Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Family Medicine: They Made Me an Offer

Wake me up, I must be dreaming.  They made me an offer.  Should I take it?  One monthly check for some or all of my daily office schedule patient time slots.  Every day paid for in part or in full.  I continue to own my own practice.  We move away (at a pace to be determined later) from insurance companies.  It has a nice ring to it.  How about the six weeks of paid vacation, one week for continuing medical education, health insurance and medical liability insurance?

Why would a Family Physician consider selling some or all of the slots in the daily patient care schedule to a non-insurance entity?

Maybe because we're being buried in an avalanche of forms and paperwork and requests by more and more patients for us to provide administrative support for various needs.  Reimbursement for services is going down and auditing by the government of all Medicare chart notes seeks to take back 12.5% of money paid out in our region.  My "legibility challenge" could cost us the whole 12.5%.  It's just another way we're hugged by Medicare to inspire us to take more Medicare patients.  Could they do it any worse?  A Medicare freeze in primary care reimbursement for three to five years or 29% reduction in reimbursement happens in January, 2012.

It's tempting to take the offer, since I haven't had a real vacation in nine years.  My health insurance plan goes out of business at the end of the year.  My office coordinator/wife who works 65+ hours in the office weekly is way overdue for some time off.  About $120,000 of various practice debts would like to be paid off.  The federally mandated transition to the Electronic Medical Record and the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) could be accomplished smoothly.  Hmmm.

Someone in Ohio knows the value of Family Medicine.  Should I respond favorably to their offer?

They arrange for all the other service contracts-mental health specialists, medical specialists, laboratory, imaging, hospitals, etc.

But wait, what if they buy up all the Family Medicine independent physician time slots?  What do all the insured patients do who go to those doctors?  What happens to the patients who are not related to their business model?  What happens to the hospitals?

Wake me up, maybe it's just a dream.  More later.

Is this real?


  1. Another question is why wouldn't a noninsurance entity (aka private business)offer to buy up some or all of a family physicians' available office slots. Their overall health costs for their employees would drop dramatically, allowing the business to survive through this neverending depression/recession.

  2. Is it real? Is it a real offer? Interesting. An employer?

  3. FMFA,
    Good thought. Why wouldn't employers shop for FM patient visit slots and buy enough to keep employees healthy, out of ER, out of hospital?

    Good question. I'm sort of on a pseudo secret level with part of this deal. More later.