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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."

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