How to Grow Your Practice: 4 Questions Every Doctor Should Ask.

How to Grow Your Practice: 4 Questions Every Doctor Should Ask.

With all that has happened in the past few years, many physicians have had to learn hard lessons about the viability of the typical healthcare model. 

With all that has happened in the past few years, many physicians have had to learn hard lessons about the viability of the typical healthcare model. 


In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic shutdowns, and stay-at-home advisories spotlighted that the traditional primary care model is largely unsustainable, especially during trying times.


As Dr. Chris Loo, MD-PhD, explains, events like 9-11, the 2008 financial crisis, and the pandemic illustrated “the concept of ‘job stability’ that was highly touted as a guaranteed benefit among physicians no longer exists in the traditional sense of the word.” He adds that physicians must now plan to create their own “job stability.”


How has your practice fared thus far? Are you prepared—financially and otherwise—to weather the next crisis? Now is the time to take stock. If you’re less than confident, it might be time to consider transitioning to a new medical model. Concierge medicine could be the reliable lifeline you need.


If you seek practice growth and stability, ask yourself these four questions.

Do You Have a Stable Income?

Caring for your patients is hard when you can’t financially keep your doors open. Some physicians stayed afloat thanks to loan programs like the Paycheck Protection Program. However, a survey done by a Richmond-based advocacy group for primary care doctors found that half the doctors who sought such loans were unsuccessful. 

Of the nearly 3,000 respondents:

  • 19% said they had to temporarily close their practices because of financial problems
  • 42% had to lay off or furlough staff
  • About 10% said they would have to close in the next month because of financial shortfalls (data reported May 4, 2020).

Telemedicine has helped somewhat, but payments have been “stingy and slow to arrive.” Requirements for telemedicine reimbursement have also been quickly changing and different by a payor, adding to the complexity. Eighteen percent of the doctors responding to the survey said they had been denied payment for virtual visits.


Physicians with Castle Connolly Private Health Partner concierge practices have been able to rely on steady membership income—even without office or virtual visits­.


Dr. Bernard Schayes, an internist with a CCPHP concierge practice in New York City, explained in a 2020 webinar, “During this pandemic, my office closed. … The only income really is from the concierge model. The check is always there. The accounting is very clear, and I really appreciate that.” With this confidence in his membership income, Dr. Schayes was able to assure his staff that they would keep their jobs and their paychecks.


Dr. Jeffrey Graf, a CCPHP primary care physician and cardiologist with a solo practice in New York City, agreed with the importance of the financial model with concierge medicine. “I’m in practice by myself. I run a business. I have salaries to pay. I have overhead, which is enormous in Manhattan. Financially, this is a disaster. Were it not for the concierge program, I could not survive.”

Do You Have Robust Telemedicine And Digital Health Capabilities?

Can you care for your patients when you can’t see them in person? Even though reimbursements for telemedicine have been unreliable, virtual visits remain one of the next best options if you can’t see your patients in the office.


Dr. Alan Morrison, a CCPHP primary care physician with a concierge practice in Washington, DC, explained in an interview, “My ability to get back to people and respond to them in times like this is totally different than what it used to be, primarily because of the connectivity. The fact that we were ready to go with connectivity and telemedicine from the start, that changed everything.”


Related Post: Learn the Pros and Cons of Telemedicine 


Dr. Graf needed more than just virtual visits. As a cardiologist, he struggled to care for his patients remotely until CCPHP Co-Founder and President Dean McElwain suggested remote monitoring. Graf explained, “As a cardiologist, it’s very important for me to be able to monitor people’s blood pressures when I’m not in the office. This tool lets me see all the data on my own computer screen. … It was very, very helpful, and it took a lot of pressure off me.”


Don’t forget to evaluate whether you or your staff have the expertise to get reimbursed appropriately for virtual visits and telephone calls. If not, consider a concierge partner who can help you to navigate that complexity.

Do You Have Extra Time And Attention For Your Patients?

Many people needed extra time with their physicians, whether providing care or calming emotional concerns. In a transactional healthcare model, many doctors are scheduled in back-to-back appointments with no extra time to spare for patients. 


Related Post: Traditional Primary Care v.s. Concierge Care


Is this something you’ve been able to do for your patients?


The Association of American Medical Colleges, AAMC, estimates a shortage of 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034. With patients facing less access to physicians overall, doctors need help to keep up. 


Physician burnout can result in emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and disconnection from their practice. Not only is this harmful for doctors, but it can also lead to poor patient outcomes. 


Related Post: Prevent Physician Burnout and Put Heart into Your Practice


If you found yourself in this position, consider how you could stay in better touch with each patient during periods of intense need. 


Concierge may be the solution. Thanks to a smaller patient panel and a high degree of connectivity, CCPHP physicians have been able to spend the time they need with each Member.


“This model really allows me to determine how much time to spend with a patient based on what they need,” said Dr. Schayes.


Dr. Graf went so far as to contact every Member of his panel to check in and see how they were doing. “I think that created a great sense of relief. Patients were extremely happy to hear from us, that we were okay, and that we were there for them. That’s the liberty that CCPHP lets you have.”

Does Your Support Staff Have Your Back?

There’s so much that goes into a successful practice beyond medicine. In the CCPHP concierge model, we’ve been able to support our physicians and their Members in a variety of critical ways.


During the pandemic, we supported our physicians by acting as an information curator, sharing reliable resources and updates about the pandemic. We also organized a live Zoom conversation with an infectious disease expert and weekly physician calls to ensure they had everything needed for their practices. We’ve even acquired PPE when it was otherwise nearly impossible.


Related Post: What is Concierge Medicine? 


CCPHP supports our partners outside of crisis support with marketing support, Member recruitment, billing, administrative services, legal guidance, Member and office support, and succession planning. This assistance works towards increasing medical practice revenue.


This support allows our partner physicians to focus on providing comprehensive patient care. 


We have each doctor’s back. Do you and your practice have this kind of support?

Start Growing Your Practice With Support From CCPHP

Could your practice use a more stable, reliable foundation? Now, more than ever, is the time to shore up your practice’s future.


If you would like more information on how to collaborate with CCPHP, please fill out the form below, and we will contact you.

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