeck’ s SB 1033 (Public Act 522 of 2014). The new law in Michigan assures physicians who adopt a direct primary care service business model that the administrative burden associated with insurance regulations will not interfere with their treatment of patients. Physicians who offer direct primary care services provide specified services for a monthly subscription fee that usually vary between $50 and $125 per month.
  • 2015: States with DPC Laws: Source: DPCare.org; Current as of January 22, 2015: Washington – 48-150 RCW; Utah – UT 31A-4-106.5; Oregon – ORS 735.500; West Virginia- WV-16-2J-1; Arizona – S.B. 1404; Louisiana – S.B. 516; Michigan – S.B. 1033
  • 2015: Specialdocs, a pioneer and leading Concierge  Medicine consulting firm says ‘Cardiology, Endocrinology, Pulmonology, Pediatrics and OB GYN Practices Can Benefit from Conversion to Concierge Model.’
  • #11) Characteristics of a Traditional vs. Retail Health — CLICK TO ENLARGE — By The Advisory Board — Source: http://www.advisory.com/

    2015: The United Hospital Fund Releases A Report, Convenient Care: Retail Clinics and Urgent Care Centers In New York State. This report is relevant to Concierge Care and the DPC healthcare space because: Although based on a small sample from a single group practice in Minnesota, the study found that patients who visited retail clinics had lower total costs than matched patients who visited the acute care clinic (Rohrer, Angstman, and Bartel 2009). A more recent study of adult primary care patients, also in Minnesota, found that the odds of return visits for treatment of sinusitis were the same whether patients received care at a retail clinic or in a regular office visit (Rohrer, Angstman, and Garrison 2012). Perhaps more telling, a larger study of spending patterns of CVS Caremark employees found a significantly lower total cost of care in the year following a first visit to a retail clinic compared to costs incurred by propensity score-matched individuals who received care in other settings. In total, retail clinic users spent $262 less than their counterparts, with savings stemming primarily from lower medical expenses at physicians’ offices ($77 savings) and reduced spending for hospital inpatient care ($121 savings). Retail clinic users also had 12 percent fewer emergency department visits than their counterparts (Sussman et al. 2013). The UHF saw nothing analogous on the impact of urgent care centers on total costs, but one study found that initial use of an urgent care center significantly reduced emergency department visits without increasing patient hospitalizations (Merritt, Naamon, and Morris 2000). Those results should be cautiously interpreted, however, given the study’s design limitations. Conversely, in September 2014, the MDVIP model also was shown to have saved some $3.7 million in reduced medical utilization for the 2,300 MDVIP Medicare Advantage patients over two years. Savings were $86.68 per patient per month in year one, and $47.03 per patient per month in year two, compared with patients who did not join an MDVIP practice. The two-year study explored preventive healthcare’s ability to improve outcomes by creating a closer, personalized physician-patient relationship and focusing on disease prevention for Medicare Advantage.

  • Read Part 1 of 2 by CMT | Benefits to Communities and Doctors When A Hospital Implements a Concierge Medicine or Executive Health Programs …

    2015: PinnacleCare, a leading health advisory firm, studied the impact of an expert second opinion on medical outcomes. Researchers collected data on 1,000 cases over a three‐year period and found that almost 77 percent of medical interventions led to changes in diagnosis, treatment, and/or treating physician. PinnacleCare gathered data on patient outcomes from their interventions over a three‐year period. In a sampling of 1,000 cases with known outcomes from 2012‐2014, 41% resulted in transfer of care to a COE or expert provider with 34% resulting in a change in diagnosis, treatment, and/or course of care. A total of 18 patients were able to avoid unnecessary surgery as a result of a PinnacleCare intervention. The data demonstrates the potential for health advisory services and second opinions to optimize outcomes and avoid needless expense. One of the persistent challenges in health care today is access to expert physicians. With consumer directed health care plans, the value of health advisory services becomes even more evident as consumers struggle with vetting appropriate providers and treatment options for their complex conditions while seeking timely access to the care that they need. PinnacleCare is committed to providing objective, concierge‐ level support with the expert resources and access needed to help consumers tackle these complex challenges.

  • (C) 2017 | The Direct Primary Care Journal ANNUAL REPORT and Marketplace Trends Analysis — 40+ Pages

    2015: The DPC Journal to release its 2015 Annual Report and Market Trends Analyses In The First Quarter of 2015

  • 2015: The DPC Journal releases physician insight gathered in a 2015 Industry Guidelines Proposal To Insurers and Legislators, Second Quarter 2015
  • 2015: (December 2015) In 2015, fewer than half of the direct practices chose to report voluntary information. Some said they do not collect this information, and others simply did not respond to the supplementary questions.  The bill requires the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to report annually to the Legislature on direct health care practices. Under RCW 48.150.100(3), this includes but is not limited to “participation trends, complaints received, voluntary data reported by the direct practices and any necessary modifications to this chapter.”
  • 2015: Washington State OIC issued DPC Outlook in Washington State. 2015 direct practices report; https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2015-direct-practices-report.pdf
    File Format: PDF; Direct Practice Annual report to the … practices evolved 16 Federal health reform 17 The Exchange bill…

    2016: (October 2016) National trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today issues industry-wide “Position Statement” on Outdated Physician Referral Methods to Surgeons and Hospitals on Behalf of Patients.

  • 2016: Washington State Insurance Commissioner Office: 2016 direct practice report; https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2016-direct-practice-report.pdf; File Format: PDF; … Box 40255 Olympia, WA 98504-0255 Direct practices in Washington state … 15 Federal health reform … This bill created an…
  • (C) The DPC Journal | Educational Series on DPC and Retail Healthcare

    2017: (January 2017) Las Vegas’ Turntable Health Closes | Jan. 2017 | ~Las Vegas Weekly | Leslie Ventura | Wed, Jan 11, 2017 (4:33 p.m.)  Turntable Health, a membership-based primary care practice in Downtown Las Vegas, will close its doors on January 31. Touted as an affordable and comprehensive alternative to insurance-based healthcare, the Downtown Project-affiliated company notified its members in December that its services would no longer be available. The member-based model, in which patients pay a flat monthly rate of $80 to receive access to a “wellness ecosystem,” including same- or next-day visits; 24/7 physician contact by phone, email or video chat; health coaching; nutrition, yoga and group therapy classes; and an on-site demonstration kitchen. Read Full Story … Source: https://lasvegasweekly.com/intersection/2017/jan/11/turntable-healths-closure-leaves-downtown-patients/

  • A CMT HOSTED International ANNUAL CONFERENCE – A Wide Array of Topics We’re Discussed In Concierge Medicine, Precision Medicine, Genomics, PGX; Physician Independence, Policy, Legal Updates, Telehealth and More at the 2018 Concierge Medicine Forum in Atlanta, GA USA!

    2017: (May 2017) UnitedHealth shutting down Harken Health  May 16, 2017 – Harken Health was never a major player in the insurance market, but its demise ends an experiment that company officials believed would reduce healthcare costs. The company lost nearly $70 million during the first six months of 2016 and never recovered.  The closure will be disappointing for those promoting alternative care models as ways to improve outcomes while reducing costs and perhaps increasing patients satisfaction. In April 2016, then CEO Tom Vanderheyden told Healthcare Dive the company’s care teams would be “empowered with the time to listen and build authentic and trusting relationship with members.” ~HealthcareDIVE Insight | Les Masterson | May 16, 2017  Read More … http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/harken-health-closes-after-a-year-of-cuts-losses/442849/

  • 2017: (May 2017) The DPC Journal has received multiple confirmations from various sources today [May 17, 2017] that reports from the Puget Sound Business (PBSJ) dated May 16, 2017 are confirmed … Qliance is closing their doors effective June 15, 2017. GeekWire reported today (May 17, 2017 @ 9:46 am) that … In an internal memo from Dr. Erika Bliss obtained by the PSBJ, she said the company was unable to find the funding to last them until they were able to find new contracts. The DPC Journal has confirmed this news as well.
  • 2017: (August 2017) AAPP Board of Directors Votes to Suspend Operations and to evaluate AAPP’s value proposition for 2018 and beyond. They issued the following statements … Article/Story Written By Michael Tetreault, Editor

AAPP Board of Directors Votes to Suspend Operations and to evaluate AAPP’s ongoing usefulness and value proposition for 2018 and beyond.

AUGUST 10, 2017 – In a statement released to Concierge Medicine Today by Dr. Pamila Brar, current President of the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP) stated “Due to evolving marketplace conditions in the private medicine conference space, our AAPP board of directors voted to suspend operations in 2017 and to evaluate AAPP’s ongoing usefulness and value proposition for 2018 and beyond.”

Download the 2007 Promotional PDF to one of the prior events …

Formerly known as the Society of Innovative Medical Practice Design (SIMPD) for many years, the AAPP’s presence, conferences and representatives served a limited, but engaged physician audience in unique ways. They focused on five key areas which included: legal compliance for doctors; innovative learning tracks at national meetings; physician networking; legislative and lobbying initiatives and staying up to date on new and emerging technologies. Although AAPP is suspending operations and evaluating the organization’s future, other physician organizations involved in private direct medicine seem to be experiencing strong membership growth.

