By Michael Tetreault, Editor in Chief, The DPC Journal
MAY 18, 2015 – Today we’re going to go a bit off-topic and talk to those readers who are investment advisers, Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) and accountants.
Dare I say these words together because they are not one in the same any longer (and that’s okay), “Concierge Medicine” and its demographically diverse and monthly healthcare option (notice, I didn’t say anything about price — I’ll get to that later) used widely across the U.S., “Direct Primary Care (DPC)” are becoming a sensible program for people planning for retirement, taxes and managing their money in unique and smart ways.
The Difference Between Concierge Medicine and DPC …
While it is true that the the demographic who utilizes most investment advisers today and CFPs typically tend to be aged 50+. However, there are some, not a lot by any means, but some who are of the Generation X demographic who are starting to visit CFPs and their accountants and are looking for helpful ways to manage their money, future estates, inheritances, retirement and gain control of their spending.
We’ve been asked quite a bit recently by a few prominent financial publications (Financial Times, SmartMoney Magazine and Consumer Reports, MoneyWise) what type of educational resources are readily available that CFPs can use to help educate an audience about an affordable DPC option for the under 45 year old audience and what educational guide is available for the over 50+ year old CFP crowd?
There are two paths CFPs are taking. Depending upon the target audience/makeup of the CFP/investment advisers client mix.
- First question CFPs should consider. Are your clients age 18-45? If so, the most effective financial planning and educational DPC resource for investment advisers and CFPs has been the “DPC Consumer Guide,” updated annually by The DPC Journal editorial staff.
- Frequently, we see Accountants, CFPs and investment advisers provide their clients with a copy of the “DPC Consumer Guide” in their own investment folder package which the CFP provides to their client along with the other investment information and portfolio proposals.
- According to the DPC Journal 2015 Annual Report and Market Trends Summary released in May 2015, Direct Primary Care (DPC) practices are distinguished from other retainer-based care models, such as concierge care, by lower retainer fees (82% cost less than $99/mo), which cover at least a portion of primary care services provided in the DPC practice; No insurance plan is involved, although patients may have separate insurance coverage for more costly medical services; Patients typically prefer to pay monthly vs. quarterly or annually; DPC patients typically come from the Generation X and Millennial population and earn a combined annual HH income of less than $100k.
- The DPC Journal 2015 Annual Report also noted that ‘DPC is primary and preventative care, urgent care, chronic disease management and wellness support through a monthly care fee patients (or an employer) pay to cover the specific primary care preventative care services. A DPC health care provider charges a patient a set monthly fee for all primary care services provided in the office, regardless of the number of visits. Because the insurance “middle man” is removed from the equation, all the overhead associated with claims, coding, claim refiling, write-offs, billing staff, and claims-centric EMR systems disappears. A DPC health care provider charges a patient a set monthly fee for all primary care services provided in the office, regardless of the number of visits.’
- Second question. Are your CFP clients age 45+? If so, this presents an interesting challenge, particularly if the CFP is more in love with “monthly” DPC terminology – because typically, we’ve heard from multiple CFPs and investment planners that the age 45+ audience/clients prefer “more” comprehensive care and services. This audience also doesn’t mind paying a larger quarterly fee (avg. $125-$250/mo) for more comprehensive services, typically offered by Concierge practices and not DPC clinics. When CFPs have this audience as their primary client base, promoting Concierge Medicine programs are generally favored by the CFP and the client age 45+). Then, they use the 2015 Patient Guide to Concierge Medicine, also updated annually. This has been a popular guide for CFPs educating their patients (age 45+) for several years now whereas DPC is relatively new to the CFP space within the past two years and not widely understood by CFPs, yet.
- Frequently, we see Accountants, CFPs and investment advisers provide their clients with a copy of the “The Patient’s Guide to Concierge Medicine” in their own investment folder package which the CFP provides to their client along with the other investment information and portfolio proposals.
- According to the trade publication, Concierge Medicine Today and its data collection and research arm, The Concierge Medicine Research Collective, Concierge Medicine patients skew upper middle class, with typical household earnings between $125,000 and $250,000 a year. They also tend to be Baby Boomers, generally in their 50s to 80s, according to doctors interviewed.
Here’s a couple of articles you may want to share with your CFP, accountant and investment adviser friends:
- FINANCIAL TIMES: ‘Concierge Medicine Can Fill Health Care Gaps.’ READ FULL STORY … http://bit.ly/1A451wE
- Primary Care Physicians Need To Be More Like Financial Advisors … When was the last time a primary care physician was invited to a patient’s wedding? Stick to the fundamentals. That’s how IBM and Hilton were built. Good things, sometimes, take time. READ FULL STORY … http://bit.ly/1cZi0FZ
- MARKETING: Financial Advisers Re-Think “Concierge” Care. READ FULL STORY … http://bit.ly/1Pmdpyt
- Should a patient’s financial concerns influence physician decisions? READ FULL STORY … http://bit.ly/1HgfZiz