What happens when you combine entrepreneurial-minded Physicians from around the country (actually, there were Physicians from other countries learning about what you do as well …) with a melting pot of world-class, engaging speakers and breakouts? An explosion of ideas and conversations is what. ~Editor, Michael Tetreault provides the lowdown on the 2017 CMT FORUM in ATLANTA.
“Next year’s 2018 FOR DOCTORS Forum in ATL will be about showcasing more new ideas brought together in one place,” adds Tetreault. “Some of the brightest minds and industry-leading precision medicine brands, health and technology futurists, and innovative Concierge Medicine Physicians will share with more attendees what the future of healthcare looks like. How personalized medicine can play a role in not only helping Patients on their path to better health but ensuring Doctors are informed, educated and prepared to offer the best in healthcare is what this CMT Forum is all about.”
“Full of energy, engaging and informative!”
~2017 CMT FORUM, Physician Attendee
By Michael Tetreault, Editor
NOVEMBER 15, 2017 | ATLANTA, GA USA — Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) and The Direct Primary Care Journal (The DPC Journal) hosted the 2017 FORUM in Atlanta, GA October 27-28. This two-day event is the flagship event for entrepreneurial Physicians from around the globe who are creating medical offices to which patients love to come. With more than two dozen speakers on the main stage and inside breakouts, Physicians wait all year to attend and it certainly did not disappoint. Why? Well, apart from the fact there was great southern hospitality and a variety of good food, knowledgeable cutting-edge speakers were on brilliant display.
“A first-rate, translational medicine scientist [e.g. speaking about one of the Genome Lecturers on Friday, October 27th] is also a first-rate teacher of practicing physicians about the most timely and important current clinical topic.” ~S.B., MD., 2017 Physician Attendee, Arizona
Here are our 9 key takeaways from the two-day FORUM in Atlanta.
1. Physicians and C-Suite Stakeholders Representing A Variety of Organizations and Healthcare Practice Models Unanimously Agreed That Some Form of Collaboration Is Warranted at a Pre-Conference, Industry Leadership Dinner.On the eve of the FORUM in Atlanta [Thursday night], a leadership dinner was held to have an open dialogue with industry leaders in the space to discuss:
- the current state of affairs;
- the future of the industry; and
- explore ideas on how as industry thought leaders they could collaborate to move the industry forward in the future.
More to come on some form of the exciting initiatives being pursued!
2. We Must Always Be Pushing for Innovation and Exploring Ways to Make a Greater Impact, and Being Proactive Instead of Reactive.
Much like the popularity of other service subscriptions in the marketplace like Amazon Prime, Netflix or Costco, Subscription-based medical care performs the functions of several different services. It provides a fair amount of selection, cost-saving deals, family discounts, and its ultimately up to the Patient to decide each month, quarter or year if they want to keep the same doctor. It puts the patient in control and tells them how much it costs. Look for more subscription-based telehealth services from doctors, PAs and NPs in the months to come.“Concierge Medicine must be treated seriously by Physicians and Patients alike because it is a concept that is here to stay. Paying a set annual fee for “special services” may appear to some to focus on money and greed but to others it may be redirecting the focus of medicine back to preventing disease and seeking wellness. If concierge physicians are successful in preventing illness and keeping Patients healthier then it is in the best interest of Patients, Physicians and society as a whole.” ~Peter A. Clark SJ, PhD Professor of Medical Ethics and Director, Institute of Catholic Bioethics, Saint Joseph’s University 
“America’s Best Places To Work never include a doctors office. Data, Evidence, outcomes and the experience people have inside the four walls of a doctors office matter. We know this because that’s what people talk about after they leave your office. There are sadly only a few thousand medical offices getting this right across the country. We have to move this needle in the RIGHT direction.” ~Michael Tetreault, Concierge Medicine News Today, Editor at the 2017 CMT Concierge Medicine FORUM in ATL.
3. The World Is Watching What Is Happening Inside Our Snow Globe. They Are Taking Notes and Bite Size Ideas of What You Are Doing Back With Them To Their Communities and Finding, ‘It Works!’
“There is a mystique, a temperament and a curious fascination about Concierge Medicine. It is in the name alone and that impressionable terminology, like it or not, is an important conversation starter,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor of CMT/The DPC Journal. “The polarizing brand or terminology invites people into a critically important conversation. That is exactly where we find the ‘ah-ha’ moments. It’s an opportunity for Physicians to set themselves apart and raise the bar of healthcare delivery.”
“My vision is to cultivate a personal Patient – Doctor relationship amidst a bustling urban community where impersonal professional relationships are the norm. Our practice strives to deliver quality medical care with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine, open communication, easy accessibility, and a focus on customer service. These benefits can lead to an overall improvement in how healthcare is delivered and may ultimately improve outcomes.” ~Dr. Edward Espinosa of Buckhead Concierge Internal Medicine, Atlanta, GA
“The world is looking at the Tesla of healthcare and watching with wonder what is happening,” adds Tetreault. “It is so radically simple it’s strange. Yet, we do everything we can to make our friends and family feel at home when we invite them to dinner. Everyday a Patient will walk into your practice and determine whether or not they will return before they even see their Doctor. And that’s not fair. But it’s true. An uncomfortable setting makes people uncomfortable. Healthcare today should be a marriage of the Hippocratic Oath and The Golden Rule. History now sees this idea [e.g. subscriptions inside a doctors office] as so compelling that it warrants future discussion.”
Membership Medicine in all of its forms, is etching itself in the annals of medical lore as one of the most impressive, simple ideas ever. These are medical offices where Physicians smile back. Places where your Doctor listens and asks more questions than ever and strives to provide excellence in every Patient encounter. As a result, Physicians see retention and Patient satisfaction rise significantly. When Physicians and their staff look for ways to “WOW” Patients [e.g., if patient is coughing, get him water], they defy the conventions of healthcare delivery today. The bar has been set so low today in the marketplace that Patients never talk about what a great Doctor they have. In fact, it is quite the opposite. What you are doing inside your practice each day is not normal. Fearful, curious and tired Physicians are on the sidelines watching you while good opportunities to change their career are paraded by. They don’t lack insight. They lack courage. You are showing them that they can break the status-quo and not compromise care.
“I loved the takeaway content to use Monday morning!” ~S.O., NP, 2017 CMT FORUM, Nurse Practitioner Attendee, Colorado
4. Physicians Must Grapple With New Challenges and Implement Great Ideas To Enhance Patient Care and Promote Better Outcomes.
Bonus Speaker, Dan Hecht spoke to a large group of Physicians at the Concierge Medicine FORUM in Atlanta, GA, October 27-28, 2017. On Friday, he and four others participated in a round table discussion titled The Innovators Round Table, which discussed the changing healthcare landscape of today. Other panelists included: a) Dr. Todd Feinman Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Doctor Evidence & Advisory Board Member at Evidenza Precision Medicine; b) James J. Eischen, Jr., Esq. McGlinchey Stafford LLP; c) Dr. Brandon Colby World leader in the field of Predictive Medicine, Whole Genome Sequencing, Advisory Board Member at Evidenza Precision Medicine and Founder of Sequencing.com and d) moderator, Michael Tetreault, Editor in Chief of Concierge Medicine Today and The Direct Primary Care Journal.
“Try navigating managed care on a rotary phone,” said Hecht in his Saturday presentation. “So many things get in the way of connecting with Patients in a Doctor’s office. Choose the road less traveled.”
5. Everyone In The Organization Needs To Be Responsible For Your Brand, But The Experience Begins In The Parking Lot.
Guests coming to Disney World are excited about seeing Mickey Mouse, or a Princess. They can’t wait to be a part of the magic inside the parks. There’s only one problem… Who is the first face Guests see at Disney World? Believe it or not, parking matters. So does signage, nameplates and having a sense of respect and humor also. If there is a sign in the parking lot that gives the doctor the best spot … what does that tell curious patients who that Clinic is putting first?
If you want to make a difference in your community and practice, give your patients and the people you care about appropriate painted parking lot lines, updated handles on doors, updated paint, rails next to steps, and specific applications they can easily follow. You might not think these things matter … but they do. They really, really do! To add to that, challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen in healthcare, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. Why is it when you tell someone to take their medication or exercise and a few weeks later you follow up and find out your instructions haven’t been followed? The Patient-Physician relationship is a perfect example. How many people follow your advice 100% of the time every time. Their trust needs to be earned, regardless of how long you’ve been treating them. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how people grow. This is exactly what great physicians have shared with us that has taken their practice from ‘good to great.’.
“My expectations were exceeded in all areas!” ~S.B., MD., 2017 CMT FORUM, Physician Attendee, Arizona
6. Support For Broader Use of Limited Genetic Testing and Whole Genome Sequencing in Concierge Medicine
The accuracy of whole genome sequencing is quickly improving and the cost is quickly dropping. Within the next few years, this technology will be widely used by Concierge Physicians in the daily clinical care of their patients.
Genetics usually refers to the study of individual genes and their role in disease or inheritance. Genomics refers to an individual’s entire genomic make-up. Genomics looks at the genetic sequence of genes, and their structure and function as well as the interactions between genes. An easy way to think about genetic testing is to compare it to a book, because genetics is truly our Instruction Manual of Life and genetic testing is simply a way to proofread each person’s Instruction Manual for potential typos, according to Sequencing.com.
“This is cool stuff [Evidence Based Medicine In Concierge Care]!” ~K.W., MD, 2017 CMT FORUM, Physician Attendee, Illinois
The Concierge Medicine Physician can, should [and currently is] acting as the informed fiduciary, shepherding the patient treatment process so as to make informed decisions with actionable data, together, with their patients. Advanced DNA research and whole genome sequencing have powerful applications, says trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today. Companies see Concierge Physicians as the ideal delivery model, allowing people to learn more about their DNA and make informed, data-driven decisions for their future under the direction and support of their involved [Concierge] physician, to live a healthier life.
“The retirement succession lecture was very helpful.” ~2017 CMT FORUM, Physician Attendee, Illinois
7. Use and Application of Pharmacogenomics Inside Concierge Medicine Is Setting A Standard
Pharmacogenomics is the combination of pharmacology and genomics. It involves the study of genetic variations that influence an individual’s response to specific drugs. Pharmacology is the part of science that studies how drugs work. Genomics is the study of a person’s genome including the interactions of those genes with each other and with the person’s environment. Just as decision aids now alert prescribers that the patient takes a supplement that may interact with a prescription, these tests would alert the physician and prescriber that the patient is a poor metabolizer of a particular drug. While one pharmacology treatment approach may work well for one individual, the same approach may not be effective or may cause adverse drug effects in other patients. The implementation of pharmacogenomics helps physicians make informed treatment decisions. This can lead to better patient outcomes by decreasing adverse drug events and by increasing the effectiveness of drugs using data, research, science and the analysis and interpretation of the data by a licensed Physician.
The notion of individual genetic variability has long been accepted and promoted within both the scientific community and the healthcare industry. Advances in molecular testing, and completion of the mapping of the human genome, in particular, give credence to the fact that patients respond differently to medications based upon their individual genetic makeup. Such advancements brought about the concept of personalized medicine, the practice of using an individual’s genetic profile to guide decisions for the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of disease. Correspondingly, a major problem is the variability of drug efficacy from patient to patient. While some patients complain about lack of effectiveness, other patients suffer from adverse drug events (ADEs). Personalized medicine has the ability to alleviate the burden of individual genetic variability and the resulting varied drug responses across different patient populations. Patient non-adherence to medications as prescribed is a significant economic burden; the resulting estimated annual healthcare costs are close to $3 billion in the United States. The benefits of pharmacogenomics testing to patient adherence are frequently overlooked. Patients fail to take their medications for a number of reasons, such as the general sense that the medications do not work and anxieties related to the possible side effects listed within drug labels. For the non-adherent subset of the patient population, pharmacogenomics testing can serve as positive reinforcement and incentive for patients to take their prescribed medications. Pharmacogenomics test results provide personalized, actionable facts for patients.
Concierge Medicine Today cautions that in order to make this information actionable for patients, a Physician must fully integrate pharmacogenomics into system-wide prescribing practices. After years of thoughtful consideration, careful research and review and countless hours of dialogue with various physicians and companies, we recommend Concierge Medicine Physicians begin to make personal genomic data information and tests available to patients. However, the type of test matters. There are a number of offerings in the marketplace with more to come in the years ahead as these tests become more mainstream. Comprehensive screenings with more than 50 well-established pharmacogenomic genes in a single, cost-effective test will be able to provide medically actionable and clinically relevant data, allowing Concierge Physicians and their patients to make more informed and thoughtful treatment decisions.
8. Evidence In. Opinions and Second Guessing Out.
Utilizing DRE’s integrated, dynamic platform, doctors and patients can view underlying data being considered for the patient’s various treatment options and compare efficacy and safety of those treatments. These capabilities enable physicians and patients to engaged in shared decision-making with individualized patient preferences to determine true value-based care outcomes. This is a powerful tool to improving the use of evidence-based medicine at the point-of-care and improving patients’ outcomes.
