Fed up with declining reimbursement from third-party payers, getting the runaround when you follow up on unpaid claims, and the overhead associated with billing and collections? Who isn’t? The hassle factor involved with being a participating provider for insurance companies and Medicare is driving doctors across the country to convert their business model to concierge or direct-pay practices.
The underlying principle of concierge and direct-pay practices is that patients have greater access to their doctor and receive comprehensive outpatient care (usually excluding all but the most basic diagnostic testing) for a flat fee that’s paid either monthly or annually. Physicians who practice under these models typically offer same-day and longer appointments and make themselves readily available to their patients by phone, e-mail, text message and/or Skype. Practices benefit from more consistent cash flow and lower overhead because they’re not dealing with insurance billing and collections. A few doctors who practice concierge or direct care medicine give up their offices entirely and make house and workplace visits to care for patients. Most, however, maintain an office and venture out for house calls only when that’s necessary. Read the rest of this entry »