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A “Festival” of Sage Advice From Your Peers In Concierge Medicine

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By Staff, Concierge Medicine Today, LLC & The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

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Disclaimer: In no event shall the authors, publishers, distributors and its related, affiliated or subsidiary companies, be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use of the information herein. The information is given with the understanding that the authors, publishers, distributors and its related, affiliated or subsidiary companies, are not engaging in or rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. The authors, publishers, distributors and its related, affiliated or subsidiary companies, stress that since the details of an individual’s personal situation are fact-dependent, you should seek the additional services of a competent professional for legal, accounting and business advice for your individual practice. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of any opinions, advice, services or other information provided as it pertains to your practice. All information contained is distributed with the understanding that the authors, publishers, distributors and its related, affiliated or subsidiary companies, are not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters, and accordingly assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Consult your own legal or tax advisor with respect to your personal situation. In no event is this information considered medical, legal, tax, financial, accounting or other professional advice (Please see full disclaimer below). This article, podcast, web site(s), references, citations, etc., are Subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use (https://conciergemedicinetoday.org/tcpp/) and referenced by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. Concierge Medicine Today, LLC., our representatives, agents or employees accept no responsibility or liability for direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages or financial costs or claims made by the Physician(s) interviewed or our guests.


Last Updated Spring/Summer 2022

Here at Concierge Medicine Today and The DocPreneur Leadership Academy & Podcast, our mission is to communicate news and relevant educational information about the growing industry’s of concierge medicine and private, subscription-based healthcare delivery model, it all of its variations and styles.

This month, we thought that we’d spotlight some of the brightest Physicians and industry experts quotes from the recent past, our medical conferences, interviews and conversations we’ve had with them. We hope you enjoy them and maybe learn a little nugget along the way!

FOR YOU, FOR DOCTORS,

Editor, Concierge Medicine Today

50 Industry Quotes By Concierge Doctors and Industry Influencers That Will Inspire and Encourage Your Passion For Patient Care and Concierge Medicine:

OUR PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP IS OPEN TO ALL PHYSICIANS, STAFF AND HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS TO LEARN THE BASICS FROM THE EXPERTS AND YOUR PEERS. Every year we (CMT) host the industry’s annual medical education conference, THE CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM, presented/hosted by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. There are a variety of sponsors, speakers and exhibitors. OCTOBER 20-22, 2022 in Atlanta GA at the Forsyth Conference Center. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE … Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast/Academy

“To those who say concierge doctors are hurting the system by diminishing the number of patients we can care for, my reply is: if you keep doing the same thing year after year, you are going to get the same results!” said Dr. Joel Bessmer of Members.MD based in Omaha, NE. “If we don’t focus on salvaging the doctor-patient relationship and allowing the appropriate time for each patient’s care and follow-up, patients will begin to feel their primary care is a waste of time.”

“This is healthcare the way it should be, with zero compromises. It’s about being cared for in the way you would care for your own family member.” – Dr. Howard Maron

“Concierge medicine must be treated seriously by physicians and patients alike because it is a concept that is here to stay. Paying a set annual fee for “special services” may appear to some to focus on money and greed but to others it may be redirecting the focus of medicine back to preventing disease and seeking wellness. If concierge physicians are successful in preventing illness and keeping patients healthier then it is in the best interest of patients, physicians and society as a whole.” ~Peter A. Clark SJ, PhD Professor of Medical Ethics and Director, Institute of Catholic Bioethics, Saint Joseph’s University

“The heart of good medicine is care,” said Dr. R.P., a concierge doctor in Canonsburg, PA. “I think the key to concierge medicine is the personal relationship between doctor and patient.”

“Since 2005, I have been providing comprehensive primary care to families and individuals of all ages in San Francisco. Through mutual respect, careful listening, and collaborative communication, I have built strong long-term relationships with patients and health care providers in the community,” says Dr. Bhandari.

“I had to do this to be able to do my job,” says Dr. Marcy Zwelling, who has been an concierge internist since 1987. “I get to practice the way I think I can practice best. It’s capitalism at its best.”

“Young doctors are refusing to go into primary care medicine,” notes Dr. Steven Knope of Tucson, Arizona in his writings about The Myths of Concierge Medicine. “This is due to the fact that practicing primary care medicine in our current broken system, seeing 30 patients per day, making only one-third to one-fourth of what a specialist makes, have created an understandable shortage of doctors willing to practice primary care medicine. Over the long run, the only way to increase the number of qualified primary care doctors is to make the profession more attractive, both from a professional and financial perspective. It is our current broken system that has caused a shortage of primary care doctors; and if we stay on the old path, it will only get worse.”

“Consumers buy what they understand. It has taken years for the industry to educate consumers about the basic components of concierge medicine. Build upon that existing knowledge base and take the time to further educate them on how your practice uses labs, technology and other tools that will elevate their health.” ~S.H., former industry consultant to Concierge Physicians, and a CMT Writer/Contributor

“You will never regret being a doctor IF you work only for patients. But if you don’t work only for patients, you will regret your decision in the end.” ~Dr. Thomas LaGrelius, California

“My focus is on being a trusted advisor and I don’t want to have any potential conflict of interests,” said Shira Miller, MD of Sherman Oaks, CA. “For example, a lot of doctors make money on supplements, for me I take that out of the equation. In terms of my practice, I just want to  focus on providing the best advice I can give my patients, not worrying about making money off retail.”

“Typically, there’s a period after start-up when income goes way down as patients decide whether to stay,” said Allison McCarthy, a senior consultant in the northeast office of Corporate Health Group, a national consulting firm. “It often takes a good two years to bring the patient level up to where it should be.” At that point, physicians do better financially. In the interim, they are likely to struggle, particularly with those large start-up costs, which range from $50,000 to over $300,000.

“Sometimes exactly what these Doctors and practices do, the public relations and messaging elements often fall in the category of ‘Totally Misunderstood,’” said Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief of Concierge Medicine Today, “The Concierge Medicine Physician is … purposefully more communicative and intentional about blending customer service techniques and social graces into the rhythm of his/her daily medical practice environment which in turn, creates a unique bond between Physician and Patient. As a PSA, here’s some of the industry’s FAQs and experts sharing and telling you their stories.”

