Health Care Attorneys Guide Practitioners Transitioning to Concierge Medicine
Economic and lifestyle trends are changing the way family medicine is practiced, resulting in the growth of what is known as “concierge,” “boutique” or “retainer” practices. These practice models generally offer extra services and increased availability of physicians to a smaller number of patients. In return for more personalized care, these practices typically charge membership fees for non-clinical services and may or may not participate in insurance. Members of the firm’s Health Care team worked with clients transitioning to these types of practices.
For one group, we established a new physician-owned company to contract with patients to provide the concierge services. This offered our client a creative solution to several complex reimbursement and compliance issues while still meeting the physicians’ goals of maintaining sole control of their practice.
Another group wanted to focus exclusively on patient care. There, we assisted the client in entering into a joint venture with an independent company to provide the non-clinical concierge services. This partnership with lay experts who specialize in marketing and managing primary care practices provided our client with the sophisticated business partner they sought without violating corporate practice of medicine laws.
A third client chose a different way to form a concierge practice by opting out of participating with any third-party payors, including Medicare and all other insurance and payment programs. Reimbursement under this model relies solely on private contracts with patients in which the patient pays the physician directly for professional care. Our attorneys carefully draft these contracts to make it clear that the physicians are not engaged in providing health insurance to patients.