I was recently introduced to Diane Lipton Dennis, the CEO at Lipton Health. Someone thought that I might appreciate her approach to pediatric medical care, which has been to put together a concierge program not for herself, but as a replicable model to be delivered anywhere in the country.
In other words, if you're thinking about 'going concierge' (whatever that even means), it might be worth a phone call to Diane. Check out their brochure.
When I started to look into the concierge model a few years ago, I have to admit being surprised how well the commercial programs out there (like MDVIP) actually understood how different pediatrics is. I am used to most organizations giving little thought to how medicine for kids is different, but they got it. From what I can tell, Diane really gets it.
I started taking notes during our conversation and captured some of the better moment. These may not be exact, but they sure capture the spirit of the conversation:
"We give them a choice in the way they practice medicine by offering their patients an opportunity to participate in a memberhip program. The program gives them access to service available to them beyond insurance, like 24/7 access to the doctor. Skype, for example - good for rashes, a good way to see if they should bring the kid in. Next day well visits. Extended visits, no more 'door knob medicine.' The doctors get a chance to really observe, to sit and talk, make recommendations. Better hand offs to specialists, better communication. Better interpretation about what the hospital says, better help during most stressful times."
What made my internal beeper go off was that she finds the "fees" necessary for this kind of work are in the neighborhood of "$15-20-25 a month" which is right in line with some of the data I have presented here in the past.
As I understand it, the practices pay Lipton health a portion of their revenue - which is normal among the concierge business consultants, and in return, "We provide all of the marketing, which is perhaps the most important factor to the success of the practices. Stark laws limit the amount of marketing they can do for themselves. We want them to stick with what they are good at: practicing medicine. We do a lot of patient surveying and don't stop with the signup period. We do customer-service followup, in-office marketing, social networking. We do a lot of hand holding throughout the entire process. One of the biggest pieces we deliver is the legal work...this type of medicine differs from state to state, and we do that work."
So, what happens if a practice just uses Lipton Health to get started? Diane says that she has no problem with someone using their services for a year and, if they are not satisfied, going on their own. "If we're not delivering the value, we can't ask them to pay us."
Right now, Lipton Health is focused on the DC metro area but are moving into Connecticut, Philadelphia, Richmond, Charlotte...the entire north-east corridor.
Diane spends a lot of her time in the practices, so she encourages anyone interested in even a brief chat to reach her on her cell phone: 202-441-0444.
Good luck to all!