31
Chapter 2
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few questions I am asked at almost every introductory phone
call and initial consultation:
1. Am I ready to convert my practice?
2. How difficult will this be?
3. How long will it take?
4. How much will it cost?
5. Do I have to accept insurance and participate in managed care?
6. Do I have to forsake all the patients who wont pay the membership fee?
7. Can I set a fee and offer unlimited care in my practice each month in
exchange for the fee?
8. Do I have to quit Medicare?
9. Do I have to be compliant with Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA)?
10. Do I need an electronic medical records system?
11. Do I have to learn ICD-10?
12. Do I have to do social media and marketing?
13. Do I have to have a website?
14. Who can advise me how to get started?
So here are the answers:
1. It depends on your goals and objectives.
2. It depends on your level of preparation.
3. It depends on your level of commitment.
32Handbook of Concierge Medical Practice Design
4. It depends on what you want or need to buy.
5. No.
6. No.
7. No.
8. No.
9. Most likely.
10. Probably.
11. Yes.
12. Yes.
13. Absolutely.
14. It depends on the kind of advice you are seeking. First, take with a
grain of salt the quotes from unnamed and unproven “experts” and
their vague, broad, and unexplained generalities. There are many out
there. They are characterized as executive directors of such and thus,
past presidents of this and that, bloggers, and marketing generalists who
see concierge medicine as the next lucrative area of healthcare where
the “frightened and frustrated” physicians (how’s that for alliteration!)
are aggregated as a new batch of customers with money.
Evaluating the Advisors and Trends
If you haven’t already figured it out, I am pretty direct. I say what I am
thinking. I’ve been in the business for more than 30years. My view is that
concierge medicine is no more new than the concept of New Urbanism.
*
While the term concierge medicine may be a recently coined term or expres-
sion, applied as a conceptual business model for the private practice of
medicine, the model itself is not new. What is new is charging a member-
ship fee to entitle someone to the privileges associated with membership. It
is present almost everywhere that a single- payer health insurance and social
security system is in place around the world. It is new in the United States,
but my perspective comes from my experience as an international healthcare
business consultant. I’ve been working with doctors who have been operat-
ing a business model of more personalized health delivery for three decades.
They are just now starting to market a package of amenities and member-
ship privileges in exchange for a fee and a membership contract.
*
New Urbanism website, http://www.newurbanism.org/ newurbanism/ principles.html.

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