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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles
Article #11 - May. 2010
(Part 1 of 2)
“Medical Practice Business Transformation—
A time is coming when this model of medical practice
will become important to you.
(Find out if it comes into your crosshairs, doctor.)
Our resistance to change of medical business strategies isn’t the only problem. But, it may be the biggest one. You’ll have to admit escaping the sharp edge of the government sword is a tribulation of serious consequence for your family, your career, and your expectations in life.
It’s clearly evident that sooner or later every physician in the private practice of medicine in this country will find themselves cornered by governmental fee restrictions, increasing medical practice rules and regulations, personal lack of fulfillment, demoralizing financial constipation, among others.
For most physicians and other health care providers who prefer to remain in control of their own business goal objectives, their goal worksheet will require new innovation strategies for business. The need for a medical small business focus even a life career change which offers you a satisfactory path towards your ambitions in life, is part of an overall implementation of a unique medical business development strategy outside of governmental control.
Could that be… oh no!! … don’t say it!! … concierge practice (also called boutique, cash only, or retainer practice)?
Definition: It’s a private medical practice in which a physician(s) intentionally devotes much greater time to each individual patient’s care and needs, is able to provide a patient with a higher quality of healthcare and service which extended time with the patient allows, and a medical care provided with patient convenience and optimum health in mind.
Now, I did it! I exposed your mind to a rag-tag fringe of medical practice. You must agree that most physicians consider boutique medical practice a last resort, a modification of a career path way too extreme to consider, and is frequently thought of as a losing game. Increasing reports of successful concierge practices pop-up occasionally in the media, usually in the primary care physician’s turf.
Concierge Medicine is also known as direct care, membership medicine, boutique medicine, retainer-based medicine, concierge health care, cash only practice, direct primary care, and direct practice medicine.
The fact that concierge practice has so many name labels brings this infrequently subscribed to method of medical practice into the medical arena dominated by the professional medical hierarchy who by their empowerment are able to neglect, squelch, brow-beat, and disregard this method of practice.
They do this not because concierge physicians aren’t highly qualified and trained medical doctors who abide by every professional standard, but because of the business system entrenched in concierge practices. What is it about medical practice business methods that they dislike?
Is it illegal or unethical in the real business world to ask for cash for services? Is medical practice in fact a recognized small business entity, survives only because of business principles, and allows a vendor in any business to charge what their services are worth in their own view? As a business, medical practice is permitted by our government to take on a legal business structure approved by the government.
A physician has the business advantage of using incorporation, LLC, partnership or other business components. Our government supports concierge practice, at least the business side of medical practice.
As an indication of the distaste (maybe there’s a better word) organized medicine leadership appears to have for concierge medical practice is quite obvious. The AMA, American Medical Association, which for years has kept contemporaneous records of professional medical services and physician activity, has yet to see fit to recognize concierge medicine as worthy of
record keeping, and, by doing so avoids legitimizing that practice method in the eyes of everyone.
The media also dwells on the negative side of concierge practice by articles focusing on how so many concierge physicians practices fail... financially. What does your own specialty college tell you about concierge medicine? If they can connect it to some ethical issue, they’ll bring that to your attention, otherwise they are usually silent.
Now that we have a socialized mandate for medical practice in law, one would think that the option physicians have for private practice survival in this environment is logically towards the establishment of concierge
The only practical alternative to concierge practice is for private physicians to become extensively involved in establishing a business system in their practices comparable to other successful businesses (most physicians today do not know what that is).
Beyond that, physicians will be forced to learn and implement effective marketing strategies for their business success and financial survival. Can you visualize your future in medicine?
These facts and statistics may improve your concierge practice outlook...
A truly entrepreneurial physician mindset to achieve goals is already branded into your brain and personality... otherwise you wouldn’t be a physician or reading this today. Think about it. Were you already taking a risk when you thought you could get into medical school? There... you just stepped outside of your comfort zone… right?
Anyone who has a creative mind open to possibilities can visualize future pictures of them self as a success and is willing to work outside their own comfort zone, is a true entrepreneur. In that special environment you will be amazed at what your brain can do for you at light-speed.
Under the keyword “concierge medical practice” Google search spits out 726,000 references, so there must be a bit of interest about the topic.
VIP/Concierge Medical Practice, a prominent teaching and training organization for concierge health care professionals, reports that there are over 800 concierge medical practices in the USA and they expect that number to rise significantly in view of the increasing numbers of patients frustrated and disappointed with the delivery of medical care as it is presently.
And, patient frustrations are not just with the private practice doctors, but also the HMO’s, PPO’s and other managed care organizations.
According to the Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design, a professional society of concierge physicians, there were over 5,000 doctors in concierge practices in 2005 (total number of physicians in U.S. over 950,000).
Accumulated data confirm many concierge medical practices are composed of just 300 patients, charged an annual encompassing fee of $1,800 equates to a practice gross income of $540,000. Not bad for starters… you think? Compare that with AMA statistics indicating the average solo primary care general practitioner physician in the United States averages out to about
$80,000 net annually.
Sure, the net income a physician takes home depends on a hundred “this’s” and “that’s.” The point is that there are practice choices open for serious consideration you may not have ever truly thought of or considered worthy of your attention.
