Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can Concierge Medicine Solve Our Medical Malpractice Crisis?

Dr. Steve Knope explains that switching to a concierge medicine practice cut his malpractice rates by a whopping 55%. His insurance company gave him the following reasons that they were willing to offer him such a low rate:
1) The fact that patients are willing to pay you directly for your services means that you have a good reputation in the community. We know that lousy doctors cannot sustain a concierge practice.

2) Concierge practices are smaller than traditional practices. By sheer number, the risk of lawsuits is smaller. You have several hundred patients as opposed to several thousand.

3) You have more time to spend with each patient. You are less hurried. You are able to be more meticulous and pay greater attention to detail. This lowers your risk of human error.

4) Though you are capable of making a mistake, you actually have a relationship with your patients. You know them personally. You spend a great deal of time trying to do the right thing for them. Even if you make a mistake, your patients will be more likely to forgive you for human error.

5) Finally, we have looked at over 200 practice years of concierge physicians. To date, we have been unable to identify a single judgment against a concierge physician.
This is yet another example where a free market approach benefits both doctors and patients. I recommend reading his entire blog post.