The healthcare landscape is shifting under our feet every day. For many providers, this can be frustrating—but others are taking it as an opportunity to look for new and more authentic ways of running their practices.
Right now, many providers are making the transition into the Concierge Medicine model. Perhaps you’ve even considered it yourself but haven’t taken the first step. The first steps don’t have to be big ones. Even just reading this article can be a solid first step toward your intention.
Although making the switch from your current practice into the Concierge Medicine model can be costly and tricky, it will be successful if you think strategically and put a plan in place.
If you have been toying with the idea of converting, a number of questions have likely arisen. Let’s take a look at a few of the most commonly asked questions asked by providers who are considering making the transition into Concierge Medicine.
What Is a “Concierge Medicine Provider”?
Concierge Medicine is based on membership. Patients pay a monthly fee and are provided with:
- 24-hour access to their provider
- Same-day appointments
- Visits that take as long as needed to last address their concerns and a variety of other amenities
As a Concierge Medicine provider, you are at the center of your patient’s medical nexus. You are their trusted friend and their advocate in navigating the healthcare system.
In the event of an emergency or something that cannot be handled in your practice, you closely monitor hospital care and often personally brief and debrief specialists on behalf of your patients.
What Can I Expect to Happen with My Practices Costs?
One of the things that probably brought you to considering Concierge Medicine is the complexities and costs involved with insurance.
A recent study found providers spend approximately 15% of their total revenue on billing and collecting. This study included paying staff, billing in-house, using a medical billing company, et cetera.
One of the most attractive parts of the Concierge Medicine model is providers don’t have to bill and collect from insurance payers. Because of this, a Concierge Medicine model spends very little time or money on the patient collections process.
Most Concierge Medicine models use recurring credit card charges that automatically charge the patient every month, which significantly reduces billing expenses.
No Contractual Rates
Providers are also able to charge a nominal amount to patients because the provider isn’t working under contractual rates. This allows the providers more flexibility in their fee structure and allows for better access for patients.
Not only do the costs go down for the provider, but patients often actually pay less out of their pocket than they would using insurance–particularly those patients who are on a high-deductible insurance plan.
In fact, the lower cost to collect combined with removing the insurance payer creates a situation in which Concierge Medicine providers earn a higher income while patients have better access to care for less money.
Will I Only Be Working with Wealthy Patients to Make a Decent Salary?
No. It is time for this myth to be busted. Subscription-based medicine models can be both affordable for a patient and bring in a great salary for the provider.
Let’s do some math.
- The national average of patients held by a provider is 2500.
- Let’s cut that number in half and base our calculations on 1250 patients.
- Let us assume that each patient pays a nominal per-month fee of $59 for access to this provider.
- This would result in $885,000 per year in revenue.
Now let’s conservatively assume 50% in overhead. Keep in mind you’ve already cut out a large part of your overhead by cutting out billing and dealing with insurance companies.
A primary care provider would have a $442,500 salary–almost twice the average salary of a family practice provider in 2019. As you can see, even a moderately-priced Concierge Medicine practice can provide a healthy provider salary—and you will have fewer patients.
What Happens with My Medicare Patients?
This is where it gets tricky. Providers can privately contract with Medicare patients to provide service, but Medicare requires the provider to opt-out of Medicare. If you opt-out, you cannot return to Medicare for two years, and you are not allowed to bill Medicare for this time for any Medicare beneficiary.
How Do I Handle My Existing Insurance Contracts?
This depends on where you are at with your practice and how you stand financially. If you have the financial infrastructure in place to be able to drop all of your insurance contracts at one time, then you can. Most providers aren’t able to do this, so a slow and strategic conversion is recommended.
- Review the lower 25% of your contracts—the ones that are likely costing you money or are barely breaking even for you.
- Analyze your hourly overhead (both fixed and variable) to see what you are actually earning under contractual rates. Consider converting the patients on contracts that are not making a profit to Concierge Medicine patients.
- Review the terms of your payer contracts. For contracts that don’t have stipulations regarding charging patients for non-covered services on a cash basis, install a pilot Concierge Medicine program without canceling all of your contracts outright.
