January 27, 2013

14 Statistics on Physicians Considering Concierge Medicine

Nearly 7 percent of physicians nationwide are considering moving to direct pay or concierge medicine in one to three years, according to a recent survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins.
The survey received responses from 13,575 physicians across the nation. It revealed that 6.8 percent of all physicians are considering concierge medicine.

The following is a breakdown of how many physicians are considering concierge medicine, by type and states selected by Merritt Hawkins:


Primary care: 7.7 percent
Male: 7.1 percent
Female: 6.4 percent
Specialists: 6.4 percent
Employed physicians: 4.5 percent

Select states

Texas: 10.6 percent
Florida: 9.1 percent
New York: 8 percent
California: 6.7 percent
North Carolina: 5.6 percent
Illinois: 5.3 percent
Washington State: 4.8 percent
Pennsylvania: 4.5 percent

January 13, 2013

Employers Developing Reliance on Direct Primary Care Providers Like Qliance

As states gear up to establish health insurance exchanges by 2014, one provision in the federal health care reform law has gone largely unnoticed. Yet experts say it could open the door to a new medical practice model called direct primary care.
Direct primary care is viewed as one way to improve access to affordable health care by charging patients a monthly fee of less than $100 for unlimited access to primary care, eliminating the need for insurance. It will be available to consumers on the state health care exchanges established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


The medical-homes concept and more help bolster Washington's position as a health care leader.
Although it may be new to most people, direct primary care has been flourishing in Washington state since 2007 when physician Garrison Bliss opened the first practice.
The concept initially was not universally embraced by state officials who were concerned that direct primary care would "cherry pick the wealthiest and the healthiest" patients, Bliss says. There was also confusion over how these practices would be regulated. Despite the skepticism, Qliance had the support of some influential believers, such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Dell Computer pioneer Michael Dell. Both are major investors in Qliance, which declines to disclose its revenue.
Today Qliance operates five clinics in Washington. The largest is in Seattle, which employs six full-time doctors and a nurse. As of 2011, there are 24 direct primary care practices in the state serving 10,525 patients.
The concept has proven to be popular among small and midsize employers, many of which pay for part of their employees' membership fee. About 60 percent of Qliance's clients come from small to midsize businesses and unions, but the company is in negotiations with a major employer that wants to develop an onsite direct primary care clinic.