Congratulations if you’ve popped the cork on your “cash-only” concierge medicine practice! From the outset, YOU are the captain of your practice, and the sole reason that it even exists. But we’ve got another question to ask before we get to staff…
Do you have the support of your spouse?
The Concierge Medicine Research Collective found in April 2013 that changing your business model to one that’s concierge or fee-for-care is most successful at 18 months in the joint agreement of both spouses, whether they work together or not. That said, most concierge doctors and direct care physicians should look to grow their practice after the second or third year. The first year should be dedicated to handling your first wave of patients and ironing out any kinks in your workflow. Figure out your local pricing model locally and make any necessary adjustments to achieve a reasonable profit margin. Research suggests that around the 18-month mark is when success hits, fast, and that’s when staff will come into play.
As of 2013 about 62% of concierge medicine practices and direct care clinics employ 1-2 people. When done correctly, your practice should need minimal staff. Assuming you and your doctors are willing to reproduce our lean processes such as ALL doctors answering phones, scheduling their own patients, rooming patients themselves, counting pills (using a HISPAC III pill counter, of course) etc. Of course we’re a quality over quantity type of business. But, we think that you can find a happy medium between the two, and find yourself in a profitable position in a reasonable amount of time.
Keep in mind, the average family medicine practice keeps 7 to 10 employees on staff PER physician. Currently it’s amazing. We’re averaging one employee for our three physicians (God bless you, Jeannie!). However, one employee per physician would still be a great, and seriously profitable, ratio.
We’re not about withholding secrets here at AtlasMD. You should know that the reason we’re able to keep staff ratio so low is because of an EMR application WE designed ourselves, exactly for our type of concierge medicine. It’s called Atlas.md and it’s ramping up for a beta launch within the next few months. For now, sign up for the beta trial. It’s valuable if you have or haven’t started your own practice. For one, if you are practicing it will make your life easier. And if you’re looking for more reasons to transition into this emerging field, add this to a growing list.