Dr. James Pinckney, II of Diamond Physicians based in Dallas, TX writes … “Preventative medicine is now our top priority. The upfront costs associated with genetic testing, inflammatory testing, etc. pales in comparison to the cost of treating chronic disease. Stakeholders are realizing that it is more important to invest in technologies that detect disease at an earlier stage when it is less challenging to treat effectively. Spending capital now on tailored treatment plans for individuals will save billions in the future.”

Every year we (CMT) host the industry’s annual medical education conference, THE CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM, presented/hosted by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. There are a variety of sponsors, speakers and exhibitors. OCTOBER 20-22, 2022 in Atlanta GA at the Forsyth Conference Center. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE … Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast/Academy

“Being a good physician is not just about knowing how to diagnose and treat disease. Honestly…that’s what books and studying is for. Being a good doctor entails earning the trust of your patients by being honest and forthcoming. It means knowing how to communicate effectively while still remaining sympathetic. It requires you, first and foremost, to be a human being. It honestly bothers me that young doctors feel like they have to “know everything” to be a great physician. Put down the damn book and go talk to your patient. Be a friggin human being. Be a friend. Its really that simple.” ~Dr. T.D., Concierge Medicine Physician, South Florida

“The art of medicine is the application of all this information and skills we learn and relaying this in a humane way to this one patient in front of you. Which is the only thing that matters at this moment. I am here for you is what each patient deserves to feel. This in my opinion is what separates the good doctor from the great doctor. That skill is innate. Those going into the field for the right reasons have this within them.” ~Dr. Luciano is an award winning Family Medicine Doctor widely known for his reputation as being one of the Best Primary Care Doctors in Doylestown, Warrington, Warminster, Furlong, Ivyland, Jamison, Newtown, Richboro and the surrounding cities of Bucks County. Known for his knowledge, thoroughness, compassion, and bedside manner as a Primary Care Physician, his patients trust him and are confident in relying on him with their health.

“We are all used to subscriptions. We all have Amazon Prime and Netflix, and like Netflix or Amazon subscriptions,” he said, “you’ll find doctors out there with monthly subscriptions that seem incredibly affordable or geared for a certain audience. The more you pay, the more your get.” ~LLNYC Magazine; Article: The doctor will see you immediately; July/Aug 2017 Edition

“The genetic revolution has already begun, and it is having far-reaching effects on healthcare right now,” said Brandon Colby, MD and author of Outsmart Your Genes, and keynote speaker at the industry’s annual conference held in Atlanta, the Concierge Medicine Forum.  “Our knowledge of how to use this information is increasing at an exponential rate. What this means is that we can now start to integrate genetics into our everyday lives. With comprehensive genetic testing, we launch an innovative strategy against disease, attacking it before it even manifests. Genetic testing, therefore, provides a new counter-offensive in our war against Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and many other diseases that have plagued our civilization for centuries. This is the most exciting, and potentially groundbreaking, medical development of this century.”

“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.”

“The biggest change in the last 3 decades? How humans communicate and get things done. But doctors use expensive office visits almost exclusively to communicate and get things done. One of the main reasons why people increasingly view healthcare as out of touch with reality.” ~Dr. Jay Parkinson, Sherpaa @jayparkinson; January 31, 2018

“Personalized application of evidence-based decisions should be the norm, and companies should provide the technology to access the most up-to-date, patient-specific evidence for a given therapeutic area or intervention, so that physicians and patients can decide together the most effective course of treatment,” says Dr. Todd Feinman, Advisory Board Member at Evidenza Precision Medicine and the Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of Doctor Evidence. “Concierge Doctors, known to be innovative and patient-centered care, are in a unique position to take advantage of the growing number of personalized data resources matched to patient profiles and preferences to improve patient care.”

“We all say we should get the same care, but I got sick and tired of waiting for that to happen,” he added. “I decided to go for quality, not quantity.” ~New York Times; June 3, 2017; Rex Chiu, an internist with Private Medical in Menlo Park, spent more than a decade as a doctor on Stanford’s faculty.

“If you [eg their Concierge Doctor] want a patient FOR LIFE, visit them in the hospital,” said Dan Hecht, former CEO, MDVIP, Former Leader/Executive, PROCTER & GAMBLE (NYSE:PG), now coaching, speaking and writing with CEOhm. “Try navigating managed care on a rotary phone. So many things get in the way of connecting with Patients in a Doctor’s office. Choose the road less traveled.”

“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

“We see three classes of potential plays for a consortium of companies that band together, ranging from the least disruptive (and quickest to implement) to the most disruptive (with the longest time to implement). They are incremental innovation (testing the waters with gradual and piecemeal innovation); technology and analytics (enabling the improvement and redesign of the existing system); and radical disruption (creating new platforms, marketplaces, and ecosystems).” ~ Article Written By Jay Godla, Igor Belokrinitsky, and Sundar Subramanian: Strategy+Business.com — “Alexa, What’s Going on with Healthcare?”

“Try navigating managed care on a rotary phone,” says Dan Hecht, former CEO, MDVIP, Former Leader/Executive, PROCTER & GAMBLE (NYSE:PG), now coaching, speaking and writing with CEOhm … was a BONUS Featured Speaker on Saturday and he presented to the crowd. “So many things get in the way of connecting with Patients in a Doctor’s office. Choose the road less traveled.” Photo Source: Concierge Medicine Today/The DPC Journal 2017

“I am amazed we have received so much recognition that within a few years an entire field of “concierge” practices emerged nationally. Our Practice was designed around this ideology: provide the convenience, accommodation, and best-of-class service you expect from every service provider in your life. The very nature of these relationships necessitates we limit our practice to so few.” ~Dr. Howard Maron; MD² founder Dr. Howard Maron

“I really have time to think about my patients when they’re not in front of me,” said Dr. Greene, a pediatrician who joined the company’s Los Angeles practice in October. “I may spend a morning researching and emailing specialists for one patient. Before, I had to see 10 patients in a morning, and could never spend that kind of time on one case.” ~New York Times; June 3, 2017

Every year we (CMT) host the industry’s annual medical education conference, THE CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM, presented/hosted by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. There are a variety of sponsors, speakers and exhibitors. OCTOBER 20-22, 2022 in Atlanta GA at the Forsyth Conference Center. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE … Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast/Academy

“The bottom line is it’s not for free,” she said. “You can’t do this for $25 [per person] per month. If we start doing it for $50 to $100 per month then we can start doing serious primary care.” ~Article: Despite A Growing Appetite, Buffet-Style Flat-Fee Clinics Shutter In Seattle; By Michelle Andrews; Kaiser Health News; June 20, 2017

“Do not be afraid to try something new. If we do not try to do things differently, primary care will continue to languish and we will have a harder and harder time attracting people into the field and ensuring that primary care survives for us, our children, and our grandchildren.  You do not have to do it all at once, though – a lot of practices are trying to develop a hybrid model, gradually moving more and more of their Patients to the DPC model.  It is challenging to do this if you are caring for large numbers of Patients, but practices are finding ways to do it.” ~Dr. Erika Bliss of Qliance.

