Clinic Dispensing

Primary Care – Alive and Well

I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of our premier primary care physicians last night and learn more about why his practice is thriving.  In the age of practice consolidation and the trend toward physician employment with health systems, this doctor is not only operating independently, he is thriving.  I wanted to share a few thoughts from our conversation.

This physician runs his clinic from a suburb of a mid-sized city in California.  Seeing 45-50 patients a day, he focuses on offering them everything he possibly can from his practice location.  Some of his services include:

  • Medication dispensing – he offers about 30 generic medications from his clinic.  He makes about $10 per item when he dispenses and still keeps his patient cost right around the co-pay level
  • Imaging – this doc offers his patients x-ray services onsite.  I asked if this was a challenge with insurance and the trend toward service integration within health systems and he said that he has no problem getting reimbursed and his patients love the convenience.  Sure, the machine was expensive but he quickly recouped his investment and is having no problem keeping it utilized.
  • Weight Management – he offers a full range of weight-management products and services.  Part of his solution includes pharmaceutical dispensing but it also includes specialized food, supplements and exercise plans.
  • Beauty – this practice also offers products geared toward skin and beauty.  Laser treatments and skin products supplement traditional medical guidance for his patients.
  • Primary care – good old-fashioned primary care is the centerpiece of his practice but the added services enhance practice income and patient satisfaction.  He is giving his patients services they want.

As we talked about his approach and the effectiveness of the various services, it struck me that his philosophy was what truly set him apart.  This is an individual who enjoys the business aspect of serving his patients.  The additional services he offers enables him to prosper and perpetuate his love of practicing medicine.  He is truly entrepreneurial in his approach to practicing medicine and his patients benefit from it.

As a supplier of physician dispensing services, Northwind works to enhance our customers' practices.  However, we are only one piece of a much broader service puzzle.  This physician understands the patient care landscape and actively seeks to serve traditional and non-traditional needs.  Put succinctly, he is giving the market what it wants all within the context of his practice.  The end result is good business for him and great care for his patients.

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