Throughout an entire career however, physicians are faced with recurring questions related to medical associations: Which associations should I join? Which should I retain membership in? How do you decide which associations to pass on altogether? Simply type in the words ‘medical association’ and 29,200,000 plus results are found on Google alone.

A recent story in Forbes noted that ‘Nonprofits can be a great way for a community to mobilize around a cause, make an impact and deliver services to those in need.’

Following that, in November 2016, Becker’s Hospital Review cited relevant physician association challenges and wrote that nationally, 57.4 percent of physicians are part of a state medical society; 73.8 percent of physicians are members of a national specialty society; 31 percent of physicians are a current Member of the American Medical Association; and finally, 10.1. percent of physicians are a Member of the American Osteopathic Association.[1]

However, even with so many options today and increasing annual dues, the membership of the American College of Physicians nearly doubled between 1995 and 2009, reaching 130,000 members. The American College of Surgeons, with 77,000 members, has also seen tremendous growth in the past three decades. In June, the American Academy of Family Physicians announced that its membership had reached an all-time high of 100,300. [2]

So what makes these groups different from others?

Most doctors join medical societies and associations for what they can get, not for what they can contribute. Maybe this paradigm should be reversed, like many antiquated processes in today’s healthcare marketplace. Often the decision to join is influenced by a medical association’s position on hot-button political issues, such as healthcare reform. Many medical associations’ benefits are similar: access to discounts on medical devices; discounts on malpractice insurance; CME credit courses and webinars; hands-on help in choosing an EMR/EHR; participation at national or regional events and conferences; and advocacy for issues affecting members. It’s the last benefit where the difference in associations is generally revealed.

Optimism regarding Concierge Medicine, the delivery of Direct Primary Care and other private medicine business structures remains high among both consumers, executive healthcare professionals and physicians alike. In fact, a recent career satisfaction poll of the private physician community [e.g. Concierge Medicine, Direct Primary Care, Micro Clinic, etc.], reveals that nearly 90% of physicians in this niche community of healthcare professionals are highly satisfied with their career move into these entrepreneurial healthcare delivery business models There are models in which patients pay either an annual membership or monthly fee to be a part of the doctor’s practice.

“I think that this is an exciting time for private direct medicine,” says Jim Eischen, Esq., attorney with McGlinchey Stafford LLP. “With all sorts of stakeholders exploring private medicine solutions: this is no longer primarily a solo or small physician-owned medical practice space. Larger systems and providers, and even non-provider enterprises, are all exploring how to accomplish improved health outcomes with private consumer investment and expanded communication/connection. But there are challenges with how to integrate with the tax code, and with plan requirements.”

(C) 2017 The DPC Journal

However, the trend lines in Direct Primary Care (DPC) for example, reveal that the independent, solo physician is regrouping and possibly consolidating in its service line offering after two DPC groups announced their closures earlier this year [2017]. When asked, ‘Will DPC Stay Small? Grow Big? Optimism? What’s in store for Direct Primary Care?’, more than 13% of physicians are hopeful HSA and FSA integration inside DPC will occur to help patients pay for their monthly memberships. Additionally, nearly 18% of respondents to the online poll stated ‘I hope DPC Doctors Can Work/Partner With More Businesses to Save HC Costs …’ and nine percent noted ‘I hope to see the creation of DPC networks for Employer Use (sim. to MCOs) come into the market.’ Self-insured employers are beginning to show interest in the ways in which these models can improve health outcomes and contain costs according to several industry insiders.

“There is no better strategy than a major issue campaign to increase the number of people in an association or professional society,” said Catherine Sykes, Publisher of Concierge Medicine Today, The Direct Primary Care Journal and Concierge Medicine Canada. “If properly managed, associations will use a new issue campaign as an opportunity to expand their sources of information and the number of people involved in that aspect of the work. Most organizations focus on building a membership network and often underestimate the need to build the value of their own organizations while struggling to win on public issues. As in the case of the corn farmer from Iowa, the thought is ‘if you build it, they will come.’”

When nearly sixty percent of physicians in 2017 cite that they took Less than 5 Business Education courses …, certainly associations and physician groups must adapt to the needs of its base. However, Concierge Medicine and its variants operating in the U.S. today work because so many people have made it work. Concierge Medicine and the like, work because a few visioneering physicians broke every standard delivery tradition they knew to embrace the mission of the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

“Since AAPP was originally designed to help support self-employed physicians seeking to convert to a private direct model, I think demand for live conferences focused on self-employed physicians limits the draw,” says Eischen. “More web-based education, along with live conferences structured to integrate the entire range of stakeholders, is the probable downstream solution for moving private direct medicine conferences/education forward.”

Learn more about Specialty Concierge Medicine, Genomics, PGX, Family and Primary Concierge Medical Care and Precision Medicine and more … this OCT. 26-27, 2018 …

“Comprehensive Pharmacogenomics for example, is a powerful healthcare innovation,” adds Sykes. “Concierge Medicine is seen by many as providing the ideal delivery model for the future of precision medicine. Used under the guidance and application of a Concierge Physician, these innovative tests can have a predictive effect on patient treatment outcomes. Whole genome sequencing, genetic testing and comprehensive profiling with more than 50 well-established pharmacogenomic genes in a single, cost-effective test can provide medically actionable and clinically relevant data, allowing Concierge Physicians, to make a more informed and thoughtful treatment recommendation for the health and well-being of each patient. Concierge Medicine Today strongly supports use of this innovative testing.”

“Future growth of private direct medicine may not look like the past,” concludes Eischen. “As a more diverse array of stakeholders need to come together to balance how to better integrate private health and wellness services with the traditional diagnosis and treatment services of plan-reimbursed healthcare.”

[1] – http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/112-statistics-on-physicians-under-45-years-old-practice-setting-finances-future-plans-more.html; 112 statistics on physicians under 45 years old — practice setting, finances, future plans & more Written by Laura Dyrda; November 02, 2016

[2] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153537/

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“Where the practice of medicine may fall short, a story is often found in our DNA that will provide clarity,” said Dr. Brandon Colby, CEO and Physician Founder of Sequencing.com and Keynote Speaker at the Concierge Medicine Forum.

“Where the practice of medicine may fall short, a story is often found in our DNA that will provide clarity,” said Dr. Brandon Colby, CEO and Physician Founder of Sequencing.com and Keynote Speaker at the Concierge Medicine Forum. “Instead of waiting for sickness to occur, the clarity provided by a patient’s DNA can empower a Concierge physician to create a personalized plan for optimizing each patient’s health and longevity.”

NOV. 12- Dec 31, 2020 – A CMT Hosted Annual (100% Virtual) Concierge Medicine FORUM Online Conference — FOR DOCTORS, FOR PAs, For Nurses, and Physician Spouses and Medical Office Staff …

 

Annual Event and Host of Concierge Medicine Forum Says, ‘The Narrative and Stigma About Concierge Medicine Has Changed.

CMF 2020 A Virtual Success! 100+ Sessions, Replay Passes and Lessons Learned, What’s Next In Concierge Medicine and What Are Doctors and Patients Doing?

NOVEMBER 18, 2020 – ATLANTA, GA USA

The 2020-2021 “Virtual” Concierge Medicine Forum kicked off November 12-14 and concludes December 31st, 2020. This annual conference in healthcare is organized and presented each year by Concierge Medicine Today (CMT), the industry trade publication for the Concierge Medicine and subscription-based healthcare delivery space.

The virtual conference this year is host to more than 50 speakers over the timeline of 6 weeks. CMF 2020 launched a new SAPS CME accredited pre-conference workshop on November 12, 2020 from 9am-5pm EDT entitled “Membership Medicine 101” (MM101). It was a CME accredited workshop about Subscription-based healthcare delivery marketplace, Membership Medicine models and was taught by industry consultants, Physician experts and includes a Physician panel sharing personal insights into their journey into Concierge Medicine, the pros and cons of the models, patient adjustments and positive outcomes personally, relationaly and professionally, etc.

Replay EVERY Session of CMF 2020-2021 On-Demand! Over 3 years of Concierge Medicine and Subscription-based conference sessions! Renews annually. Cancel anytime. SAVE $425 vs Monthly | ($47.99/Mo. OR, $149.99/yr)

The multi-week virtual event kicked off with live chats, zoom rooms, dozens of breakout sessions, unlocked daily exclusive “Digital Vault” exclusive interviews on content that provides category-specific “deep dives” into a multitude of healthcare issues relevant to Doctors, PAs, NPs, RNs, spouses and medical staff.