“Where the practice of medicine may fall short, a story is often found in our DNA that will provide clarity. 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.” ~CMT Industry Conference Keynote Speaker, Dr. Brandon Colby

MD² CEO, Peter Hoedemaker says “Time is just so critical. By limiting their total number of families they have the ability to accompany patients to specialist visits, navigate their care through hospital stays and truly research every ache and pain. It’s like having a physician as part of your inner circle, as if they’re a member of your own family.”

“My vision is to cultivate a personal Patient – doctor relationship amidst a bustling urban community where impersonal professional relationships are the norm,” said Dr. Edward Espinosa Buckhead Concierge Internal Medicine, Atlanta, GA. “Our practice strives to deliver quality medical care with an emphasis on evidence based medicine, open communication, easy accessibility, and a focus on customer service. These benefits can lead to an overall improvement in how healthcare is delivered and may ultimately improve outcomes.”

“When certainty is not an option, you can still offer them the next best thing. Your presence. Concierge Doctors routinely visit their Patient(s) and talk with family members in the Hospital when admitted or an emergency has occurred. It’s not something they can predict, but they’ve recognized it is an important and personal gesture worth more than any amount of money or even life itself. Concierge Doctors have recognized that their mere presence is important. They know that this uncommon, random act of kindness comes with a price tag which they [the Doctor] cannot put a price tag on. That is, this random act of kindness often creates a bond between the Patient-Physician for LIFE!” ~Editor, Concierge Medicine Today/CMT-FORUM/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

“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.

“The health and wellness sector has always been a passion of mine for most of my career, and as a result, I’ve had the great privilege to sit on all sides of the business,” said Jenna Anderson, CEO of AccessElite, a Concierge Key Health Company. “Having the opportunity to lead this organization at such a pivotal moment is a true honor as I can think of no greater way to impact the world of health and wellness than by creating a means to improve access and a streamlined experience. I have long held the notion that the healthcare industry is ripe for a transformation that brings focus back to the patient-physician connection, and one that truly delivers a personalized experience. I believe we are the company to make that happen.”

View ALL of the Latest Openings, Locations and Positions Available/Potentially Open FOR DOCTORS … Photo Credit/Source: Canva.com (Used with persmisson) (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

“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. Bobinet, “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 … 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.”

“I think that this is an exciting time for private direct medicine,” says attorney Jim Eischen, Esq. “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.”

“I believe women’s health often gets overlooked and my vision is to elevate the standard of care for women,” Dr. Prickett says. “I welcome all patients who are unsatisfied with their current medical care or who have challenging medical conditions. The most interesting part of internal medicine is that you are doing a lot of investigation—things that may have been missed, a test that wasn’t ordered or an image that wasn’t done that could solve health problems.”[1]

“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, its sister publication, The Direct Primary Care Journal and Managing Director of the industry’s annual conference, the Concierge Medicine Forum. “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.’”

“The challenges of medical center concierge-style programs are very different than those experienced by concierge physicians in private practice.  All hospitals/medical centers have special perks and usually enhanced access to specialists for their donors and patrons, often a special number they can call.  Most have an informal “private banking” approach where there is no established fee, just an expected level of donation.   Despite the proliferation of individual concierge practices and now organized networks, concierge medicine programs INSIDE medical centers are quite unusual – there may be only 20-25 in the entire country.” ~ John Kirkpatrick, MD Seattle, WA

“Patient Satisfaction in the field remains exceptionally high. Attitudes toward Concierge Medicine have undergone significant and positive changes since the signature of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor, Concierge Medicine Today.

“There is no substitute for a doctor who one knows and trusts, and who acts exclusively on behalf of one’s own needs and interests. Fortunately, many people can have this type of care. For people who are enrolled in high deductible insurance plans, they can apply their annual retainer fee toward their deductible. For people who have flexible spending accounts, they can use the money from that account toward the annual retainer fee. My fee is less than the cost of a daily sandwich lunch or a monthly cable contract. I think if more of the public were aware of how affordable this care can be, more people would be clamoring for it. Access 24/7, prompt appointments, same or next day sick visits, unhurried visits, health care coaching, continuity and advocacy. What is there not to recommend this model of care?” ~Dr. A.F., Concierge Medicine Physician, Baltimore, MD

ACCESS THIS ONLINE COURSE HERE … PLUS, With BONUS: Understanding Financial Markets & Trends Under Various Election Cycles and Presidencies — Photo Credit/Source: Canva.com (Used with persmisson) (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

Roy Ramthun of HSA Consulting Services based in Washington, DC, says “The IRS does not generally consider the monthly payment a ‘qualified medical expense.’ However, we do believe that they will accept reimbursements from an HSA for actual services provided by your practice physicians if you can produce something for the patient that they can use to document the services they received (including any procedure/treatment codes), the date they were provided (and by whom), and the amount you would charge the patient for the services provided.  I know your practice is not set up that way, but the patient needs something that tells them the fair market value of the services they received for tax-free reimbursement from their HSA.”

“While it is true, as the AP reported, that more and more patients are joining our practices nationwide, the number of patients is not just in the thousands already but in the millions. While it is true that concierge practice is exponentially on the rise, the current number of such doctors is not just in the hundreds but in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. Most are below the radar. They work quietly and are never counted by bureaucrats. ” ~  Thomas W. LaGrelius, MD, Daily Breeze, Calif.

