One thing that is consistent with every practice conversion is the fear, by the physician, of whether the conversion will succeed or not.
To have built a very successful practice and then to make such a significant change is worse than diving off a high diving board into the coldest of water – if that is an acceptable analogy.
What’s the downside – if the transition does not work out (whatever that means)? It means that the physician and practice can revert back to the previous model (in most cases).
To even consider launching a Concierge Medical Practice, you must be thinking of it in context that your conversion will succeed and you will get the revisited sense of satisfaction as a physician and practitioner that you have been seeking – and what motivated you to make this major change.
Of course, all success is based on a foundation of preparation, understanding the challenge, knowing the goal(s) and disciplined execution. To succeed in making a successful transition to a Concierge practice there are several important considerations:
Do you have enough potential member patients – not just accumulated charts – but potential enrollees?
What is the desired number of enrollees that you need/want to consider the transition a success?
The annual enrollment/membership fee is secondary and addresses several aspects – desired Concierge membership income. The membership fee will be important based on the demographics of your market.
Then there is the marketing and communication collateral – Announcement Letter, Brochure, Annual Membership Agreement, FAQ list, Website, Meet the Doctor evenings, etc., etc.
Very important and necessary is to have a suitable and capable “Enrollment Coordinator” – a person in your office who actually enrolls the member patients (which is easy) and pursues the prospect until enrollment (which is challenging and more difficult). This person should be an extension and example of you and your practice. Be reminded that more than one person can share the job of Enrollment Coordinator and he, she, they can be part time contractors.
Hybrid Model: What about how you conduct your practice while it is transition – still seeing non-Concierge patients while the membership is being filled?
What about having to transfer those patients out of the practice – and having a satisfactory plan for them once the practice is “closed” to non-membership patients?
But, first of all, decide if you really want to convert your practice to a Concierge Model. All of the above considerations do not matter if you cannot answer, in the affirmative, do I have enough prospective member patients who have valued my care and expertise over the past years that will want to continue to be seen by me as a member patient at a pre-determined annual fee?
Remember, it’s not just about what services you will provide for the membership fee but that your patients will be more concerned with continuing their physician relationship with you.
(Condensed from an article originally published in Doctors Bulletin Board)