We’ve got BIG PLANS for 2021! LEARN MORE About Upcoming Monthly Breakfast Webinars, Quarterly Conferences, Industry Mastermind Groups and Industry Resources/Companies Helping Doctors …

Did you miss the 2020 online conference? Get a REPLAY PASS and Stream Every Session On Demand In Our New “For Doctors Forum” at the Members.ForDoctorsForum.org

“More than twenty years later, the bustling and innovative Concierge Medicine space is inviting Doctors everywhere in to lead by example,” said Michael Tetreault, Host of the #conciergemedicineforum Virtual Conference from Atlanta, GA USA and Editor of Concierge Medicine Today (CMT). “You must be a good leader to be a great Doctor and this unique niche in healthcare will test you and bring out the DocPreneur inside every Physician, if that’s what they want. Concierge Medicine has become the conscience [an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior …] by which many Physicians in healthcare today routinely measure their own personal career satisfaction in medicine. It might not be right for you now but ultimately later in life we find Physician’s decide how satisfied they are in their own career and consider the option of moving into a Concierge Medicine or some form of subscription-based healthcare delivery business model that is rewarding to themselves and their patients.”

Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) event organizers, sponsors and Physician speakers brought this event to life with the help of Concierge Medicine Today (CMT), multiple Physician experts and industry insiders from a variety of healthcare backgrounds. Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) released and unlocked more than 30 breakout sessions on November 12-14, 2020 inside a new feature called their “Digital Vault”. The events replay each week and can be watched in their entirety now on demand through December 31st, 2020.

The Concierge Medicine Forum is now one of the largest virtual conferences planned in healthcare today with more than 50 speakers and nearly 100 on-demand educational sessions. Industry experts in transitions, cancer research, precision medicine experts, geneticists, cardiologists, hospitalist’s, pharmaceutical experts and many others joined Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) to collaborate and discuss the innovation and happenings rising in and because of the field of Concierge Medicine.

D. Laura Gallaher was the 2020-2021 CMT Concierge Medicine Forum KEYNOTE SPEAKER. Dr. Laura Gallaher has worked in the field of professional and personal development since 2005. Laura is an Organizational Psychologist, Speaker, Facilitator, and Executive Coach. She is the founder and CEO of Gallaher Edge. Her noteworthy career began after the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded upon re-entry in 2003, killing everybody aboard. Following the tragedy, NASA hired Laura and a team of organizational psychologists to change the cultural influences that were deemed to play a role in the accident. She worked for 8 years to positively influence culture, develop leadership capacity, and improve organizational performance at Kennedy Space Center.Laura was also hired to help manage the change associated with radical changes in the performance management process and philosophy at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Laura is an expert teacher, trainer, speaker and consultant, particularly in the concepts of self-awareness, accountability, trust building and team cohesion.

“Concierge Medicine, like it or not, exposes what has yet to be accomplished between the Patient and the medical practice and Physician,” adds Tetreault. “In this way, this unique version of healthcare delivery creates a healthy sense of organizational discontent. Change is hard. That’s why we’re all here talking about it. We can’t ignore what’s happening to Physicians and Patients. Neither today are satisfied and leaving the medical office exam room satisfied. Have you ever sat on the other side of the exam room across from a Physician lately? Have you listened to the frustration inside the waiting areas? We have. And what we discovered year after year is that change is critical to bringing the Patient and Physician closer together. It’s easy to keep slipping into old patterns that seem to work or reimburse at this rate or that rate but we never see or experience real change. Change is and can be a means to an end. Today, Patients want their Doctor to change the way they communicate with them. Change in healthcare today is modeled here in Concierge Medicine by marrying the Hippocratic Oath with the Golden Rule. That should be the reality and example every of Patient-Physician encounter in our communities. These Doctors, this industry, are simply early innovators leading by example. They’re living, breathing story tellers that Patients are embracing it too.”

We’ve got BIG PLANS for 2021! LEARN MORE About Upcoming Monthly Breakfast Webinars, Quarterly Conferences, Industry Mastermind Groups and Industry Resources/Companies Helping Doctors …

The virtual Concierge Medicine Forum (CMF 2020) continues online each day from November 12- December 31st, 2020 [until New Year’s Eve 2020 at midnight] with daily educational breakouts scheduled, community interaction, Master Mind Group discussions, Ice Breaker questions, topic-focused webinars and even live chats on Concierge Medicine Today’s all-new “Concierge Medicine FORUM” online FOR DOCTORS members-only community.

Our three Physician Panel on Friday afternoon discussed the importance of a Physicians Role in “Social” Media and How Doctors Can Know What to Share and WHO their Target Audience Is Online …

This virtual community event is hosted on Concierge Medicine Today’s (CMTs) members-only, online Master Mind Community which Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) built, curates and hosts on-demand online courses, monthly events, quarterly conferences and weekly webinars. This all in one place is a community where experienced Doctors and their team can learn what’s working, trade notes and network with each other each day and not feel disconnected any longer.

Join CMTs All-New Concierge Medicine, “For Doctors Forum” (FREE TRIAL) …

Access to a private, dedicated community platform so you can focus on your practice without getting distracted by social.You want to feel like you’re not alone. You want people who “get it” to bounce ideas off of. You want steady reminders for how you can take what you’ve built and make it stronger, healthier, and more.

Enroll in CMTs “FOR DOCTORS FORUM” – a Virtual online community for Doctors — with online/on-demand courses and interactive video training, marketing and growing your healthcare practice with insight from YOUR PEERS, physician leadership and business advice, surveys, checklists, polls and insight on how to thrive as an entrepreneurial Physician —

Over the years the CMT Concierge Medicine Forum has grown into the biggest concierge medicine communications and educational event of the year. This year it brought CMEs to the community as well as a diverse group of speakers, educators, medical faculty and innovative company CEOs and Founders to its stage.

It’s not only a place for Physicians to gain practical customer service and communications training, but it’s a welcoming place where Doctor’s, staff, Nurses, PAs, RNs and others can connect and collaborate with a community of like-minded people who do what you do and do it happily.

Jim Eischen, Esq., of Lofty Learning and Eischen Law Offices answers questions with Physician’s re: “10 Operational and Market Updates Questions.” (REPLAY PASS AVAILABLE …)

“We must remove every possible obstacle from the walkway of the worried, restless, irritated, annoyed, fretful, angry, depressed, concerned patient,” says Michael Tetreault, Host of the CMT Concierge Medicine Forum and Editor of the international trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today. “The exam room, the staff, the hallway, the front office and even the parking lot must be ready to serve and receive every Patient with a smile … without frustration, without waiting or last minute interruption. This is hard work. It requires an extra step in preparation which most medical offices and corporate leadership running medical offices are simply unwilling and don’t want to do. It’s different I get it. But this is how we lead Patients into a trusted and confidence-based relationship with their Doctor … by removing every possible obstacle on their path, one day, one step at a time. The goal is progress, not perfection and we must continue to lean in and support Doctors and teams that are will to do what’s difficult and raise the standard of care to a higher level.”

“This is not a new concept or experiment,” adds Tetreault. “This is an old familiar model from decades ago brought back to life to help bring Patients and Physicians closer together. We can’t get there just by complaining about the same things, becoming tribal and siloed into our own camps in healthcare. We can’t keep listening to feel good theories, blaming bureaucracy or DIY-ing what we’ve heard for years. Our desire is for the Doctor-Patient relationship to be strengthened, a lot. We all know the relationship between Physician and Patient is an important one. But Physician’s tell us week after week that it’s been eroding for years now and very little is being done that stands up and does something about what’s happening. Concierge Medicine is not only a tool to aid in the fight with Physician Burnout, but Patient Fatigue and Patient Burnout as well. That’s a core belief behind our practical approach here at CMF and our new online, members-only Physician community, the FOR Doctors Concierge Medicine Forum. Most of the content our Physician readers and speakers present every week is not taught in medical school, not read in a medical text book, presented inside a CME event or taught at medical conferences. Our aim is to present and let you hear from your peers … teach what is not being taught and help you lean into every story you hear. We’ll place it into a webinar environment and bring to you on our stage each week, month and year … and present actionable steps you and your staff can do right away in your practice.”

20+ Lessons Learned and Key Takeaways You’ll Receive at the #ConciergeMedicineFORUM #FORDoctors Nov – Dec 2020!

NOV. 12 – DEC 31 2020 100% Virtual Concierge Medicine FORUM – Six Week Online Conference – Online Conference — FOR DOCTORS … 50+ Speakers; 100+ Edu. Sessions On Concierge Medicine …

The theme of the CMT Concierge Medicine Forum virtual conference is “Creating a Culture of Collaboration.”

  1. If a Patient is breathing, encourage them!
  2. Stay creative when others around you stall out or worse yet, quit.
  3. “Do not wish your life away. If you don’t love where you are right now, you won’t love where you are going.” ~J.M.
  4. Know When to Listen.
  5. You don’t simply have just a job. You have an opportunity to make a difference in Patient’s lives!
  6. Patients want a Doctor who clearly believes the best in them. A Patient who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected. But too often we fail to stop at this intersection or yield to this simple truth. This is the intersection each day where where healthy habits can be formed and lifestyle change begins!
  7. “Pay Attention to Details. Focus on being truthful and helpful when communicating next steps to Patients in the exam room. The point here is to not miss where we [e.g. the Physician] can be ‘Helpful’ as well! This is a gift. Too often we’re more truthful than actually helpful. I can tell my Patients what to do. Often times those are just wishes. I need to start by being truthful and follow up by actually being helpful.” ~Dr. W.
  8. “The Doctors of the future understand that the greatest source of their credibility isn’t going to be the degree on the wall – it’s the Patients [e.g. customers] in our Practice. Specializations, sharing our medical degree expertise and applying what we’ve learned each day comes only after trust is established. Trust does not naturally happen simply because someone booked an appointment.”
  9. “Selling is transactional. Loyalty is relational. Be relational.” ~J.H.
  10. “Don’t live off the titles. If you’re good, you don’t need one. If you’re bad, one won’t help you.” ~J.M.
  11. The reason 77% of customers don’t care if brands disappear, and 82% of Patients around you said they wouldn’t care if your office closed tomorrow is because they don’t think “brands” [e.g. their Doctor] cares about them.
  12. Replay EVERY Session of CMF 2020-2021 On-Demand! Over 3 years of Concierge Medicine and Subscription-based conference sessions! Renews annually. Cancel anytime. SAVE $425 vs Monthly | ($47.99/Mo. OR, $149.99/yr)

    “Instead of shouting how great the medical practice is, start talking about how great our Patients are and engage with them about their life. Try celebrating them.”