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 at the industry’s annual industry conference, the Concierge Medicine Forum, who specializes 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.”

“I’m 60 years old now and I had to figure out how I could continue to practice medicine, enjoy it and enjoy my life at the same time. This is something I decided to try and see if it works, and so far, it’s working,” said Dr. Derrell W. Anglyn, Jr. of Anglyn Family Medical Center in McDonough, GA

“After being told repeatedly by video doctors that they can’t diagnose or treat what you’ve got and you’ve got to see a doctor in person, after you’ve spent $79, you’re probably just going to hedge your bets next time and instead go to the local urgent care center and blow $300.” ~Dr. Jay Parkinson, Sherpaa @jayparkinson; January 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 pharmacogenomics 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.”

Every year we (CMT) host the industry’s annual medical education conference, THE CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM, presented/hosted by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. There are a variety of sponsors, speakers and exhibitors. OCTOBER 20-22, 2022 in Atlanta GA at the Forsyth Conference Center. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE … Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast/Academy

“At Concierge Medicine Today, we are committed to identifying and exploring innovative new solutions to enhance the healthcare experience for physicians and their patients,” Concierge Medicine Today’s editor, Michael Tetreault, said. “Hospital systems, C-Suite level at insurance companies, clinical research and technology firms and others are interested in what is happening in the field of Concierge Medicine. They know Concierge doctors are early adopters of strategies and solutions. The Concierge Medicine Forum is about showcasing new ideas brought together in one place by some of the brightest minds and industry-leading precision medicine brands, health and technology futurists, and innovative Concierge Medicine physicians that will share with attendees what the future of healthcare looks like. How we can all play a role in helping people on their path to better health is what this forum is all about.”

“Concierge medicine is, at its most basic, a return to the age when doctors made house calls and were paid directly by the patients they treated.”~Paul Sisson, UT San Diego

“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.”

“There is a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor of Concierge Medicine Today. “Inside traditional medicine, patients expect to wait. They expect insurance to cover their visit. When it is not, they expect to fight. Consumers of healthcare today say they expect a disengaged staff and an unpleasant visit when at their doctor’s office. We can do better. Concierge Medicine Patients are Invited rather than Expected. This counter-intuitive approach exceeds expectations, thereby creating a massively loyal and engaged audience which, in turn, is producing some amazing patient outcome data as released and seen by some organizations in the space.”

“I didn’t become a doctor to bankrupt my patients …” ~Dr. J.G.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONLINE COURSE, FOR DOCTORS — Photo Credit/Source: Canva.com (Used with persmisson) (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

“Not all direct primary care practices are concierge practices, and not all concierge practices are direct primary care practices. The terms are not synonymous, and even the basic fundamentals of either model do not overlap. The key to differentiation is whether or not a third party payer is involved. If not, then the model is a direct pay, or direct primary care model, no matter what the fees.” ~Samir Qamar is CEO, MedLion

CAP has been working in the concierge physician space for quite some time. For the last 10 years CAP has been tracking the benefits, losses and business practices of concierge [and direct primary care] physicians. Starting in 2013, CAP started offering discounts to concierge physicians. CAP reviewed records of concierge physicians over the past 10 years and concierge physicians have fewer claims than regular physicians – they can get up to a 45% discount. “When they become concierge physicians their loss experience improves [by losses, CAP means medical liability claims],” says Cindy Belcher, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at CAP. “When one becomes a concierge physicians they [most likely] go from high volume practice to a low volume practice [have fewer patients]. We are aware that concierge physicians really do understand that their staff is vital to having satisfied patients. What makes us different from other carriers is our longevity in the marketplace and our Risk Management Institute — educational modules designed specifically for solo and small group office staff that provide a lot of information in a short period of time to help office staff/office management processes and reduce risk.”

“My overhead is a phone, an electronic medical record, internet access, rent for office space and one medical assistant. The clinic is built lean because we don’t have to deal with the insurance companies. The revenue that is generated through the monthly fee of $39 to $89 per month is where 
we get the money to pay our overhead and the doctor’s salary. We don’t need to make a profit on anything else.” ~Dr. Chris Larson is a family physician and can be reached at Austin Osteopathic Family Medicine.

“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

“Running on the discount-insurance based hamster wheel is fatally destructive to doctor morale, patient care and the entire health system,” ~Dr. Thomas LaGrelius, Torrance, CALIF.

“To be able to practice in this fashion, the patient roster is limited to a maximum of 600 patients. Each patient enjoys a 90- to 120-minute annual wellness visit similar to an executive style physical. This includes an exam, review and coaching for every patient. Follow up visits last 30 minutes. Under this calculation, doctors see eight to 12 patients a day.  Physicians benefit on multiple fronts. We enjoy financial stability in this uncertain time. We regain the freedom to practice the way we were trained.  Our time, tools and technology improve our abilities and make us even more valuable to our patients than we were before.  Partnering with a consultant or an organization who provides the resources to transition successfully to this model is critical particularly to ensure that your practice is compliant with all federal and state laws.  The model even improves national outcomes. Hospitalizations are down – by 79% in Medicare patients in one year and 72% in commercial patients. Readmission rates for common problems (Acute MI, CHF and pneumonia) are all under 2%, as compared to the national averages that range from 15% to 21%. Control of chronic conditions is better against all benchmarks and together, these saved the healthcare system over $300 million a year.  The patient benefits of a smaller size practice include same-day appointments, 24-hour availability, no waiting and a higher level of coordination of care. As a result, patient satisfaction tops 94%, with nine in 10 patients renewing annually. Moreover, physician satisfaction is over 95%.  With the right tools and model, we get to practice medicine the way we had been trained. We find the time to talk. We tease out buried details, identify issues, and become the hands-on healers we once were. For their part, patients become more accountable and see real results.” ~Dr. Andrea Klemes is the Chief Medical Officer of MDVIP.

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“It’s a big decision for any physician to make the switch to concierge medicine,” adds Julie Robinson. “We recognize and honor that. Fortunately, as more physicians adopt this model and popularity grows, there are some great resources to help you navigate the path. It’s critical to determine if this is the right decision for your practice and then choose the best option – the one that matches both your short and long term goals. We frequently direct our prospective physicians to conciergemedicinetoday.org, informational books like the new Doctor’s Guide to Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care, and get them on the phone with other concierge doctors for a peer to peer conversation. It’s a step by step process… and each situation is as unique as each doctor. That’s why it’s critical to find the right partners to help you get there.”