How Do I Successfully Convert My Existing Patients to the Concierge Medicine Model?
The long-accepted concept that healthcare is a given right that patients don’t have to pay for directly is quickly dying. Patients with high deductible plans are getting a large dose of this reality as they now have to pay out-of-pocket for things that used to be covered.
This will make your task easier, but you will still need to educate patients about what you are trying to do and why. You will need to communicate with your patients clearly the added benefits of paying monthly fees directly to you for better access, same-day appointments, shorter waiting times, etc.
Set Realistic Expectations
Patients may not automatically convert to this model. You may need to temporarily hire someone to contact your patients and consistently educate them about why the Concierge Medicine model is better for both patient and provider.
Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
And you will definitely need to adjust your marketing strategy to promote your new Concierge Medicine practice to attract new patients as well as converting existing patients.
Does the Concierge Medicine Model Only Work for Primary Care?
No. Concierge Medicine is possible in many specialties, particularly for those who treat patients with chronic conditions. Almost any specialty can benefit from the Concierge Medicine model.
For example, endocrinologists for diabetic patients, urologists for erectile dysfunction, OB/GYN for pregnant women, etc. can offer a cash-based or monthly subscription models to patients.
What Changes Will I Need to Make to My Staff?
The Concierge Medicine model requires a higher level of dedicated customer service for your patients. Unless this was already a priority in your practice, you will need to train your current staff or bring in some new blood who are already customer service gurus.
Here are a few basic customer service tenets that are expected in the Concierge Medicine model:
- Phone calls are answered. Staff will need to pick up the phone before calls reach a ‘phone tree’ or voicemail.
- Your office should look and feel comfortable and professional. Front-office staff should dress in a professional and welcoming manner.
- Remove clutter from the office. You must convey organization.
- Patient should be greeted in a genuine, friendly way.
- Take down the glass partition—there is no more division between staff and patients.
- Find standardized methods to gather feedback from patients.
- Back-office staff should follow-up with patients after appointments or changes in medications to see how they are feeling.
Concierge Medicine patients are going to expect:
- Same-day appointments
- Shorter waiting times
- Better communication and accessibility
You can use technology to satisfy many of these expectations.
HIPAA compliant systems allow for telemedicine and patient interaction. Telemedicine visits are convenient for both you and the patient and can save your patient an unnecessary trip to the urgent care center. For this, they will not only thank you—but will probably either directly or indirectly recommend you to a friend.
Wouldn’t It Be Great to Practice Medicine Without the Constant Complexities of Insurance?
The transition into Concierge Medicine can be challenging, but you can’t beat the benefits.
- Wouldn’t you love to get back to focusing on your patient/provider relationship while still making the same, or better, income?
- Wouldn’t you like to provide better and more focused care for your patients?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you know what you have to do. Our team at EvexiPEL will stand beside you with:
- Access to leading resources like hands-on practice with real EvexiPEL patients
- Training under some of the most renowned hormone specialists in the world
- Lasting practice support from a Practice Development Specialist
We Are Here to Support You
Whether you decide to use a Concierge Model practice, EvexiPEL is here to support you in whatever way we can. Perhaps you don’t feel that you’ve been able to connect with as many patients as you’d like.
Maybe you don’t feel yours have the right resources to provide them with life-changing approaches and treatments. Maybe you feel like your practice is in a rut, or you are simply looking for further training and education.
Becoming a certified EvexiPEL provider can help you grow your practice, sharpen your skills, learn a world-class hormone treatment, and help more patients.
How Do You Get Started?
Fill out our online contact form. We will get back to you to explain more about the EvexiPEL method, how you can reach patients, and answer any questions you may have.
Then we’ll send a Practice Development Specialist to learn about your history and your future goals, all while guiding you through comprehensive training.
Finally, you can focus on delivering quality service to your patients while we focus on providing you with long-term support and resources to enable your success!
Not a certified EvexiPEL provider yet? No problem! Fill out our online contact form, and we will get back to you!