  13. Your staff are the most important asset of the practice. To improve your practice you need to improve your people.
  14. Listen to your Community more online. What are they interested in? “Like” their posts and start commenting. Don’t be afraid of social media as a Physician. It’s a truly useful tool!
  15. When you have a benevolent heart for your community and a trusted relationship with your Patients, you have a walking, talking, breathing billboards that will say remarkable things about you when you’re not around … all throughout your community, for free!
  16. Continue the journey of learning but read things outside of the medical journals. Expand your knowledge. Some of the happiest Concierge Doctors we know read or stream 6-8 books per month!
  17. Rarely, if ever, have these words been said from inside the exam room: “I have a great idea!”
  18. “The only person who can raise the standard in your life, is you. Keep your standard higher than people who hire you.” ~J.M.
  19. Invest in yourself!
  20. “Giving over control and authority is essential for the success of your team.” ~J.M.

“Our keynote speaker last week (November 13, 2020 @11am EDT), Dr. Laura Gallaher from Gallaher Edge (www.GallaherEdge.com) had incredible insight into why culture is so important inside the medical practice of every Physician right now,” notes Tetreault. “We are attracting new Physician’s from around the globe and educating them about what Concierge Medicine is and will do for Patients and Physicians who could not attend otherwise. CMF 2020-2021 Physician attendees include Doctors from as far away as Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic and the 13th largest city in the European Union. Now that’s making an impact!”

Replay EVERY Session of CMF 2020-2021 On-Demand! Over 3 years of Concierge Medicine and Subscription-based conference sessions! Renews annually. Cancel anytime. SAVE $425 vs Monthly | ($47.99/Mo. OR, $149.99/yr)

Did You Miss The Premiere? Watch A Sneak Preview & Get A Replay Pass to Stream On Your Own Time All 50+ Speakers, More Than 100 Sessions from CMF 2020!

“Technology should not isolate any of us, but it has and continues to do so,” said Tetreault. “We’re all experiencing healthcare and life differently this year. We’re finding new ways to learn and stay connected to each other. We must stay connected. For six weeks we will learn together … connect with industry experts, bringing you dynamic medical and practical business education to help physicians young and seasoned from across various specialties and continents. The 2020-2021 Concierge Medicine Forum “Virtual” Conference isn’t over and we’re not taking our foot off the pedal just yet either … there’s more to come in 2021. When the community could not come to us, we went to the community of Physicians, wherever they are, whatever their circumstances in a crisis. We brought this unique narrative and this world together to learn about how Concierge Medicine is changing the lives of Physician’s and Patients around us.”

Dr. Connie Mariano, former White House Physician and Michael Tetreault addressing the crowd of Physicians at the INTERNATIONAL CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM in Atlanta, Georgia USA … LEARN MORE about our upcoming 2020 Event In Atlanta GA HERE … CMEs Available!

The Concierge Medicine Forum, held annually in Atlanta, GA USA each year draws Physicians from a variety of medical specialties, backgrounds and countries. They do things a little differently than you might expect from a traditional medical conference. That’s because the organizers and speakers they select want you to be different. A lot of medical offices and Doctors blend into the culture and communities around them, without Patients and their community really even knowing they are there to help. The tools which the Concierge Medicine Forum provides each year equips Doctors to stand out, to make an impact and not go unnoticed. It holds up a mirror and talks about what its like to be a Physician today as well as what it’s like to be a Patient on the other side of the exam room. And when that reflection in the mirror lines up with the vision Doctors have for Patient Care in their own community we see Doctors, Patients and medical offices changed and the research is proving this to be true.

“I think the overwhelming impact of the conference this year is how much engaging content on a variety of topics there were,” said one Physician attendee. “There’s truly something in this conference for everyone. The content was overwhelmingly useful and engaging, like always. We saw viewers address topics on the key issues of the day critical for Physicians and it provided a lot of hope in this challenging time which is my greatest testimonial. We as attendees bumped into practitioners from around the globe and we’re able to talk to experts and supporting organizations that can help us take the next step in cancer testing, precision medicine testing and even help from consultants and Physicians who’ve got the daunting task of helping Physician’s like me transition into concierge medicine.”

Award winning Physician, Dr. Bojana Weatherly shared insights on Integrative Medicine and Mindfulness in a Saturday morning General Session at the Concierge Medicine Forum. (Replay Pass Available …)

“One of our advisors to this event this year said something a few weeks ago that really resonated with our team and Physician speakers. ‘When the Doctor becomes personable, he/she becomes memorable … and when the Physician in our lives becomes memorable, they become invaluable. That is truly remarkable and worth remarking to others about,’” quoted Tetreault. “I’m well aware of the tension that exists in healthcare and the bristle that some out there give when confronted with two of healthcare’s most polarizing words, ‘Concierge Medicine.’ I welcome these conversations and will talk to anyone who will listen about this tension that exists. At the end of the day, we might not agree and that’s okay. But we all know that it might be something we want for our own mother or our very own kids. These are great Doctor’s who are constantly innovating. They’re learning the social graces (e.g. kindness and creating a better way or a closer relationship with a Doctor) necessary to compete for the trust and friendship of their Patients now and in the future. We’re simply here to share their stories and make sure others know about what great things they’re doing in this space as well.”

Did you miss the 2020 online conference? Stream Every Session On Demand In Our New “For Doctors Forum” at the Members.ForDoctorsForum.org

Did We Miss Something?

We recognize a lot has happened in the past 20+ years. It’s virtually impossible to capture every moment in one document. As you may be aware, this document is routinely updated by Concierge Medicine Today and edited. If we missed something, please, let us know by emailing CMT directly at editor@ConciergeMedicineToday.com. Thank you!


The Cost of Concierge Medicine

“In the next 10 years, people are going to want: 1: Be diagnosed and treated within minutes, not days or weeks. 2: Ongoing relationships throughout a health issue. 3: At a price that seems reasonable to them.” ~Dr. Jay Parkinson, Sherpaa @jayparkinson; January 2018

dean_CCPHP“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth,” said Dr. Dean McElwain, president and COO of Castle Connolly Private Health Partners, a medical consulting company founded four years ago with John Castle and Dr. John Connolly that helps physicians convert their practices to a concierge model. “Concierge medicine affords physicians the ability to return to a much more old-fashioned style of practice where you actually had generous time to communicate with your patients and to work one-on-one with them to solve their problem and get to know them as individuals and not just a diagnosis.” ~LLNYC Magazine; July/August 2017

“The claim that MDs who go into concierge and become millionaires is rarely true,” says Wayne Lipton of Concierge Choice in a commentary related to a Forbes article. “As someone who has been working with MDs for more than 30 years and talks to hundreds of doctors a year, I can tell you that most improve their economic and professional situations, and many do it just to survive. The goal of nearly all concierge physicians is to keep their practices independent and viable for their staff and patients. Additionally, for a physician with an established practice and a sound plan, financing a concierge practice conversion is a non-issue. If they align with a company that has experience with practice conversions, the costs to the practice are minimal. The risks are far greater if they attempt to build a concierge program from scratch, in which case they will more likely need a bankruptcy attorney. The other benefit to aligning with an experienced concierge care company is that it handles business development, allowing the physician and his staff to focus on doing what they do best—providing superior care to their patients.”

“As an industry,” said Tetreault in a July 2017 interview with a prominent New York City lifestyle magazine, “we still need more patient outcome data to be published to further unpack these trend lines and observations. What we do know for certain is that inside each and every Concierge Medicine office is opportunity to connect a patient with a physician who desires to have a relationship with his community.”