“For the past 2 1/2 years, Dr. Rob Marsh, 58, [Middlebrook, VA] also has reached out to another medically neglected population: the truck drivers who spend their days on the interstate, many never home long enough to find a primary-care physician. At the TA Petro truck stop here, where Marsh opened his clinic in July 2012, drivers wander the stores killing time, looking at chrome for their trucks, hunting gear and fried strawberry-rhubarb pies in wax-paper packets. They can get an oil change, work out, take a shower. And now they can get a U.S. Department of Transportation-mandated physical, a flu shot or treatment for a sore back.” ~Written by Susan Svrluga, Jan. 19, 2015

I have met very few people who have a plan for their lives. Most are passive spectators, watching their lives unfold a day at a time. They may plan their careers, the building of a new home, or even a vacation. But it never occurs to them to plan their lives. As a result, many end up discouraged and disillusioned, wondering where they went wrong. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can live your life on purpose. It begins by creating a “Life Plan.” This won’t insulate you from life’s many adversities and unexpected twists and turns, but it will help you become an active participant in your life, intentionally shaping your own future.” – Michael Hyatt, Creating a Life

“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

Dr. Carrie Bordinko states “Gain some customer service experience– try a service industry job as these skills are not taught in med school. Moving into Concierge Medicine is not solely about providing excellent medical care without the restraints of insurance industry mandates. You have to also appreciate the lost art of customer service so long ago forgotten when visiting a healthcare institution. Many times my clients (notice I do not use the word “Patients”) have noted why they refer their friends to my practice. It is the attention to detail, always delivering exactly what is promised and then some, and keeping their unique needs positioned first with a flexibility to offer new programs or meet needs as quickly as they are identified. This is the cornerstone of customer service.”

“Instead of just looking at blood, I’m looking at blood, urine, stool and saliva. Instead of just chemistry markers, I’m looking at chemistry, metabolomics (chemical fingerprints of cellular processes), genomics, microbiome (microorganisms), hormone tests, and I’m starting to look at immunology markers.  That’s a very different experience. In a perfect world, your body is like the airplane and I’m the co-pilot and we’re using all these tools to identify if there are issues going wrong with the engine.” ~Dr. Molly Maloof runs a Concierge Medicine practice in San Francisco which serves a small number of patients for anywhere from $5,000 for an initial assessment to upwards of $40,000 per year for comprehensive care. Her clients are often engineers and executives looking to hit peak performance, or recover from an over-stressed work-life. Maloof, who earned her medical degree from the University in Illinois in 2011, sees part of her work as ensuring they they are doing it safely, backed up by the maximum amount of evidence.

From the “DOCTOR’S EXPANDED GUIDE to CONCIERGE MEDICINE” — GET YOUR COPY HERE … Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

“It’s a different type of busy … My day is just as long now, if not longer. But, I’m spending a lot more time with all of my patients. In between visits, I’m on the phone checking on people at home.” ~MDVIP-Affiliated Physician in FL

“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?’” said Michael Tetreault, editor in chief, Concierge Medicine Today (Source: Comstock’s Magazine; March 2014; Article: Convenient Care: How concierge medicine is changing the health care marketplace)

“Your basic family physicians will either be in concierge medicine or ‘God help you medicine.’” ~ Mike Huckabee said in his keynote speech Tuesday at the 2014 Benefits Selling Expo.

“I made the switch many years ago into concierge medicine, or at least a form of it, and I couldn’t be happier. I can provide better care and build a strong relationship with my patients. It definitely can be challenging since I make myself available 24/7, however if you can develop a good support structure of other like-minded MDs you can maintain a successful business with less stress than a traditional practice.” ~Las Vegas Urgent Care Doctor, Facebook.com/24HourVegasDoctor

“Instead of viewing the status quo PCP model as the center of the universe. Maybe we should take some plays from the Retail Clinic playbook  before we become obsolete.” ~Dr. R.N., Nelson, Atlanta, GA.

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

“It’s common for physicians, particularly those with long-standing patients, to significantly underestimate ‘ramp-up time’ – how long it takes to get new people enrolled,” said Helen Hadley, Founder and CEO of VantagePoint Healthcare Advisors in Hamden, CT.

“It took me over 16 years of practicing medicine to finally realize the significance of this timeless painting. At the time, this painting was viewed as iconic due to the public’s desire to be cared for with a single-minded attentiveness. It brought the focus back to the doctor patient relationship. Simply put, it is about the physician being there for his patient. Letting this patient know they are not alone. Sometimes that is all we have to give, but it can be exactly what is needed.” ~Dr. Luciano

“Insurance is the business of risk management via coverage for rare, expensive events. Nearly every industry in this country uses insurance in this manner — except health care. In health care, in addition to covering for rare events like surgeries and accidents, insurance is also used to cover common medical events as routinely encountered in primary care. Whenever insurance is used to cover common events, premiums go up due to claims being filed more frequently. Unfortunately, routine primary care is expensive in the current state, and society is forced to seek health insurance for this as well. This drives up health care costs across the board.  Direct Primary Care is able to make primary care relatively affordable, and thus eliminate the need for costly insurance. Health insurance is reserved for rare, expensive events, like in all other industries. By removing the need for insurance from primary care, which is a significant portion of health care, costs are driven down.” ~Samir Qamar, MD, MedLion, Founder

“We recognized back in 2000 that health care was moving from personal to a more institutionalized form, and it wasn’t what we wanted to do,” said Dr. John Blanchard of Premier Private Physicians, a concierge medicine practice with offices in Troy and Clarkston. “We felt we needed to have time with our patients, to have the excellence to have the time with patients. Health care has been cutting reimbursement to doctors, which has forced doctors to see more patients, so the time doctors have with their patients have declined. The average time today with patients for most doctors is only 10 minutes.”

