Cash-Only Practices: 8 Issues to Consider

Neil Chesanow


May 15, 2014

In This Article

Should You Seek Expert Help?

Another common theme among successful concierge and direct primary care physicians, at least those who offer inspiration and advice to traditional doctors contemplating a switch, is that starting a retainer practice "is so easy that even a doctor can do it."

"The people who can pull this off are often people who already have long-term existing practices," Garrison Bliss explains. "You need to have 10-15 years in practice, so you have an established base of patients who trust and like you.

"It also matters if you have people with chronic illnesses, or who are older, who just don't want to go through the heartbreak and complexity of finding another doctor," he continues. "And it depends on whether you really do provide extraordinary service already. The practices that do great work, have large patient populations, have been around for a long time, and have great reputations can often make this transition without difficulty."

"You must survey your patients, communicate the right messaging, and have someone who can train your staff on what to say when a patient comes in asking questions," says Tetreault. "The doctor is there to treat your flu. He's not there to answer a lot of insurance questions. But it's important to have people who can."

Must you hire an expert? No. But be sure you can do a demographic analysis of your traditional practice, conduct your own patient surveys, create promotional literature for the new practice, market to your patients, and personally address their questions.


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