Last Thursday Dr. L. Markham McHenry, a family physician, held a meeting with some patients to tell them about changes he was planning. After 15 years of working in a private practice, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based doctor is in the process of transitioning to a subscription-based model.
His patients, who he said come from a range of economic backgrounds, will pay an annual fee of $3,000. In return, McHenry will limit his capacity to 400 patients a year, spend more time with each one, and be able to focus on preventing and treating chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.
“I don’t think patients should just pay for convenience,” he said regarding the new practice model that he adopted from n1Health. “It wasn’t until I found the value added that I thought this was worth offering.”
A new report projects the number of physicians who practice independently — rather than become employed by medical groups or systems, for example – will fall to 36 percent by 2013, from 57 percent in 2000. And, for those who remain in private practice, one in three may choose this type of ”subscription” approach over the more traditional formats, according to the study conducted by Accenture, a research and analysis firm.