More and more physicians are changing from their traditional office-based medical practices to other models of practice that offer them a better quality of life and/or more stable income. One such model is concierge medicine (also known as boutique or retainer medicine). In this model, the physician limits his patient roster to a set number of individuals and charges each such individual an annual retainer fee. This allows the physician to enhance his annual income, which in turn enables him to spend more time treating a lesser number of patients. Presumably, this gives the doctor a better quality of life while giving the patient the opportunity to spend more quality time with his physician. Concierge medicine is not for everyone. Those interested in pursuing such a new course of action should consider a number of factors, such as:
--establishing the right fee structure;
--determining which services are included and which are not;
--deciding about whether to accept insurance;
--notifying patients about the transition;
--contracting with participating patients; and
--complying with applicable Federal and State laws.