From the “DOCTOR’S EXPANDED GUIDE to CONCIERGE MEDICINE” — GET YOUR COPY HERE … Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

“It’s much easier to make a point than to make a difference,” said Catherine Sykes, Publisher and CEO of Concierge Medicine Today, the healthcare news and educational publication for the space.  “This small, patient-centered subscription-based healthcare delivery model niche in healthcare is operating in a compliant manner, minus the reports we’ve all seen that occurred in less than a half-a-dozen individual offices, according to our sources. We see Concierge Medicine Physician’s at-large, following the appropriate federal and state guidelines with relationship to vaccine distribution. We also continue to observe these Doctors spending an inordinate amount of time talking to their Patients both virtually and in-person in order to help their communities and serve their Patients all while navigating the complexities and inconveniences of the Pandemic.”

“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

“Don’t apologize to your patients for the business changes you’re making. This new process will help them. Inform them that this is a positive change and will help you maintain more secure patient-physician communication on a timely basis and offers them a much more affordable payment system with routine and convenient access to their doctor.” ~M.P., former Independent, Industry Consultant

“The Concierge Medicine Physician can, should [and currently is] acting as the informed fiduciary, shepherding the patient treatment process so as to make informed decisions with actionable data, together, with their patients,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor of CMT. “Employers large and small and companies see Concierge Medicine and other membership medicine delivery vehicles as the ideal delivery model for healthcare innovation as it allows patients to control their healthcare dollars, be guided by a relational physician when learning about advanced healthcare options and make more informed, data-driven decisions under the direction and support of their involved [Concierge] physician, to live a healthier life.”

“When doctors talk about concierge medicine being “the oldest, new form of medicine,” they’re not speaking figuratively—they are trying to reframe the identity of their practice and an over-worked industry.” ~Catherine Sykes, Author, Publisher, Speaker

“The concierge model is a great option for physicians seeking more control over their time, their professional lives, and their ability to care for patients. But it is by no means a financial cure-all. My life is so much better now.   It’s a big improvement. I’m enjoying the benefit of more time for my family and my kids, more time to do administrative stuff during the workday rather than after-hours. But it’s not like my financial woes suddenly disappeared, especially during the first year.” ~M.D., MD,  family physician in Mission Vejo, CA

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“This primary care business model [direct primary care] 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.”

“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

“I received a phone call the other day from a physician in Winter Park Florida,” says T.D., D.O. a concierge medicine physician in South Florida. “She was calling just to thank me for answering her questions about [this industry] a few months ago, and encouraging her to start her own practice. Today, her practice is thriving and she said that ‘she is happy with her schedule, her life, and being able to practice medicine that way it is meant to be practiced.’ I was so happy to hear that I helped a fellow physician and colleague, and even more happy to hear that she was doing so well!”

“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 Qliance Medical Management based in Seattle, Washington. “… In which the provider’s incentives are fully aligned with the patient’s incentives.”

“Direct Primary Care (DPC) is not insurance, does not strive to replace health insurance, nor is it adversarial to it. On the contrary, many DPC practices are eager to work with insurance carriers to co-create blended plans which integrate DPC with high-deductible insurance and ultimately correct the perverse incentives which are rife in the traditional fee-for-service system.” ~Dr. David Z. Tusek, Colorado

“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, says to Medical Economics.

“The anti-aging and medical home delivery model fits well inside a concierge medicine [and direct care] practice. The nutritional component, the wellness solutions, the anti-aging and team-focused health care delivery professionals led by a concierge [or direct care] doctor are providing comprehensive and continuous health care services to patients year after year that they simply can’t find elsewhere. This combination is increasing patient retention and patient interest in the concept. The goal here is healthy outcomes for patients followed by increased patient retention outcomes for the physician year after year.” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor, Concierge Medicine Today & its sister publication, The DPC Journal

“DPC allows me to have the time to care for patients rather than third party payers,” writes Dr. Eric Potter to The DPC Journal. Dr. Potter is a DPC physician at Sanctuary Medical Care which services the Middle Tennessee-Nashville region and Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia. “Many more doctors turn over a new leaf with DPC.”

C.J. Miles, MBAHCM, MSA Research Analyst at the AMAC Foundation writes ... ‘Any type of healthcare and health insurance-related issue is going to have legal and ethical issues that everyone will not agree on. The bottom line with concierge medicine is that it is quickly growing, presumably due to physicians and patients fed up with the current state of America’s healthcare system and where it could be going due to The Affordable Care Act. In fact, even with the growing number of concierge physicians, “the number of patients who are seeking concierge medical care in the past 24 months is far greater than the actual number of primary care and family practice concierge physicians available to service them” (CMT, 2014b, para. 22). Only time will tell how this will pan out, but for now, it looks like this is where our country is heading.’

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“Although there are differences in the models for DPC and concierge care, there are similarities as well…most notably, the ultimate benefit for both patients and physicians: having quality time for offering consistent care and developing strong relationships with patients that are at the heart of these primary care delivery models.”  ~Physician Transition Representative, Specialdocs Consultants, Inc.

“This kind of innovative medicine is for C-suite executives and craft brewers. It’s for people who say, ‘I want the best healthcare in the world from one of the best doctors in the world, and there is a value to that,’ Tetreault says, with an air of triumphant make-healthcare-great-again-ism. “It’s an innovation that takes us back to how healthcare used to be delivered. You can have a family doctor again. No longer is it about what kind of insurance Opie has. It’s taking us back to an Andy Griffith style of healthcare.” ~LLNYC Magazine; Article: The doctor will see you immediately; July/Aug 2017 Edition

“I believe that is the way medical care is supposed to be.  This kind of unfettered direct engagement between doctor and Patient can never be achieved in a system of third-party networks where the doctor is a “provider” of services paid by someone else and the Patient is relegated to a passive ‘network subscriber’.” ~DPC Physician, Dr., R.N., of Atlanta, GA. “Primary Care needs to become relevant again by servicing patients directly and being available and offering the kinds of broad services that family doctors used to offer. Only returning to broad-based primary care that is affordable (DPC and similar), getting back in the hospitals and being available to keep our patients out of the ER and urgent care will solve this supply-demand imbalance. This kind of approach will also drive more medical students back into primary care and restore the balance back to the ratios before managed care.”