“There is only so much they can move the dial, and I think it is going to go back toward self-determination,” McElwain said of the Republican healthcare legislation. “Certainly, with this administration, there seems to be an appreciation for the utilization of health saving accounts and the ability to engage privately with your physician … It’s very multifactorial, but I think if anything, it looks like it will have a nurturing effect on what we do.” ~LLNYC Magazine; July/August 2017

“I suspect that employers will be the major reason for direct primary care membership/retainer-based practice growth in the coming years as they will essentially demand that level of service for their employees — and in so doing they will be reducing their company health care costs as a result of high quality primary care.  The exact number of physicians in DPC practices is unclear but an estimate by Concierge Medicine Today in early 2014 pegs the known number at about 4,000 with about 8,000 others doing so but without fanfare [so in total, approximately 12,000].  More doctors will convert once the general population understands the advantages and begins to ask for it. There are many good reasons for an individual to connect with a direct primary care physician: better quality care, a return to relationship medicine and often a significant cost savings despite the fee.” ~Dr. Stephen C. Schimpff is a quasi-retired internist, professor of medicine and public policy, former CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center, senior advisor to Sage Growth Partners and is the author of The Future of Health-Care Delivery: Why It Must Change and How It Will Affect You

“We’re selling a service and people are paying for it,” notes Dr. John Blanchard or Premier Private Physicians, a pioneer and renowned entrepreneurial physician in Michigan.

“Business is tough,” says Dr. Chris Ewin of 121MD in Fort Worth, TX. “If you are doing something just for the money, you are never going to enjoy it. You will be the hardest boss you have ever had. So, find something you love and pursue it. Follow this advice and you will set yourself up for an enjoyable future in medicine.”


FAQs and Myths About Concierge Medicine

Our friends at Cypress Membership Medicine recently posted this blog article that we think highlights illustrates the myths and answers them for you.

cypressAs concierge medicine continues to grow, physicians and patients are both considering making the switch. Before deciding, they need to know what’s fact and what’s fiction to avoid confusion and unnecessary concerns. We’ve dispelled some of the most common myths about concierge medicine below.

MYTH: Concierge medicine isn’t affordable.

FACT: When concierge medicine began wealthy patients who wanted a more personalized experience typically used it, but the industry has greatly changed in the last decade. Today, you can get a concierge physician for approximately $125-150 a month, according to Concierge Medicine Today, which is about the same as the cost of your daily Starbucks fix.

Many people assume that paying a concierge medicine retainer plus health insurance premiums will make it too expensive. Instead, we have found that many patients can switch to concierge medicine while maintaining or even lowering their medical costs. Changing to a high-deductible health insurance plan with smaller premiums can offset the retainer, which you can often pay with a health savings account.

“No patient has the attitude that since he’s paying so much money he’ll make me his boy and ring the bell constantly. When you earn someone’s trust and he knows you are available, he tends to need you less and protect you more.” ~MedEco

MYTH: Concierge medicine practices will lead to less primary care doctors.

(NEW, WATCH or Listen) “Applying Concierge Philosophy to Behavioral Healthcare”

FACT: The healthcare industry is currently facing a severe lack of primary care doctors as more and more physicians choose other specialties out of medical school. Young doctors no longer want to see dozens of patients a day and make significantly less than specialists. Even though concierge physicians see a smaller number of patients, they are not contributing to this problem. The only way we can get more primary care physicians is to change the system, and in the meantime, physicians need to focus on providing the best care they can whether it is in a traditional or concierge medicine practice.

MYTH: Concierge physicians are greedy.

FACT: According to Concierge Medicine Today, a concierge physician typically makes a salary equivalent to a specialist, like a cardiologist, gastroenterologist or radiologist. Switching to concierge medicine allows physicians to provide better patient care while either maintaining or increasing their income. Many concierge physicians take time to see some patients free of charge as charity work as well.

MYTH: Concierge healthcare is illegal or unethical.

FACT: Concierge medicine actually reduces conflicts of interest because there is not a third party involved. Members pay their physician directly for non covered services, and the physician advocates directly for his patients.

SOURCE: http://www.yourcypress.com/news/april-2016/myths-about-concierge-medicine

concierge medicine today 2019

(WATCH) The Concierge Physician Lifecycle: From Exhileration to Exit (by Terry Bauer, CEO of Specialdocs Consultants)

“I embraced the potential of concierge medicine at its inception, and believe in it even more so today, having witnessed firsthand how each individual practice positively contributes to making a difference in a troubled healthcare environment,” says Terry Bauer, CEO of Specialdocs. “Concierge medicine is unique in recognizing and highlighting the doctor-patient relationship as the most essential element of quality care, and providing a proven, viable platform to fulfill this imperative. I look forward to sharing our experiences at the Concierge Medicine Forum.”

“This is not a new concept or experiment,” adds Tetreault. “This is an old familiar model from decades ago brought back to life to help bring Patients and Physicians closer together. We can’t get there just by complaining about the same things, becoming tribal and siloed into our own camps in healthcare. We can’t keep listening to feel good theories, blaming bureaucracy or DIY-ing what we’ve heard for years. Our desire is for the Doctor-Patient relationship to be strengthened, a lot. We all know the relationship between Physician and Patient is an important one. But Physician’s tell us week after week that it’s been eroding for years now and very little is being done that stands up and does something about what’s happening. Concierge Medicine is not only a tool to aid in the fight with Physician Burnout, but Patient Fatigue and Patient Burnout as well. That’s a core belief behind our practical approach here at CMF and our new online, members-only Physician community, the FOR Doctors Concierge Medicine Forum. Most of the content our Physician readers and speakers present every week is not taught in medical school, not read in a medical text book, presented inside a CME event or taught at medical conferences. Our aim is to present and let you hear from your peers … teach what is not being taught and help you lean into every story you hear. We’ll place it into a webinar environment and bring to you on our stage each week, month and year … and present actionable steps you and your staff can do right away in your practice.”


Services Offered In Concierge Medicine Programs

While each program is different, there are some common features. It is best to ask and inquire, research and read the fine print outlined in the Patient-Practice-Physician Agreement at each office. Meanwhile, please do understand, Concierge Medicine and other forms of subscription healthcare delivery products/programs are NOT a form of insurance.

Updated for 2021 — Watch Webinar Here …

When signed up and using a subscription-based healthcare delivery program, a Doctor or Doctor’s Office may have a monthly, quarterly or annual membership plan which most of these style practices will outline what is included in the membership to all subscribing patients:

Overall Benefits Also Include:

  • Focus on personalized, high-quality primary care
  • Convenient in clinic, phone and electronic access
  • Qualified doctors, nurses, and medical teams providing comprehensive primary care services

NOTE: Each patient should check with their physician to find out what services are included in their individual membership. These are only examples of some of the services typically offered. Your physician practice and membership may or may not include some or all of these types of services.

Updated for 2021 — Watch Webinar Here …

Some of the other most common services offered in the Membership Medicine marketplace include:

  • On call 24/7
  • House calls
  • No waiting
  • Unlimited appointments for your membership fee
  • “Executive physical exams” that include a full body scan, screening for 200 diseases, blood tests for rare conditions and time spent with a physician going over every aspect of your medical history. These comprehensive exams can cost well into the thousands through traditional channels.
  • Lab tests
  • X-rays
  • Coordination of care if you become ill while traveling
  • Well-baby checks
  • Acute care visits
  • Online access to medical records
  • Home delivery of medications
  • Hospital visits from the doctor
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Coordinated care with specialists during travel
  • Hotel reservations for family during a medical crisis
  • Wellness, fitness and lifestyle screenings
  • Weight management
  • Nutritional counseling

2020-2021 HSA Updates — WATCH/LISTEN to ALL New Webinar Here … Annual Conference HSA 3-Part Series…

“We are a family … Mom, Dad, and 10 year old daughter,” says a woman in Marietta, GA to CMT/The DPC Journal. “Dad’s retirement from his job means leaving his insurance plan. We are healthy and looking for affordable medical care. What are our options?”

Concierge Medicine patients skew upper middle class, with typical household earnings between $125,000 and $250,000 a year. They also tend to be Baby Boomers, generally in their 50s to 80s, according to doctors interviewed.

  • Annual fees at most Concierge practices vary from $101-$225 per month. Patients prefer to pay annually vs. monthly.
  • A greater breadth of primary care services covered by an annual retainer contract fee structure.

Many concierge doctors also bill insurance or Medicare for actual medical visits, as the monthly “access fee” is only for “non-covered” services. This results in two subscriptions paid by patients — the concierge medicine fee, and the insurance premium. Importantly, a few concierge practices do not bill insurance for medical visits, as the monthly fees cover both access and primary care visits.

NEW! Latest Edition – Over 700+ Pages of Education, Tips, Tools, Strategies and Insight Into Concierge Medicine and Building A Subscription-Based Healthcare Delivery Model … LEARN MORE …

RELATED STORY
Can Physician “Concierge Fees” be Reimbursed From a Health FSA or HSA?

anatomy of concierge doctor

(C) Infographic by Concierge Medicine Today — Statistical Characteristics and Qualities of Today’s Concierge Medicine Physician

A Concierge Doctor becomes the source for all things medical. Essentially, you become a trusted friend, advocate and stand fully prepared to help your Patients navigate the complex healthcare system. In the event of emergencies, hospital care is closely monitored, and specialists are often personally briefed and debriefed by you on behalf of your Patients.

This is why thousands of people are now actively searching for a Concierge Doctor or a DPC physician. They also discover that out-of-pocket costs to this type of doctor can actually save them thousands of dollars a year. At the same time, they can have their doctors cell phone on speed dial.

