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Concierge Model Provides Options for PCPs

Wayne Lipton

October 2009
Practice Management News

At virtually any medical conference or meeting of two or more physicians, the state of crisis within the medical profession is bound to be a key topic of discussion. Among the most pressing issues physicians talk about are the ramifications of health care reform, the shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs), decreases in reimbursement, and increases in the administrative hassles required to run a health care practice.

With fewer physicians entering primary care and severe shortages predicted in the coming years, the challenges facing physicians will only continue to grow. However, if we as a nation want a health care system in which physicians are responsible for driving the delivering of care, then we must find a way to make the practice of medicine a professionally attractive and financially viable option. Reaching that goal begins with ensuring that the daily practice of medicine rewards good physicians for excellence and service; allows them to care for patients the way they were trained; enables them to practice profitably in various environments; and ensures they have adequate time to spend with their families and on other personal pursuits.

One emerging organizational model is proving to be an option that will enable many physicians to best meet their personal and professional needs while not burdening government and private insurance plans. This model is called the hybrid concierge practice.

How It Works
The hybrid concierge model differs from the better-known full concierge practice model. In a typical full-model concierge program, patients are given an ultimatum when their physician converts to a concierge practice. They either must join the concierge program or leave the practice and be forced to find a new physician. Full model practices are a viable option for some physicians. They exacerbate the growing shortage of PCPs, ....

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