Doctors Busch, Flier, and Cortiss report that 98% of concierge subscribed patients in their 900 patient practice renew annually. It’s a measure of “patient wants” from physicians and of their loyalty to that method
Traditional medical practices usually claim a practice load of 2,500 to 4,000 patients. The usual successful concierge practices run well with 500 or less patients. Just imagine having the time to spend an hour with each patient
Something you’d love to do? You would have the time to strut your “stuff,” and pile on your expertise if necessary, within limits of course. This is the perfect scenario for doing some referral marketing that I have mentioned in previous articles... recruit a “promoter” for free.
Since your own medical practice volume will keep dwindling over time, it will become necessary for every entrepreneurial physician who cares to continue private practice, to increase or maintain practice income using marketing and effective business strategies.
These will become an absolute necessity just to maintain their present practice volume, let alone increase their patient load... and income. Do you really believe you can avoid that probability? I don’t.
Some concierge medical practice models that might be exactly perfect for you are...
Some of the most practical models to choose from...
Hybrid Model—blending of concierge with your
Innovation Model—start from scratch
Transformation Model—convert present practice
completely to concierge practice
Private Group Model—concierge practice in a
group practice model
Commercial Model—concierge practice partnered
with business, industry, or other supportive groups
Although concierge medical practices share some common similarities, they vary significantly in structure, payment requirements, and operational systems, among others.
All claim they offer 24/7 coverage either by cell phone or email, provide complete in office healthcare services, meet the quality standards of medical care provided throughout the medical profession, have few limitations to healthcare coverage and services, are compatible with any and most health insurance programs in the U.S., and have extended time with physicians.
Concierge Medical Practice video
Some practices do not accept any health insurance of any
kind (cash only and direct primary care). It’s done primarily
to reduce overhead and administrative costs and more
affordable health care.
“Concierge practice” is one which assesses annual or monthly
fee plans instead of or in addition to fee for each medical
interaction. The annual fee should not be construed to be a
substitute for medical insurance and does not cover outside
consultations, lab procedures, medicines, hospitalizations, or
Some concierge practices which accept health insurance plans
also accept Medicare, but ask for fees to cover additional
services provided under the insurance coverage.
Some medical insurance companies refuse to provide patient
coverage if they are treated by an annual fee based concierge
practice. Some do, with restrictions.
Some concierge practices provide extra medical services such
as detailed research into a patient’s medical problem, or
permit some patients to join free or at a discount when they
are under distressed financial situations, among others.
(To be continued in Part 2—Details about the various methods of
concierge medical practice and requirements for establishing a medical practice of this sort)
The author, Curt Graham, is a highly experienced business and marketing expert, copywriter, and entrepreneur who has been published in various media over 50 years while in medical practice and after.
Discover what it takes for you to reach the optimal limits of your potential in medical practice, and how to do it: Click Link NOW!
© 2004-2011, Curt Graham M.D., All rights reserved.
Why People Fail
A series of No B.S. articles from Dan Kennedy
"What Might Be Drawn Out,
Not What More Can We Stuff In"
There is an old joke about the Farm Bureau agent trying to convince the grizzled farmer to attend the upcoming educational conference being put on
by the Bureau. The resistant farmer says: “Aw, no need. I ain’t usin’ half of what I already know.”
That, of course, is not the point.
The academic cliché is: knowledge is power. This is a falsehood concocted by the earliest organizers of universities and promoters of higher education, and it may at least partly explain why there are so many frustrated, broke scholars and teachers, and why universities need donations i.e. hand-outs from people who do figure out what produces wealth and power.
The vast majority of business owners have more than enough knowledge about their core business and the core skills it requires, for its deliverable, be that fixing meals or fixing cars or fixing teeth. If they lack, it is know-how to package, present and promote that in a commercially viable, competitively successful manner, or to manage customers, or staff, or money. But even equipped with ample supply of all that knowledge, many starve.
Because: It’s not what you know; it’s what you do.
Reading, listening, exposing yourself to different and repetitive, reinforcing ‘takes’ on the same information and ideas, association with high-performers and expert coaches and advisors all helps, not so much by stuffing more and more and more knowledge into the putty between your ears, but in motivating you to take it out and put it to good use.
Motivation by association vs. the costs of isolation, under-rated by most. While it is true that all successful people are ultimately self-motivated; meaning they decide and do, rather than being told and made to do; it is also true that they create environments for themselves that facilitate self-motivation.
I like to ask myself what I know today that I didn’t know yesterday, not so much because I need more knowledge – I’m like that farmer, I’m not using what I already know – but because that new information may motivate action on my part that liberates value stored in my entire knowledge base.
People fail to advance for two reasons: static thinking and inaction. Conversely, financial growth tends to follow or at least occur in concert with personal growth. If you are not engaged in a deliberate program of personal growth, your efforts to grow your business or bank account are undermined.
It’s not just what you do in terms of things, and getting things done, but
what you do about getting better and being more effective at the things you do. Building a better you. Not just better advertising, marketing, products
The WHY PEOPLE FAIL articles are provided by Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach,Author of over 13 books including the No B.S. series (www.NoBSBooks.com ), and editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter. WE HAVE ARRANGED A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including a 2-Month Free Membership in Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, newsletters, audio CD’s and more: for information and to register, visit:
Articles © 2010/Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle LLC. All rights reserved.
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Curt Graham, M.D.
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E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
© 2004 - 2015 Curtis Graham, M.D., All Rights Reserved.