Concierge medicine also known as boutique medicine, personalized healthcare, direct primary care, or private care is growing. This is a broad term for physician practices that charge patients an annual fee to receive more personalized care, better follow up, convenient and longer appointments, easy access to their provider, and several other benefits. These practices typically have fewer patients. According to a 2009-2012 survey by The Concierge Medicine Research Collective most concierge doctors treat 6 to 8 patients per day. The reduced number of patients affords concierge doctors better work-life balance and more time is spent treating each patient.
There are several models of concierge medicine. MDVIP is a subsidiary of Proctor and Gamble and is the largest network of private doctors delivering personalized medicine across the US. MDVIP was launched in 2000 and now has over 600 affiliate doctors in 41 states including the district of Columbia. There are over 200,000 MDVIP patients.
We interviewed Dan Hecht, CEO of MDVIP to learn more about the MDVIP personalized healthcare model and their value proposition. Here is part 1 of our conversation which focuses on the value proposition for physicians. Part 2 focuses on the value for patients (Is MDVIP Improving Direct Primary Care).
What is the Mission of MDVIP
MDVIP wants to empower patients and physicians to improve healthcare and enjoy healthier and happier lives. They want to be part of the healthcare solution by creating a strong network of physicians who offer their brand of personalized care.
What is the MDVIP Model
MDVIP forms a business partnership with physicians who are interested in providing personalized care. The main feature of the model is charging patients a fee of $1500 to$1800 for an annual Comprehensive Wellness Program and creating a care plan for patients. MDVIP keeps less than a third of the fee. Beyond the Comprehensive Wellness Exam any additional care and procedures provided by the physician are billed to the patient’s insurance. Physicians only treat a maximum of 600 patients in their practice, giving them more time to spend with each patient and improved job satisfaction.
Although MDVIP does not dictate how affiliate physicians should practice medicine, they provide a template for the Comprehensive Wellness Exam. MDVIP emphasizes the patient–doctor relationship and preventive care.
MDVIP physicians earn as much or more than they earned before joining MDVIP. They also build transferable equity in their practice.
MDVIP partnership is a long-term contract between MDVIP and the physician practice.
What is the MDVIP Value Proposition for Physicians
MDVIP’s model allows doctors to treat fewer patients and practice medicine the way they always wanted to. According to Dan, MDVIP physicians are much healthier and happier after joining MDVIP.
MDVIP streamlines the transition from a traditional practice to MDVIP personalized care model.
They provide business research and insight on the physician’s practice and assess the feasibility of transitioning to a personalized care model.
They provide marketing support so the practice does not worry about finding the next patient.
Practices start with at least 400 patients at the point of transition and the maximum number of patients is 600 per practice.
They provide ongoing regulatory education and support as healthcare, medicare, and reimbursement laws change so their doctors can stay compliant.
When doctors retire they assist them in selling the practice.
Billing for the annual patient membership fees is provided by MDVIP. Physicians handle insurance billing for other patient care services.
MDVIP also provides a patient/physician portal and training for using their electronic health record system.
Support is provided during the transition process. They assist patients that will not be seen by the MDVIP doctor find a new primary care physician.
According to Dan Hecht, MDVIP has a high physician retention rate and the number of physicians who have left the MDVIP network over twelve years is very small.
What is the Criteria for Qualifying Doctors
MDVIP partners with physician practices with a reputation for providing quality care, and physicians that are great communicators and clinicians. MDVIP seeks practices with patients who are proactive about their health. The socioeconomic status of patients in the practice is not a primary factor in partnering with a physician practice. MDVIP rejects 90% of physicians interested in joining the network.
Should Physicians Choose MDVIP
MDVIP offers primary care physicians an alternative approach to practice that helps them reduce their practice size, provide more personalized care, and achieve better work-life balance. The MDVIP model may be an option for physicians who want to escape the challenges of traditional primary care practice by collaborating with a company with a proven method for transitioning physician practices to a private healthcare model.
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