A number of challenges face any physician looking to implement a concierge medicine or direct primary care business model in their practice. In today's health care reform and rhetoric-rich society, we are witnessing the perfect storm of price transparency among doctors, a growing base of cost conscious patients and a lack of properly educated, consumer involvement.
It's a little known fact that over 90% of current concierge physicians need additional patients in order to reach their desired patient threshold. Numerous concierge physicians across the country need over 300 patients. Furthermore, preliminary results from a concierge medicine research poll over the past years has shown that nearly 20% of concierge physicians fail in the first 24 months due to a lack of participation in their new business model.
Let's face it, shifting a primary care practice that has been around for years into a retainer-based, relational practice or business model can be seen by many as elitist, bring up patient abandonment talk or by some as a welcome answer to a growing problem where patients actually say to their physician, 'thank you - I've been waiting for you to do this!'
There is no reason why patients, if properly and professionally educated, when shown the facts, cannot see the vast economical benefits and value through healthcare provided by a relationship-oriented and wellness-focused doctor. Concierge doctors offer something valuable and personally tailored to meet the needs of each of their patients. Each concierge doctor and direct care physician should be congratulated for answering the call and providing quality care to their patients.