It is more efficient (from the physician’s perspective) to have patients come to your office. The so-called “concierge” practices are nothing but high priced services – with no assurance of higher quality.
One of the many sources I read (more for my work with start-up and emerging companies) than medical practices, is Springwise, a web site that gathers up entrepreneurial ideas from around the world. One internist in Brooklyn, NY (specifically in the Williamsburg section) runs completely mobile – no office. He only see people aged 18-40, uses IM, video and email for most consults and goes to the patient’s home or office for in-person visits. He charges a $500 a year retainer which, unlike the typical “concierge” service, includes an initial consultation AND two face-to-face visits if needed. Actually, a reasonable deal from the patient’s perspective.
He seems to emphasize preventive care, and that he is more attentive to a patient and their health care needs. He also promises to save you money.
Well, I don’t see where the cost savings are. If his fees are lower, uninsured patients see a benefit. If his services are truly more geared to an ongoing, proactive relationship with patients – then there is value to the patient. Running without an office could be cost effective for him even though he can’t see nearly as many patients in a day.
The takeaway here is the orientation to physicians being proactive in patient’s health care. I’ve advocated this stance here since the blog began – dentists do it, car mechanics do it (time for the oil change!) and so can physicians. Preventive visits are often cash, they give you time to see a patient, and you help them understand and appreciate their health. All patients won’t be that interested – but some will, and those are the ones to focus on.
I started this post with the idea that there were lessons in his use of alternative communication, which I believe, as carriers begin to pay for such e-consults. But as I dug a bit more into Dr. Parkinson, I began to think – there’s no there there.
One very interesting aspect of this: Parkinson has generated a lot of publicity. Lots of it. I haven’t located the original press release yet, but the media attention has the paw prints of a PR agency all over it. A very good one, I might add – I’d hire this one if they come forward!……seriously.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving.