Free Market Medicine

There are doctors who communicate with their patients by phone and e-mail, maintain electronic medical records, prescribe electronically and even make house calls. The key: They avoid insurance companies. Once called "concierge doctors," they are now more commonly known as "direct practice" physicians:

Dr. Bliss's office operates with just two administrative employees for seven doctors. He estimates that if he took insurance, one or two administrative workers would be needed per doctor…… [One] study found that a third of the money received by primary care physicians pays for interactions between a doctor's practice and patients' health plans.

Comments (8)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    It’s amazing that this very glowing aticle appeared in the New York Times.

  2. Bret says:

    The Times even called it patient oriented care.

  3. Tom H. says:

    If Obama really wants to control health care costs, he should encourage every primary care physician in the country to become a “direct pay” physician.

  4. Bruce says:

    Odds are the New York Times reporter did not know that “direct pay” is what used to be called “concierge medicine.”

  5. […] readers will note the similarities between this description and my description of the free market, direct service doctors. var addthis_pub = ‘ncpaadmin’; var addthis_brand = ‘Blogs by NCPA’;var addthis_language = […]

  6. […] In markets where this has been done, low-cost, high-quality, accessible care is the rule. Direct service doctors, for example, communicate with patients by telephone and e-mail, they keep electronic medical […]

  7. Gregg Masters says:

    Direct medical practice models, aka retainer, concierge, or their boutique practice derivatives are rational responses to an irrational and self sabotaging marketplace.

    Yet, absent re-engineering of the health care delivery and financing paradigms, enabling & extending such innovation, they are at best niche plays, offering niche solutions, varying in market relevance and impact based on specialty and geography.

    Medical innovators such as Hello Health, HelloHealth(dot)com/, Care Practice, CarePractice(dot)com/, Personal Medicine International, PersonalMedicineInternational(dot)com/, and Qliance, Qliance(dot)com/, are admiral efforts to address this growing market need.


  8. Natalie Hodge MD FAAP says:

    Thanks Greg for the Mention.

    I suppose our open letters to #obama through twitter may be catching an eyeball or two. The Personal Medicine Platform, a web platform that transitions primary care doc’s into high tech high touch housecall practice utilizes four key technologies that reduce physician overhead costs by 80%. High speed wireless, EMR/PHR technologies developed for the mobile phone,( market leader I PHONE) latest social media marketing tools, and the device itself. ( IPHONE ) If a single pediatrician can spend a few years how to run an entire medical practice off an iphone, reducing costs 80%, ( with a group of really smart partners, developers and business process folks) then I should hope that the government should take notice of the cost reductions and consider a formal pilot utilizing our technologies. Government is so bogged down in reform, which looks now to accelerate the rate at which physicians are fleeing their medicare/medicaid contracts, that they are missing some key opportunities here.

    Our platform is ready TODAY for a government pilot in which we prove over a 5 year period, BETTER HEALTH of a population.

    We ( our country ) is loosing it’s primary care workforce, reform is accelerating the loss, and we must look to the new primary care workforce that these disruptive innovators are creating. More about Personal Medicine here…

    Looking forward to that phone call Mr Obama,

    Natalie Hodge MD FAAP
    Medical Director Personal Medicine