Skip to main content

Lower Cost Concierge Medicine: Coming To Your City?

From the New York Times"Concierge Medical Care With a Smaller Price Tag."  Dr. Tom X. Lee, co-founder of Epocrates and now founder of One Medical Group, is "...bent on reversing what he calls 'bizarre habits that have been ingrained' in the world of primary care."

One Medical Group offers accessible, personalized care at substantially lower prices than other concierge-type practices, narrowing what Dr. Lee calls "...a growing chasm between the ideals of medicine and what’s actually practiced.”
"One Medical physicians say their jobs are like what they envisioned when they first went into the field — before they got their first job in a typical family practice, with its long waits and blizzards of paperwork."
The secrets?  None, really.  Just attention to fundamentals, judicious doses of creativity and (dare I say it?) some modern thinking about customer engagement.  A focus on hotel amenities and process efficiencies.  Automation and patient-friendly technologies - web sites, iPhones, self-scheduling.  Embracing e-mail communication with patients.  Offering same-day appointments.  Lower administrative overhead.  Acknowledging that sound medical care requires rapport and relationship-building.

Does it scale?  We'll find out later this year as Dr. Lee expands the model to a third large city.

More on concierge medicine; 

From Health Care Strategist blog: Trends in retail medicine.

From Kaiser Health News: "Doctors Abandon Traditional Practice For Concierge Medicine, Hospital Employment."

From Fierce Healthcare: "Concierge practices multiply as more docs drop Medicare."


Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…

Another Day, Another App, Another Satisfied Customer

How might health care providers use technology to turn customers' mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices? A few years ago, the NY Times outlined how retailers are doing it...
"(Designer Norma) Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.

Cisco Systems, the supplier of networking equipment and services for the Internet, is also a leader in the field. The company’s Mobile Concierge system is capable of connecting customers’ smartphones to retailers’ wireless networks — so a shopper could type “Cheez Whiz” into a cellphone, then pinpoint its location in the store." Ms. Kamali's boutique installed a technology called ScanLife, "allowing people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the…