Checklist: 50 Questions Every Patient Should Ask Before They Join A Concierge Medicine Subscription Program

Here are a couple of tips shared by Physicians and Patients to help get you started down the right path.

  • Before you sign-up and pay a Concierge, DPC or Membership Medicine doctor’s office their fee, you should schedule a complimentary meeting with that doctor to discuss the benefits, services and cost of their practice.
  • Bring a copy of these 50 questions as your guide – download the PDF here.
  • If your questions are not answered to your satisfaction, don’t feel any pressure from the physician or the staff to join at that moment. Move with certainty and spend your money with wisdom. Most Membership Medicine Doctors office do not deploy hard-sell tactics anyway … but there are always a few that do. Most physicians in this sector say they encourage their new patients to take the necessary time they need to decide whether or not this is an expense and professional healthcare relationship they need/want in their lives. Your next physician should be just as respectful.
  • If you need help locating a Membership Medicine Clinic (MMC) near your home/office, click here.

Download the Complete 50-Question Checklist PDF Here …

Here are a few questions to get your started.

  1. Doctor’s Full Name?
  2. Total years in Practice?
  3. Years in practice as a Doctor?
  4. Do you have multiple locations? If so, where?
  5. Do you have a web site? Can I read patient reviews about the doctor and his/her practice? Does it have the Doctor’s bio. on it?
  6. What is your annual fee?
  7. How do I pay the doctor? Do you accept quarterly or monthly fees?
  8. What services are covered by the annual fee?
  9. Do you offer any discounts for couples and/or families that join (if applicable)?
  10. What additional fees are not included in the annual membership fee?
  11. Will I be required to pay even if I do not need to use your services?
  12. What services can I expect to receive directly from your nursing staff or other healthcare professionals at the practice each year during my membership?
  13. Do you accept Insurance? How compatible is your concierge medical practice and services with my health insurance plan?
  14. Do you participate in Medicare? (If applicable)
  15. Do I need insurance to enroll or sign-up?

Download the entire checklist here …


Info-Graphics, Illustrations, Surveys, Industry Polling Insights & Popular Industry Trends

Here is a compilation of some of the industry’s most insightful illustrations, info-graphics, polls, surveys and more.


Differences Between Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care (DPC)

If you haven’t heard of this term, you’re not a lone … but think of DPC doctors as the less expensive or generic alternative to Concierge Medicine. This monthly fee for a primary care doctor is another popular and emerging business model in our free market economy that has gained tremendous popularity since 2008.

A lot of people like to compare Concierge Medicine to Direct Primary Care (DPC) and say … ‘DPC is the less expensive alternative.’

In most DPC doctors’ offices, Patients pay one low monthly fee, sometimes as low as $49-$99/mo. directly to their DPC physician for all of their everyday health needs. Like a health club membership, this fee (avg. $50-$99/indiv.) provides Patients with unrestricted access to visits and care. Patients can use the services as much or as little as they want. Many DPC practices are open seven days per week and offer same-day or next-day appointments. At many clinics, physicians are on call 24/7.

“The distinctions between concierge medicine, private medicine, and direct primary care may be ultimately meaningless, since some doctors call themselves whatever they feel sounds better, and there are so many practice variations, many overlapping, that it often isn’t clear which is which.” ~Neil Chesanow, Medscape/WebMD, May 2014

Click Here to Download the latest version of the “Differences Between Concierge Medicine and DPC” — INFOGRAPHIC …

 

“This primary care business model [DPC] gives these types of providers the time to deliver more personalized care to their Patients and pursue a comprehensive medical home approach,” said a spokesperson at former Qliance Medical Management based in Seattle, Washington. “… The provider’s incentives are fully aligned with the Patient’s incentives.”

With DPC, there are no insurance co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance fees. DPC doctors do not typically accept insurance payments, thus avoiding the overhead and complexity of maintaining relationships with insurers. This can save significant overhead expense as managing insurance relationships can consume as much as $0.40 of each medical dollar spent.

the_doctors_guide_t_cover_for_kindlejpg

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DPC practices typically have monthly membership fees under $100 and serve a population of households earning $70,000 or less, according to The Concierge Medicine Research Collective. Monthly Concierge Medicine membership fees usually are slightly higher, about $135 per month and can include more in-office services. Despite the cost advantage, the DPC model may be hampered by low awareness among health plans and primary care physicians, resistance from some insurers, and resistance from competing hospitals and specialists. Although, significant efforts are underway to accelerate the DPC movement, so this disadvantage may disappear as awareness grows.

In a report published by the California HealthCare Foundation, five large DPC clinics in the U.S. using a DPC healthcare service model serve over 500,000 lives. These charge either direct fees paid to the doctor, the physicians practice, or via self-insured employers and health plans.

Overall, Concierge Medicine and DPC style clinics are thriving in major metropolitan markets. Of great benefit to the consumers, prices are dropping dramatically due to increasing competition among physicians entering the marketplace, retail medicine pricing, price transparency demand from Patients and continued uncertainty about the implications of the Affordable Care Act.

DPC (DPC) is a term often linked to its companion in health care, ‘Concierge Medicine.’ Although the two terms are similar and belong to the same family, Concierge Medicine is a term that fully embraces or ‘includes’ many different health care delivery models, DPC being one of them.

The data, the patient interviews and the industry service offerings and trend lines say something completely different.

The distinguishing factor differentiating DPC and Concierge Care is not price … it’s insurance participation of the doctor, monthly billing (seen at most DPC clinics) and the amount of services offered. In both Concierge Care and DPC, people have inherent value. There’s no class order … no first class or second class, just people for whom doctors serve each day. They’ve built clinics for children, families and people who are sick … and it is these visioneering physicians who are drawing attention to the cost of healthcare across the country and designing ways for it to be available and affordable for anyone.

Concierge Medicine patients skew upper middle class, with typical household earnings between $125,000 and $250,000 a year. They also tend to be Baby Boomers, generally in their 50s to 80s, according to doctors interviewed.

  • Annual fees at most Concierge practices vary from $101-$225 per month. Patients prefer to pay annually vs. monthly.
  • A greater breadth of primary care services covered by an annual retainer contract fee structure.

Many concierge doctors also bill insurance or Medicare for actual medical visits, as the monthly “access fee” is only for “non-covered” services. This results in two subscriptions paid by patients — the concierge medicine fee, and the insurance premium. Importantly, a few concierge practices do not bill insurance for medical visits, as the monthly fees cover both access and primary care visits.

 

Click Here to Download the Latest Infographic re: The Difference Between Concierge Medicine and DPC —

 

infog dpc 4-3

“There are differences …and regardless of what you hear, you must choose the one that works for your career. Both have great patient and physician benefits.” INFOGRAPHIC … (Source: Concierge Medicine Today and our sister publication, The DPC Journal) …Click to Download the Latest Version of this Inforgraphic …

Similarities

DPC practices, similar in philosophy to their Concierge Medicine lineage – typically bypass insurance and go for a more ‘direct’ financial relationship with Patients.. They also provide comprehensive care and preventive services for an affordable fee. However, DPC is only one branch in the family tree of Concierge Medicine.

Similar to concierge health care practices, DPC removes many of the financial barriers to accessing care whenever it is needed. There are generally no co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance fees. DPC practices also do not typically accept insurance payments, thus avoiding the overhead and complexity of maintaining relationships with insurers, which can consume as much as $0.40 of each medical dollar spent (Sources: Dave Chase and California Health Foundation).

Under most Patient-physician contracts in DPC and concierge medical clinics, Patients (and workers at employer groups, small and mid-size businesses) pay no co-pay for services. In addition to the services that the doctor provides on-site and inside the practice, individuals and companies maintain lower cost insurance plans to accommodate major medical expenditures and more intensive procedures. In that sense, the model for healthcare is similar to that being pursued by many internal medicine, specialty physicians and family practitioners, who are today, reducing their Patient load by two-thirds, dropping insurance wrangling and adopting a DPC model paid with an (almost) all-inclusive, monthly, quarterly or annual subscription fee.

Differences

books special 2018_2According to a spokesperson at Qliance Medical Management based in Seattle, Washington, DPC is a ‘mass-market variant of Concierge Medicine, distinguished by its low prices.’ Simply stated, the biggest difference between ‘DPC’ and retainer based practices is that DPC generally takes a low, flat rate fee whereas concierge models plans usually charge a slightly higher annual retainer fee and promise more time spent with a doctor. Also, services in concierge models tend to more service-focused and added-value oriented versus just providing access and more convenience to the practice.