LOOK WHAT HAPPENED WHEN … A Client requested the efficacy and safety of LAP-BAND surgery … Out of 654 patients who underwent LAP-BAND surgery, 35 of them (5%) had complications up to five years after surgery, while out of 614 patients who underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, 63 of them (10%) had complication up to five years after surgery. Learn More About A Library of Evidence Summary Reports for Doctors …
Evidenza Precision Medicine Advisory Council Member and Doctor Evidence CMO, Dr. Todd Feinman, participated in a Friday morning Innovators in Healthcare Roundtable. He discussed the role of technology and the responsibility Physicians have in bringing Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) into the exam room to improve physician efficiency and patient outcomes at the CMT FORUM in Atlanta, October 27th, 2017. The use of rigorous evidence-based medical methodologies and technologies which search are now sophisticated enough to find and catalogue relevant data from vetted studies, including clinical trials, conference proceedings, abstracts, and drug label data from the U.S. and Europe into user-friendly, relational databases. This has turned educated guessing about the best treatment for a patient into rock solid data.
DID YOU KNOW … Out of 42,616 people who have localized prostate cancer and chose to have their prostate removed, 642 of them (1%) died due to prostate cancer within 20 years, while out of 23,401 people who have localized prostate cancer and chose no treatment or active surveillance, 1124 of them (4%) died due to prostate cancer within 20 years. Learn More About A Library of Evidence Summary Reports for Doctors …
“Personalized application of evidence-based decisions should be the norm, and our company provides the technology to access the most up-to-date, patient-specific evidence for a given therapeutic area or intervention, so that Physicians and Patients can decide together the most effective course of treatment,” says Feinman. “Concierge doctors, known to be innovative and offering patient-centered care, are in a unique position to take advantage of the growing number of personalized evidence data resources matched to patient profiles and preferences, including the Doctor Evidence technologies, to improve patient care.”
“Clinical research, geneticists and cutting edge technology companies in healthcare delivery and Precision Medicine wouldn’t be putting this much effort into making a Concierge Medicine program more attractive if they didn’t work,” says Tetreault, who moderated in the Innovators Round Table Panel, Friday morning.
9. A Healthy Appreciation and Acceptance That Concierge Doctors Are the Earliest Adopters of Tomorrow’s Strategies and Solutions.
During the two-day Forum at the Forsyth Conference Center, a few miles north of Atlanta, GA, attendees explored and discussed where the industry is headed and how today’s innovations are shaping future healthcare solutions.
“Your hard work in organizing this event, and passion for the concierge model of medicine, was evident in the way the conference was put together and run. I think I speak for my colleagues, and certainly for myself, when I say that I learned a great deal from the sessions and talks. I’m sure those practitioners considering a change to a concierge model have quite a bit to think about after this weekend.” ~R.G., 2017 Sponsor, Exhibitor, Speaker
Specific focus areas include: Functional Medicine; Compound Phamarcy Integration; Personal Genomics and Anti-aging/Age Management Medicine; How Concierge Doctors Use Actual Medical Outcomes Data to Refer Their Patients to Qualified Surgeons and Hospitals across the U.S.; the practical application of Evidence Based Medicine; Concierge Medicine growth and startup strategies; Pharmacogenomics; Concierge Medicine Physician Retirement and Succession Planning; Marketing and Patient Retention; Entrepreneurial Growth Concepts in Healthcare used by Physicians; Precision Medicine’s utility inside primary care and family medicine; Direct Primary Care; Reversing Insurance Denials using data; the political and legal future of the industry and how Physicians can empower their local communities and Patients to make more informed decisions and work more closely with their Doctor to achieve better outcomes.
CMT SPOTLIGHT: Strada Healthcare
“Next year’s 2018 Forum will be about showcasing more new ideas brought together in one place,” adds Tetreault. “Some of the brightest minds and industry-leading precision medicine brands, health and technology futurists, and innovative Concierge Medicine Physicians will share with more attendees what the future of healthcare looks like. How personalized medicine can play a role in not only helping Patients on their path to better health but ensuring Doctors are informed, educated and prepared to offer the best in healthcare is what this CMT Forum is all about.”
“Very valuable content presently. An excellent investment of my time and money. ~S.B., MD., 2017 Physician Attendee, Arizona
Citation:  P Clark, J Friedman, D Crosson, M Fadus. Concierge Medicine: Medical, Legal and Ethical Perspectives; The Internet Journal of Law, Healthcare and Ethics; 2010 Volume 7 Number 1.