“Direct practices should be successful in most cities and states where there is an inadequate supply of primary care physicians,” says Dr. Chris Ewin, Founder and physician at 121MD in Fort Worth, TX. “This may be true in the country with the correct practice model. Most important, a physician needs to have social skills to sell him/herself and there new practice model to their patients and their community.”

“I had to do this to be able to do my job,” says Dr. Marcy Zwelling, who has been an concierge internist since 1987. “I get to practice the way I think I can practice best. It’s capitalism at its best.”

“If you are thinking about retiring from your concierge medical practice, know this: your exit strategy requires just as much planning as it took to build your thriving patient base. A top concern is finding quality continuity of care for your members. Another real challenge is selling your practice.” ~Tony Siebel, Director of Corporate Development, MDVIP

“The past year has been one of big changes. We are continuing to grow the practice in numbers, but we are also working to improve our quality.  There’s a lot to be done still! We added immunizations. At the present time we are doing adult immunizations, but are soon to move fully into pediatric immunizations. We continue to work on improving our quality, collecting information and reaching out to people who are needing care. Our goal is to continue to improve the quality of care from where we are now.” ~Rob Lamberts, MD, Augusta, GA

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“Until just a few years ago, people mostly based choosing a doctor on the personal recommendation of a trusted friend or relative,” says Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief of Concierge Medicine Today and its healthcare trade journal companion, The Direct Primary Care Journal. “Now with the advent of social media, word of mouth marketing is changing from a spoken word referral to a social media link referral. 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?’ The people you entrust to help your practice grow must be aware of how to effectively promote this new, old-fashioned message and delivery model of healthcare.”

“It’s about believability.  Would it work for me?  Could it work for me?” says Richard Doughty. “Where physicians have taken an early leap of faith, if you build it they will come, overwhelmingly they have been satisfied.  As a result, physicians now have many examples of colleagues experiencing the benefits of concierge medicine for themselves and their patients.  In those areas, we see momentum continuing to build.”

“Young doctors are refusing to go into primary care medicine,” notes Dr. Steven Knope of Tucson, Arizona in his writings about The Myths of Concierge Medicine. “This is due to the fact that practicing primary care medicine in our current broken system, seeing 30 patients per day, making only one-third to one-fourth of what a specialist makes, have created an understandable shortage of doctors willing to practice primary care medicine. Over the long run, the only way to increase the number of qualified primary care doctors is to make the profession more attractive, both from a professional and financial perspective. It is our current broken system that has caused a shortage of primary care doctors; and if we stay on the old path, it will only get worse.”

“Doctors carrying a medical bag and coming into a patient’s home was standard into the late 1960s. Look at The Andy Griffith Show. That’s what our grandparents did. Medicine became government regulated and that started to end. It came in for a reason — there did need to be some amount of administration. But now regulation and administrative tasks have frustrated doctors. Be intentional with your excellence, don’t be normal.”~Michael Tetreault, Editor, Author, Speaker, Concierge Medicine Forum

“Slow and steady growth is ideal in this type of practice because it allows you to offer patients a personalized experience,” says Joel Bessmer, MD, FACP of Omaha, Nebraska’s Members.MD. “I’ve found that the word-of-mouth aspect (vs. a billboard advertising approach) has been the most consistent factor in building my practice.  I consistently have patients recommending their family members and friends. Getting word of mouth referrals based on high quality care, staff service and patient satisfaction has been a much more effective tool than traditional marketing. And the slow and steady approach ensures that staff can keep up with new patients, as opposed to getting a rush of new caseloads that would be more difficult to manage all at once.”

B. Jorgensen [MDVIP CEO] says, “Where we find value is strengthening the relationship between doctor and patient, and we think that’s where the magic is.”

“In today’s healthcare culture, the 55-plus audience hasn’t been entirely abandoned, but the advertising aimed at this population segment is simply aimed at maintaining brand loyalty and establishing that the products they love are still good, still function and most likely being improved. Conversely, you can watch any prime-time television show that’s targeting the 25-54 demographic, and you will learn what those people think is cool, hip, and where our culture is trending. You will not see advertising aimed at the 55-plus demographic population that’s designed to get them to switch brands. The advertising aimed at 25-54 is all about that. And, by the way, most doctors, consultants and advertising agencies know that. This is just one of the many helpful topics you’ll learn about at this conference.” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief, Concierge Medicine Today and its healthcare trade journal companion, The Direct Primary Care Journal

“The road was much more difficult than I expected, but also much more satisfying. I spent much of my time learning what doesn’t work, but in the end learned that most good ideas grow out of the remains of a hundred bad ones that didn’t survive.” ~R.L., MD, Augusta, GA

“I remember when I started my direct-access, home-based primary care practice (www.MetroMedicalDirect.com) in 2009,” says Raymond Zakhari, NP and CEO of Metro Medical Direct. “Patients were skeptical and reluctant because of how accessible and convenient the service was. They expected to be kept waiting on hold. Some seemed puzzled by the fact that when they called I answered the phone and knew who they were. One patient even inquired as to how come they only had one form to fill out. Direct-access primary care patients who have been referred post hospital discharge, have not been readmitted to the hospital in the last 4 years because I can see them without delay or red tape. In NYC, despite the high number of physicians per patient, particularly on the upper east side of Manhattan, direct-access primary care can still be a viable practice solution for patients and providers. It helps patients cut through the red tape that has become expected in accessing health care.”

“What I found interesting was that when I left my old practice — I had a 10% Medicare population. That fraction has grown to almost half, suggesting to me that some of the folks most interested in this model are older patients.” ~Dr. A.F., Concierge Medicine Physician

Every year we (CMT) host the industry’s annual medical education conference, THE CONCIERGE MEDICINE FORUM, presented/hosted by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. There are a variety of sponsors, speakers and exhibitors. OCTOBER 20-22, 2022 in Atlanta GA at the Forsyth Conference Center. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE … Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast/Academy

“The biggest mistake in my opinion is charging too low,” says M.P., former independent industry consultant. “Conversions [into this private-pay marketplace] will eventually be unnecessary as the public becomes more aware of the benefits of these types of memberships. The big challenge is continuing growth after the initial conversion. Customer service, as described by some physicians, is the number one way to grow [this type of] practice. Linking the service to local self-insured employers is a good way to grow but certainly requires expertise with regards to structuring the appropriate benefit, usually a high-deductible plan with an HSA plus a membership.”