“This primary care business model [DPC] gives these type of providers the time to deliver more personalized care to their Patients and pursue a comprehensive medical home approach,” said Norm Wu, CEO of Qliance Medical Management based in Seattle, Washington. “One in which the provider’s incentives are fully aligned with the Patient’s incentives.”

cropped-cropped-cropped-informed.jpg“If Concierge Medicine is about super servant-hood, then it has nothing to apologize for. People deserve to have access to a physician who spends the time necessary to gather appropriate insight about patients. People deserve transparency. They deserve answers to difficult questions. People deserve accurate information, especially when it concerns their health. Simply searching the web in today’s convoluted environment leads to inaccurate assumptions, misinterpretations, harms reputations and undermines the confidence that patients have in their physicians and local medical facilities they trusted. Concierge Medicine has been around for more than 20 years and it works to solve many of these problems. It has redefined healthcare delivery.” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief

specialtyscreen-shot-2018-01-18-at-11-05-35-am

In January/February of 2018, CMT’s Specialty Concierge Medicine Polling Data was published in Cardiovascular Business. Call of Concierge: Still a Niche in Cardiology, But Growing. | John W. Mitchell, MS | January 2018 | Practice Management

“Many direct primary care practices do not build in concierge medicine service components, such as 24/7 care, cell phone text messaging, and instant or same-day appointments,” Tetreault says. “And yet, some do.”

infog_2017_2

The Globe and Mail Inc. | Kelly Grant HEALTH REPORTER The Globe and Mail Last updated: Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 8:48AM EST An overview of the 2016 survey’s results was published in the journal Health Affairs in November, but on Thursday, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released a deeper dive into the Canadian findings, including breakdowns by province. READ MORE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/how-quickly-can-you-see-a-doctor-study-shows-canada-lags-behind-other-nations-on-timelyaccess/article34043606/

Concierge practices composed exclusively of concierge patients (most practices include a mix of concierge and traditional patients) generally limit their panels to 600 or fewer patients per physician. “Direct primary care practices, because they charge a lower fee, need more patients on their rosters,” Tetreault explains. “They typically have under 1000 patients.”

The distinctions between concierge medicine, private medicine, and direct primary care may be ultimately meaningless, since some doctors call themselves whatever they feel sounds better, and there are so many practice variations, many overlapping, that it often isn’t clear which is which.*

Still confused by this semantic hair-splitting? Join the club. Even concierge and direct primary care physicians may be confused about which type of doctor they are.*

DPC and Membership Medicine: As of late 2014, The DPC Journal finds that key leadership in the Direct Primary Care (DPC) industry, interviews and reports received from the business, employer and investment community operating in the DPC marketplace nationally, center around the number that there are more than 600+ DPC physicians … and growing and growing at a rate of about 5-10% nationwide.

  • DPC is primary and preventative care, urgent care, chronic disease management and wellness support through a monthly care fee patients (or an employer) pay to cover the specific primary care preventative care services.
  • DPC practices are distinguished from other retainer-based care models, such as concierge care, by lower retainer fees, which cover at least a portion of primary care services provided in the DPC practice.
  • Monthly fees at direct practices vary from $25-$85 per month or less. Patients prefer to pay monthly vs. quarterly or annually.
  • DPC patients typically come from the Generation X and Millennial population and earn a combined annual HH income of less than $100k.
  • A DPC health care provider charges a patient a set monthly fee for all primary care services provided in the office, regardless of the number of visits.
  • No insurance plan is involved, although patients may have separate insurance coverage for more costly medical services.
  • Because the insurance “middle man” is removed from the equation, all the overhead associated with claims, coding, claim refiling, write-offs, billing staff, and claims-centric EMR systems disappears.
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Concierge Medicine/Boutique and Retainer-Based Care: Throughout the past several years of surveying the market (2007-2015), discussing the question with numerous doctors, interviewing industry business leaders, private equity investors, business consultants, key industry physicians and membership medicine leadership nationally — Concierge Medicine Today finds that there are slightly less than 6000 actively practicing Concierge Medicine physicians across the United States, with another 6k-8000 practicing in some form or model of “Membership Medicine” under the radar.

  • Annual fees at direct practices vary from $101-$225 per year. Patients prefer to pay annually vs. monthly.
  • Concierge Medicine patients skew upper middle class, with typical household earnings between $125,000 and $250,000 a year. They also tend to be Baby Boomers, generally in their 50s to 80s, according to doctors interviewed.
  • A greater breadth of primary care services covered by an annual retainer contract fee structure.
  • Many concierge doctors also bill insurance or Medicare for actual medical visits, as the monthly “access fee” is only for “non-covered” services. This results in two subscriptions paid by patients — the concierge medicine fee, and the insurance premium. Importantly, a few concierge practices do not bill insurance for medical visits, as the monthly fees cover both access and primary care visits.

slide39

“In polls, we’re asking the actual physicians, ‘Do you consider yourself a concierge doctor or a direct primary care doctor, or do you consider yourself both?’” Michael Tetreault, the journal editor, says. “Most say that they consider themselves a concierge doctor. But they still don’t understand the differences. A lot of doctors consider themselves to be both.”

Collectively, direct primary care (sometimes linked to the term concierge medicine) has more than a half million people on their rolls, according to the California HealthCare Foundation. They highlighted five large direct pay practices that use the retainer model in an April 2013 report. These direct primary care patient rosters are estimations:

  • Iora Health, with 2,400 patients
  • MedLion, with 3,000 patients
  • Paladina Health, with 8,000 patients
  • Qliance, with 7,200 patients
  • White Glove Health, with 40,000 patients via self-insured employers and 450,000 via health plans

slide35

Direct primary care providers help keep costs low by avoiding unnecessary referrals and by referring mainly to specialists willing to offer significant discounts. Despite this advantage, the DPC model may be hampered by low awareness among health plans and primary care physicians, resistance from some insurers, and resistance from competing hospitals and specialists.

NOTE: The DPC Journal and their research and data collection arm, The Concierge Medicine Research Collective (www.AsktheCollective.org), we have found that there are four (4) distinguishing factors that differentiate Concierge Care from its demographically diverse and often misunderstood companion, DPC … and it is NOT price …

  1. Insurance participation of the doctor/practice;
  2. DPC, most commonly, attracts a Gen. X and Millenial demographic under the age of 45.
  3. Monthly billing (seen at most DPC clinics), compared to annual and quarterly retainers offered at most concierge clinics, and;
  4. The amount of services offered.

slide29The Direct Primary Care Coalition (DPCC) Defines DPC As:

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative alternative payment model for primary care being embraced by patients, physicians, employers,payers and policymakers across the United States.The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider.

Empowering this relationship is the key to achieving superior health outcomes, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience. DPC fosters this relationship by focusing on five key tenets:

  1. Service: The hallmark of DPC is adequate time spent between patient and physician, creating an enduring doctor-patient relationship. Supported by unfettered access to care, DPC enables unhurried interactions and frequent discussions to assess lifestyle choices and treatment decisions aimed at longterm health and wellbeing. DPC practices have extended hours, ready access to urgent care, and patient panel sizes small enough to support this commitment to service.
  2. Patient Choice: Patients in DPC choose their own personal physician and are reactive partners in their healthcare. Empowered by accurate information at the point of care, patients are fully involved in making their own medical and financial choices. DPC patients have the right to transparent pricing, access, and availability of all services provided.
  3. emr concierge medicine 2017 trend 2Elimination of Fee-For-Service: DPC eliminates undesired fee-for-service(FFS) incentives in primary care. These incentives distort healthcare decision-making by rewarding volume over value. This undermines the trust that supports the patient-provider relationship and rewards expensive and inappropriate testing, referral, and treatment. DPC replaces FFS with a simple flat monthly fee that covers comprehensive primary care services. Fees must be adequate to allow for appropriately sized patient panels to support this level of care so that DPC providers can resist the numerous other financial incentives that distort care decisions and endanger the doctor-patient relationship.
  4. Advocacy: DPC providers are committed advocates for patients within the healthcare system. They have time to make informed, appropriate referrals and support patient needs when they are outside of primary care. DPC providers accept the responsibility to be available to patients serving as patient guides. No matter where patients are in the system, physicians provide them with information about the quality, cost, and patient experience of care.
  5. Stewardship: DPC providers believe that healthcare must provide more value to the patient and the system. Healthcare can, and must, be higher-performing, more patient-responsive, less invasive, and less expensive than it is today. The ultimate goal is health and wellbeing, not simply the treatment of disease.

*Source: Neil Chesanow, MedScape, WebMD, May 19, 201

There is a problem with the perception people have of Concierge Medicine and its younger, [typically no Medicare or insurance participatory, monthly subscription] companion model, Direct Primary Care (DPC).

Believe it or not, people are quite positively familiar with what Concierge Medicine is. However, they don’t always understand why some folks rally negatively against it based solely on price.

Let’s unpack this for a moment.

Both are great options for Patients. But there are subtle differences. Sometimes, geography plays a role too.

One example might be like saying that one brand of vehicle, lets say the Honda Civic for example, is the only vehicle that everyone should choose and is the best way to get people to the destination.

Or, let’s look at another example we’re all familiar with.

RELATED STORY
The Halo and Horn Effect: the Differences Concierge Medicine and DPC

According to Joshua Kennon or Kennon and Green Co.,[1] he says: It is a cognitive bias that causes you to allow one trait, either good (halo) or bad (horns), to overshadow other traits, behaviors, actions, or beliefs. In psychology, horns effects and halo effects happen all the time.

Amazon PRIME and Netlfix. Sure, each have different price points. Each deliver amazing content and are built by incredible people. But one service bills monthly and the other bills annually. Each include certain benefits. Amazon PRIME lets you enjoy free shipping with every order. Each operate independently however. And, each have unique and inherent value in the eyes of the person who is paying for that subscription, the consumer [eg the Patient].

