MDPrevent closed on Dec. 27 2013. The preventive-medical practice was co-founded in Delray Beach, Florida three years ago. It’s premise was that patients would be better off if doctors focused on preventing disease instead of simply treating it. They ran into problems, though, and one of them was red tape. They claim that ultimately the three major healthcare industry players — providers, payers, and patients—all shared some responsibility for their failure, though.
Their experience with bureaucracy was costly. For every dollar they collected, their expenses were three times as much! Their vision was altruistic, and they’d assembled a team that included a health psychologist, registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, yoga instructor, health educator, and nurse practitioners. They designed a custom facility that included a teaching kitchen, a gym, and classrooms.
What turned out to be a huge mistake though was basing their business plan on insurance reimbursement rather than cash-only payments. They lost serious money, around $2 million in personal capital. When they saw how expensive operating was, they started cutting costs, trimming staff down to a health psychologist, a registered dietitian, and the founding doctor, who writes, “Medicare reimbursement we received for our services still could not cover our costs. I even abandoned the offices we had built-out and moved to less expensive quarters we shared with an internist. It still made no difference.” He adds, “Most of the third-party insurance companies in the area did not cover our services. Medicare was the exception, but reimbursement was insufficient to cover our costs.”