“There was a time when patients valued their family doctor, trusted our opinion and called us after hours to help decide if symptoms needed urgent attention or could wait,” says Dr. Ellie Campbell of Campbell Family Medicine in Cumming, GA in an interview with Concierge Medicine Today. “Our phone trees, answering services, and after hours call-sharing doctors make it unlikely that any  given patient will actually speak to their own doctor. So they don’t bother, and they seek care wherever it is most convenient.”

“Care is about access and communication, not doing stuff necessarily. I am not sure if there is any way to change this, but it seems that any visits my patients have (or communication with me) is something they get in exchange for my monthly fee.” ~Dr. Robert Lamberts, Augusta, GA

“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.”

“To those who say concierge doctors are hurting the system by diminishing the number of patients we can care for, my reply is: if you keep doing the same thing year after year, you are going to get the same results!” said Dr. Joel Bessmer of Members.MD based in Omaha, NE. “If we don’t focus on salvaging the doctor-patient relationship and allowing the appropriate time for each patient’s care and follow-up, patients will begin to feel their primary care is a waste of time.”

“We try to make it fit into your lifestyle instead of disrupt it,” said Iowa physician, Dr. Ingram. “You call the office, you call my cellphone, you text me, email me and we set something up.”

“The conversion process is not an easy one,” said Dr. J.G., M.D., Concierge Medicine Physician in Florida. “My staff and I are cognizant of the fact that we must consistently communicate the benefits of this choice in care, with the challenge to increase my [memberships] numbers and convert other patients.”

“Patients value speed and low cost most of all for most minor complaints,” notes Dr. Ellie Campbell of Cumming, GA. “Even my patients who pay a membership fee for all of their covered and non-covered services including 24-hour access to my personal email and cell phone number, and whose care for these complaints would be covered without additional cost, still use these [retail medicine style] health providers [i.e. CVS, MinuteClinic, TakeCare Clinic, etc.]. Many patients say, ‘I just did not want to bother you on the weekend, and I was near there anyhow.’ As long as we live in a world of drive-though windows, ATMs, and garage door openers, patients are going to  value and pay for any service that gets them in and out quickly, on their time schedule, with their desired objective. We [Concierge Medicine and Direct-Pay Doctors] need to learn to adapt, as this delivery model of care seems here to stay. Unless we offer on site dispensaries, extended hours, and no appointment needed delivery, we will be deferring more urgent issues to these models. Perhaps then we will have more time to devote to preventing disease and reversing the burden of chronic conditions, if only we can convince third party payors that there is value in that.”

“We’ve always believed in being a patient’s ‘healthcare quarterback,’ so we negotiated highly competitive rates for lab and imaging services within our market. We determined the services most crucial to our patients, educated ourselves about available resources in our community, and created a list of options with full cost transparency.” ~Dr. C.F., & Dr. D.T., Colorado

“Typically, there’s a period after start-up when income goes way down as patients decide whether to stay,” said Allison McCarthy, a senior consultant in the northeast office of Corporate Health Group, a national consulting firm. “It often takes a good two years to bring the patient level up to where it should be.” At that point, physicians do better financially. In the interim, they are likely to struggle, particularly with those large start-up costs, which range from $50,000 to over $300,000.

“My focus is on being a trusted advisor and I don’t want to have any potential conflict of interests,” said Shira Miller, MD of Sherman Oaks, CA. “For example, a lot of doctors make money on supplements, for me I take that out of the equation. In terms of my practice, I just want to  focus on providing the best advice I can give my patients, not worrying about making money off retail.”

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“You will never regret being a doctor IF you work only for patients. But if you don’t work only for patients, you will regret your decision in the end.” ~Dr. Thomas LaGrelius, California

“My real joy is spending time with patients and trying to help them improve their health. In many practices, the high volume of patients that must be seen reduces the time clinicians can spend with each patient. Our model increases the time available for each patient encounter. I spend about 30 minutes with a patient during our average visit. This is the main reason that most patients give for returning to our practice. People are willing to spend money on something they value, and they value time with the doctor.” ~ Dr. B.F., North Carolina

“This new practice has been truly liberating. I am working harder than ever getting it of the ground but my time with patients is wonderful. And I get to be creative again in how I develop the practice, something that was lost from my previous office.” ~Dr. A.C., Vermont

“Concierge medicine must be treated seriously by physicians and patients alike because it is a concept that is here to stay. Paying a set annual fee for “special services” may appear to some to focus on money and greed but to others it may be redirecting the focus of medicine back to preventing disease and seeking wellness. If concierge physicians are successful in preventing illness and keeping patients healthier then it is in the best interest of patients, physicians and society as a whole.” ~Peter A. Clark SJ, PhD Professor of Medical Ethics and Director, Institute of Catholic Bioethics, Saint Joseph’s University

“In selecting only a small population of clients and providing dedicated counseling sessions, sometimes as often as weekly, allows clients to actively participate in their care plan and to move goals forward at a real-time pace. This enables all of us to realize that healthcare can be a positive experience.” ~Dr. Carrie Bordinko of Benessair Health in Paradise Valley, AZ

“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

“It’s a different type of busy … My day is just as long now, if not longer. But, I’m spending a lot more time with all of my patients. In between visits, I’m on the phone checking on people at home.” ~MDVIP-Affiliated Physician in FL

“If you possess excellent communication skills, around the clock dedication and the desire to promote optimal health in pursuit of excellent medicine, then concierge medicine is for you. It’s the best career choice I’ve ever made.” ~Dr., B.T., MSM, DO, PA, FAAP, Pediatric Concierge Medicine Physician

Originally Written, JANUARY 27, 2015 |Updated April/May 2022

DISCLAIMER AND USE: In no event is this information considered medical, legal, tax, financial, accounting or other professional advice (Please see full disclaimer below). This Podcast Is Subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use (https://conciergemedicinetoday.org/tcpp/) and is recorded/hosted by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. Concierge Medicine Today, LLC., our representatives, agents or employees accept no responsibility or liability for direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages or financial costs or claims made by the Physician(s) interviewed or our guests.

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