Concierge medicine is not a new concept, but it seems to be getting a lot more attention lately. It’s no secret that job satisfaction among doctors is decreasing, and that is one of the leading causes for the change.
If you became a doctor because you were inspired by shows like Marcus Welby M.D., then you are certain to be frustrated by corporate requirements that demand seeing more patients each day for shorter visits. Doctors in traditional medical businesses are under a lot of pressure and frequently work long hours with no increase in personal benefits.
Doctors Benefit from Concierge Medicine
There are benefits to concierge medicine for both physicians and patients. For the medical practitioner, these include shorter hours, higher income, and less stress.
When insurance companies and government payers are permitted to reduce reimbursement rates, it is physicians who are put under pressure to see more patients to keep the income at a sustainable level, which is likely to reduce the level of care they are able to give each patient.
Physicians who transition to concierge practices have better work-life balance and over two-thirds have reported better income.
Concierge Vs. Direct Primary Care Model
The direct primary care (DPC) model is similar to concierge medicine in many ways, but the two are not synonymous. Both require that patients pay a fee to be in the program, but DPC practitioners do not take money from insurance, whereas it is usual for concierge practices to bill insurance companies for services in addition to what they receive in retainer fees from patients.
DPC doctors typically charge a lower monthly fee, which is less than $100 per month, according to medicaleconomics.com. This means they have to carry a higher number of patients to be financially sustainable, usually 400 to 800 per provider, whereas concierge doctors charge more to members, but only have to have 200 to 300 patients per physician.
Job satisfaction may be higher for those in concierge practices due to being able to spend more time with each patient and having less paperwork due to fewer patients; however, since it is more expensive, it is only available to higher income patients, and many physicians find an inherent satisfaction in helping those who need it the most.
Concierge practices are also called “boutique” practices, which highlights another advantage: customization. While you probably won’t want to be too exclusive in who you serve, you can design the business around your local population. For example, in a retirement community, focusing on meeting the needs of older adults would allow you to choose what you invest in to be most beneficial to your patients, and you won’t have specialized equipment that you rarely get to use.
Medical Billing for Concierge Practices
Regardless of what kind of practice or institution you manage, we recommend outsourcing medical billing to experienced professionals. Even when doctors in a concierge practice are able to see fewer patients, the goal is still to increase time with each one, focus on developing relationships, and improve quality of care.
If physicians are required to take on more of the administration, and especially billing duties, it defeats the purpose of transitioning to the new model. There’s no doubt that doctors still have to understand how the medical billing codes work, so they can correctly report what services were performed, but coders and billers can take it from there.
Insurers and payers require forms to be filled out exactly as specified and submitted according to their policies—which change. Hiring the right medical billing company has proven to reduce lost income, speed up the payment cycle, and result in increased income overall.
Medcare MSO has a decade of medical billing experience under our belt. We provide both the benefits of a large staff of billers, so we can get claims submitted in just a couple of days, while also providing a team of experienced client managers so we can offer personalized service. Our clients always have access to someone who is familiar with their account and happy to answer questions and quickly resolve any issues that arise. Call us today at 1-800-640-6409 to find out how we can help increase your revenue and streamline your practice, regardless of which business model you use!