The same is true for those who learn to understand the difference and similarities between Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care (DPC).

2020 concierge medicine forum event FORDOCTORS #conciergemedicine_2

LEARN MORE about the upcoming 2021 NATIONAL CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM in ATLANTA … Click Here …

Is it possible to solve this problem?

We think so.

We’re coming together, Concierge Medicine Today and The Direct Primary Care Journal with this educational insight to show our communities, Physicians and Patients who want to learn more [and are open to learning new things] that each of these subscription-based business are unique and have incredible value in the eyes and minds of the Doctors and the Patient. While they aren’t the same they do share similar services.

We invite you to download the Infographic below and you will learn how to clarify, explain and understand in greater detail the differences and similarities between these two subscription-based healthcare delivery models in your sphere of influence and people you meet.

Great Doctors and great people in our past have designed these business models to be independently unique enough for different people and different demographics. We can all learn from each other and we should. Ultimately, we are all working toward the same goal and travelling towards the same destination. But sometimes we might have different paths that we want to take to get there. And with the goal at the end of the day being a destination we all agree on which is to ‘Bring the Patient and Physician closer …’ Who wants to argue with that?

Editor-in-Chief, Michael Tetreault, Concierge Medicine Today

“There Should Be Absolutely, Unequivocally, No Necessary Tension or Conflict Between DPC and Concierge Medicine. Each Physician is doing what they feel is right for the Patient and at the end of the day, ‘the Patient comes first.’ There’s nothing wrong with that. While these two models are similar in their subscription programming, they each have uniquely different things that make them attractive to different audiences. They are simply different vehicles taking Patients to the similar destinations. These are Physicians following their hearts and guess what, they’re uniting heart and hands together and helping Patients like we’ve never understood before. Yes, they may have some things in common but they are also BOTH beneficial and special to those Patients that seek them out around the country. Each Physician should be respected [by Physicians] for their differences and their shared values. Never should we denigrate the practice of medicine and those Doctors who choose a path different from your own. The world has high expectations and seemingly impossible goals and harsh realities placed upon Doctors, we don’t need Physicians disparaging or discouraging one model from another within this small and growing free market healthcare delivery space. As Truett Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A once said, ‘If someone is breathing, they need encouragement.’ Let’s be a group of healthcare educators that is known more for who and what we are for versus who and/or what we are against. Let’s be a group of people in medicine that is full of like-minded Physicians in the business of delivering great Patient care and that encourages other Doctors to follow their passion, however unique or different it might be for that local community of Patients.” ~Editor, Concierge Medicine Today and The DPC Journal

2019-2020 (C) Concierge Medicine Today/The DPC Journal | Understanding the Difference New Patient and Patient Search Data Trends In Demography Between Concierge Medicine and DPC.

So today, as we add to, write about daily and discuss the different types and specialties and Doctors and other healthcare practitioners who are seeking educational resources, advice or even looking for a career change … they frequently ask us about the difference between today’s “Membership Medicine” [eg. two primary subscription-based healthcare delivery models] which are commonly called ‘Concierge Medicine’ and its younger cousin, ‘Direct Primary Care (DPC).’

Today, we feel it’s important to take an educational, not editorial approach.

While each have unique patient demographics, some similarities and quite a few differences, we have observed there’s not one that’s better than another. Great Doctors practice within each model. Stating or even saying editorially that one is better than another, closes the minds of Doctors seeking a career lifeline. It also will close the minds of the Patients you serve, in essence saying, ‘It’s my way or the highway. I’m right, you’re wrong, case closed. I’m not open to your opinion.’

Stated another way, that would be like saying every patient is exactly the same and should be treated the same way, every time, every day, no matter what.

And you know as well as I do, that’s just not true.

RELATED STORY
‘The Clock Will Help You Decide: DPC or Concierge Medicine.’

We don’t have the liberty to paint with such a broad brush.

Therefore, we don’t paint a halo on one and horns on the other. That’s not fair to anyone, let alone the Doctors working in each field or the patients they serve. Each business model, while having similarities, also have drastic differences. It’s up to the Doctor and your own intelligence to pick which subscription-based business model will work for you and your community of Patients.

To that end, I think it’s important to understand the psychological principle of the Halo and Horn Effect as you decide which business model is right for you. But please, don’t be so quick to criticize something you don’t understand until you’ve done a deep dive into learning more about it.

According to Joshua Kennon or Kennon and Green Co.,[2] he says:

It is a cognitive bias that causes you to allow one trait, either good (halo) or bad (horns), to overshadow other traits, behaviors, actions, or beliefs. In psychology, horns effects and halo effects happen all the time. Attractive people are, on average, though to be more intelligent even though this isn’t true. Overweight people are thought to be lazy, which is not necessarily the case.[2]

(C) 2019-2020 Concierge Medicine Today & The DPC Journal | Download Infographic Here …

The power of the horns effect and halo effect comes from the fact that it is closely related with several other mental models and, working together, you get a magnified influence. On one hand, you have mere association at work. On the other hand, you have the mental model of implicit personality theory, which states that individuals believe traits are inter-connected so that the presence of one traits means the presences of others, which isn’t true (e.g., a girl who dressed provocatively might not sleep around and someone who speaks slowly might not be unintelligent).[2]

RELATED STORY
The Challenge: DPC Must Empathize. They Must Uplift. And, They Should Never [EVER, under ANY circumstances] Villainize Different or Modified Models.

For added perspective, MBASkool is a one-stop management knowledge portal and a B-School community for all MBA students, professionals and MBA institutes, with the motto “Study Learn Share” and wrote the following:

HR (Human Resources) Definition: Halo & Horn Effect

Halo & Horn Effects, both of these effects come under the category of the first impression error. To elaborate these terms signify the error one makes by forming an opinion about a person/ situation, just by keeping the first impression in mind.[1]

Halo Effect

When we meet someone, and the first impression of him is very positive, then we tend to ignore the negative characteristics in the person and concentrate only on the positive characteristics. We start seeing the person in the halo of the positive first impression. This is called Halo effect. For example, if the interview starts with a very positive statement from the interviewee, then the interviewer tends to form a positive impression about the interviewee due to halo effect.[1]

Horn Effect

If our first impression about a person is negative, we tend to ignore his positive characteristics and concentrate only on the negative ones. We tend to see the person in the light of the negative first impression and hence there is higher probability that we will not like the person. This is called horn effect. For example, if an interview starts with a negative statement from the interviewee, there is higher chance that he would be rejected due to horn effect.[1]

So, In Summary, What Can or Should You Do?

We can appreciate what Joshua Kennon write in 2011 when he said this about protecting yourself against the Horns and Halo Effect.

How to Protect Against the Horns Effect and Halo Effect

Download the Latest Version of our  Infographic – “Understand The Differences and Similarities Between Concierge Medicine and DPC” (C) Concierge Medicine Today/The DPC Journal

The best defense against the horns effect and halo effect is to always adhere to one rule: Every idea must stand on its own merit regardless of who proposes it.

That is easier said that done.

Kennon writes:

Consider the case of the average Republican, who is supposedly pro-tax cut.  

A few months ago, President Obama proposed a 50% payroll tax cut that would have been one of the greatest middle class tax cuts in the history of the United States.  They opposed his jobs bill, which included the tax cut, in large part because it would have been a political “win” for him.  In the far-right mind, the “horns” of Obama’s personality overshadowed their own self-interest.

So if we go through life evaluating every proposal and every situation on its own merits, its own rationality, and its own opportunity costs and outcomes.  

This is exactly why John Stuart Mill would read books, articles, and other evidence that he knew to be wrong in order to, ” [see] that no scattered particles of important truth are buried and lost in the ruins of exploded error”.  He had built a system that compensated for the horns effect and halo effect, allowing him better cognition.

It is important that you realize the horns effect and halo effect are not without merit.  While you should strive to remove them from your cognition, they should still influence your behavior.  I wouldn’t want to be around people who lie, steal, or cheat even if they are good at their job or otherwise pleasant.  There is nothing wrong with being cautious when an otherwise bad person says something that might seem to make sense; the proverbial “devil in a Sunday hat”.

NEW! Latest Edition – Over 700+ Pages of Education, Tips, Tools, Strategies and Insight Into Concierge Medicine and Building A Subscription-Based Healthcare Delivery Model … LEARN MORE …

A good idea is a good idea even if it is proposed by the town drunk.  A bad idea is a bad idea, even if it is proposed by the town hero.  Never forget that and act accordingly.  This is one of the reasons that mature thinkers don’t take offense when someone attacks their positions or ideas – they are not extensions of the person, but rather must stand on their own.  There is nothing I enjoy more than assaulting my own beliefs from all sides to see if it can withstand the force.  That approach is why I get more and more rational with each passing year, and my real-world results reflect that.  There is nothing original in this approach.  Anyone is free to adopt it.

Citations: 1. https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/human-resources-hr-terms/3895-halo-horn-effect.html; 2. https://www.joshuakennon.com/mental-model-horns-effect-and-halo-effect/

Categories: Insights & Analysis