Do you believe in the power of Atlas MD-style direct care to address our ailing healthcare system? Affordable subscriptions, unlimited visits, 24/7 doctor access, wholesale prescriptions — some as low as pennies per pill — and discounted labs, and the reality of switching to a wrap-around insurance plan… Then take the CMT survey here.
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Are you curious if your state or city made one of the lists? Keep in mind, we’re having a great time practicing direct care here in Wichita, KS, and get this–we didn’t make either one! On top of that, not all of these states are eligible to dispense prescriptions (New York, Montana, Texas, and Utah prohibit it). In our experience, the real value in running a direct practice comes from offering wholesale prescription discounts. Over time the savings add up, especially for patients with chronic conditions (diabetes, thyroid disease, asthma, migraines, etc.) where it becomes cheaper to subscribe to your clinic and stop using insurance to pay for prescriptions.
Given these facts, we’re not treating this as the ultimatum for who or where one should or shouldn’t open a direct care clinic. However, the research brings up some good reminders. According to Dr. Chris Ewin, Founder and physician at 121MD in Fort Worth, TX:
“Direct practices should be successful in most cities and states where there is an inadequate supply of primary care physicians.” He adds, “… Most important, a physician needs to have social skills to sell him/herself and their new practice model to their patients and their community.”
Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) and The Direct Primary Care Journal (DCJ), an affiliated multi-media news and information resource, announced they will launch their content over Internet-radio this fall. The programming will focus on our rapidly expanding healthcare model, offering education, insight and information. Listeners can follow breaking news, get the opinions of people empowering direct care and hear expert commentary from special guests (maybe Josh and Doug will be invited in for a taping?).
The Direct Primary Care Journal (DPCJ) released a statement confirming the first Direct Primary Care Conference hosted by the Family Medicine Education Consortium (FMEC). On October 11th – 12th, 2013, the FMEC is hosting an inaugural gathering of physicians, investors, policymakers and anyone else involved in this game-changing healthcare model. The inaugural event will take place in St. Louis, MO at the St. Louis Airport Marriott and Meeting Center. Physicians, purchasers, payers, researchers, investors, suppliers, policymakers, the media and interested parties are invited to attend.
Dr. Doug and Dr. Josh have been spreading the gospel of direct care on Fox News, late night podcasts and CNN. But Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) has some data showing the downside in concierge medicine. They’re finding that the number of patients seeking concierge medical care exceeds the actual number of primary care and family practice doctors on the market.
“Despite what we hear in the media about the increase in concierge and private-pay physicians growing across America, there are simply not enough of these [concierge-style, direct care or membership medicine-style] physicians in the U.S. to meet the current demand,” says Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief of Concierge Medicine Today “At the end of the day, the marketplace is still falling short.”
Our industry’s trusty watchdog, Michael Tetreault over at CMT, conducted some helpful surveys to get to the bottom of patient dissatisfaction. He says, “… Most concierge medical practices maintain a very high patient retention average of approximately 92%-94%*…” But adds that patients are writing in weekly looking for new doctors in their area. So what’s the deal?
He then analyzed over 1,000 prospective concierge medicine patient search requests that were submitted to CMT’s website and he found that nearly 30% of patients are leaving one concierge doctor and seeking another. Something’s obviously wrong here. Patients are sticking with concierge medicine, but what’s forcing patients to leave one for another? It looks like it all comes down to the “front desk” so to speak.
Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) posted an article announcing the opening of a hybrid concierge medicine practice in Texas. Dr. Connie Casad is the first gynecologist in the nation to provide the hybrid concierge model for enhanced gynecologic procedures. She too is convinced in the merits of our emerging business model, saying, “Like a lot of my patients, I struggled with issues related to my health and well-being as I aged. I felt like the current healthcare model didn’t provide a system that could provide patients with what they wanted and needed. I conducted considerable research and I believe that the concierge model gives the best option possible for my patients who want to take charge of their health and who are interested in prevention and wellness.”
You know the drill already. Healthcare costs are forcing doctors to see obscene numbers of patients just to keep their lights on, causing many doctors to spend less time with their patients. Rose Egge contributed a reassuring article to Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) going over techniques that some Seattle physicians are adopting to counter this trend. And one turns out just to be concierge medicine. It figures we’d make a list of this nature.