It’s The Dinosaur Again
This time, she’s blogging about why she will never close her practice to new patients. Check out this post. While she makes some cogent points, I’m sure that her waiting room must be a real traffic jam if she takes on all comers.
As I read and reread this post, I’m thinking Lucy may have missed the point this time. Based on my experiences as a patient, you make out a heck of a lot better in a practice where your doctor has capped the size of the “panel” (funny word for patient load), and only accepts new patients when the panel size falls below this number. My concierge doc, for example, has her practice capped at 800. Before turning to a concierge model, that number was 2,000. There is today, as there usually is, a waiting list of patients ready to pony up the annual subscription fee if her concierge practice’s door briefly swings open.
Bottom Line. I’m thinking that the number of active patients in a physician’s practice matters, a lot, in terms of the quality of care that can be delivered. I’m also thinking that the way a doctor chooses and maintains the size of her practice also matters. And yes, as the dreaded doctor shortage sweeps across the land in years to come, this issue will only become more important.