Wednesday, June 10, 2015


We first took a substantive look at (so-called) "Concierge Medicine" over 7 years ago, noting that "[p]rimary care physicians are battling to save their practices by looking at new ways to increase revenues ... a few have gone to concierge services."

So it was with some bemusement that I read this piece, sent to us by FoIB Jeff M, lauding a Tar Heel State physician purportedly at the forefront of this phenom:

"It turns out that a physician from North Carolina was one of the trailblazers who adopted early this type of practice. Dr. Brian Forrest is a family practitioner who owns and operates Access Healthcare Direct in Apex, NC."

His practice's website doesn't indicate when it was founded, but another article refers back to a 2009 "Cardiovascular Centers of Excellence" award, so I'll give him that mulligan.

More important, he recognizes that both political parties are heavily invested in "mak[ing] insurance-based medicine extraordinarily burdensome." We see this with HI-TECH and EHR regs, and the lowball reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, which also drive non-governmental providers' revenues (via insurance).

About 2
½ years ago, we interviewed Dr Rob Lamberts, who at the time had just  set up his own version. He noted at the time that an overarching motivation was being able to walk away from the administrative costs and overhead of dealing with multiple carriers, each with their own rates and rules. This tracks very well with Dr Forrest's experience.

Of course, signing up with one of these practices doesn't obviate the need for some kind of catastrophic coverage: hospitals and oncologists don't use this model. Still, it seems to be a growing trend, and I think that may well be a good thing.
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