A concierge medical practice is one in which the number of patients per physician is capped to a certain number. Patients are charged on a yearly basis and they pay directly to the practice. There is no involvement of a insurance company here.
Doctors who decide to start their own concierge medical practice often do it with help of consultants. There are many pitfalls to be avoided and consultants are a great help. However, if you decide to go all alone, here are a few important things that will help you along the way.
1.Survey your patients
It is very hard to get a number of patients right after starting a concierge practice. So, it is important you survey your present patients and know whether they would like to move to a concierge practice? You need to ask specific things like what matters most to them. Are they willing to pay extra for the benefits they would get?
2.Create well-structured service list
You must put in place a list of services you would be covering and charges thereof. To avoid ugly situations, you may also need to mention a clear list of services not covered under the plan. Be as detailed as possible and make sure the list is placed somewhere where it is very clearly visible. You may also want to take time to read out the list individually to your patients so that they are clear about what they get.
3.Maintain a calendar
Since it is all going to be very personalized, a calendar will help you with your regular appointments. The calendar can also be shared with your staff members so that they are always in the loop and you don’t miss anything.
4.Promote your practice
A new practice needs more patients which can be achieved with some marketing support. Make sure you have new brochures and other printed material ready to use when your promotion starts.
5.Talk to insurers
With a retainer style medical practice where you charge your patients for a group of services, there are still many services your concierge practice will not be able to cover. For this reason, you need to speak to insurers and show them all your plans in detail. This will ensure transparency and will avoid unwanted denials later.
6.The legal angle
Since the level of commitment is higher, you should engage a legal brain to formulate terms and conditions of the services being offered.
7.Inform your existing patients
This can be done by writing a letter to all of your existing patients. The letter should explain why you made this move and how interested patients can avail newly offered services. To others, help find new doctors and make their transition smooth. Yours is a profession linked with goodwill and credibility. You can never afford to put that at risk.
8.Hire a consultant
Starting a concierge practice can be a daunting task when you do it alone. It makes no sense to commit the mistakes that could easily be avoided by help of someone who has done it before.
Concierge practices are perceived to be for the elite but the trend has changed in recent times. People who value their health are happy to spend extra dollars. With more and more people wanting to live healthier lives, concierge practices could well be a future trend in the healthcare industry.