Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Two More Micropractices

Here's something unusual: TWO newspaper articles about micropractices in one day.

From today's Los Angeles Times: "It's about time, say doctors in vanguard"
In a 150-square-foot tin-ceilinged office in a building that once housed a speakeasy, Dr. Moitri Savard checks her laptop to see whether any patients have scheduled themselves to see her.

Wait, scheduled themselves?

Yes. Savard's patients decide when they want to see her and then let her know by filling in a date and time on a calendar on her website. Patients with no computer access can phone for an appointment.

Savard, 36, a graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, is in the vanguard of a small number of physicians who are experimenting with a new family-practice business model.

It's called a micropractice.

Savard has no nurse but shares a receptionist with several other solo practitioners and does her own paperwork. Mostly, she runs her office electronically — lowering her overhead because she has no salaries to pay.

And the Idaho Statesman: "Boise physician finds low overhead lets him give patients more time"
Dr. Chris Peine sits behind a desk in his 500-square-foot office. He's alone. The glass doors are dusty and waiting to be wiped clean, but he doesn't have much time to do it today. He is too busy answering phones and e-mails, treating patients, vacuuming and taking out his own trash. Peine doesn't have a single employee.

Peine (PIE-nee) follows a new model of health care called the "ideal micropractice," one of a small but growing number of physicians nationwide who are shucking large offices and big staffs to simplify their medical practices and spend more time with patients.
Before moving to Boise with his wife in September 2005, he was a physician at a large cash-only practice in Indianapolis that did not accept insurance. He met with a handful of patients every hour, he said, and the lack of face-to-face time strained his relationships with his patients.

"I wanted to really simplify the whole health care experience," he said.

"Complexity interferes with the doctor-patient relationship."

Boy, does it ever. But thankfully, not in a little slice of Queens and Boise.