JULY 9, 2015 – Over the past 18 months, the Product Team for InLight EHR attended multiple Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine events around the country. If there is one thing we see at every event, it is the benefits of personally networking with other people who have an interest in this new model of medical practice.
Networking at live events
Attendees at Direct Primary Care events generally fall into one of four interrelated categories:
- Physicians who have already made the move to the new practice model and are willing to share their experiences and best practices;
- Traditional “fee-for-service” physicians who are exploring the Direct Primary Care or Concierge Medicine movement and are hungry for success stories to validate the viability of this new model of practice;
- Independent consultants, attorneys, and other non-medical professionals who support the movement with vital business services; and,
- Technology vendors and other suppliers of products and services necessary for running a Direct Primary Care practice.
What’s remarkable about the attendees we’ve met at these events is how far they’ve traveled to be there. While most people are from the regional area, some physicians are willing travel across the country and pay over $1,000 just to attend a one-day event. For example, at the AAFP’s Direct Primary Care Workshop in Atlanta we met several attendees from California and Washington State. Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine is a national movement and physicians are willing to go the extra mile (no pun intended) to educate themselves and network.
The events typically feature several different “forums” for interaction, including expert roundtables and presentations, networking sessions, and an open exhibit floor for meeting vendors.
Physicians who have made a successful transition to Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine often start by sharing their “ah ha!” moment, when they first realized that they had to make a change. These are usually very personal stories about how they felt professionally burnt-out by increased patient loads and paperwork, coupled with lower reimbursements by third-party medical payers.
By speaking to these experts directly or asking questions in a formal session, you can learn about the multitude of techniques for marketing a Direct Primary Care or Concierge Medicine practice to your community and growing a patient panel. It is valuable to hear from a clinician who has secured employer contracts for groups of patients. Working with employers is a real short-cut compared with signing up patients individually.
Experts can offer advice on how to set up your “Custom Medical Plan,” the document that describes your prices, services, etc. They can also give you tips on how to negotiate with local labs and radiologists for volume pricing.
Accountants, consultants, and lawyers can give you professional opinions on the viability of a Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine practice in your particular state and locality. Vendors can show you the latest tools for running your practice efficiently with a lean staff.
Taking time off and traveling to live events is not always practical, or even possible. That’s why social media plays a valuable role in Direct Primary Care or Concierge Medicine networking. Online platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter have active discussion groups on Direct Primary Care, Concierge Medicine, and other Direct Pay Medicine models.
To get started online, check out DPC Talk on Linkedin. On that social media channel you will find Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine thought leadership, practices support, and peers willing to share advice and answer questions.
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