Interview: How Can Doctors Offer Direct Primary Care- Concierge Medicine for Employers with MedLion CEO

By Mary Pat Whaley, FACMPE, CPE, www.managemypractice.com, April 4, 2013

Staying with the theme of practice models (Direct Primary Care-Concierge Medicine) for independent physicians, here’s an interview with Samir Qamar, MD of MedLion.

Mary Pat: You are the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MedLion, as well as a practicing Family Physician. Tell us your story.

Dr. Qamar: I grew up around the world the son of a UN diplomat, with a lot of time spent in Europe (including medical school). Growing up, I always wondered why most Europeans never needed insurance for basic medical care. I also learned a lot about the pros and cons of government-run health systems.

During my family medicine residency training at Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania (one of the best programs in the nation), I took the time and effort to also understand the reimbursement system. After realizing obvious faults within it, I became obsessed with finding other models that would not necessitate daily high-volume patient traffic, which in my opinion, led to poorer quality care. “Concierge medicine” was becoming popular (2003), and I saw the advantages to both patients and doctors in this new subscription model. While still a resident, I incorporated my first concierge medicine practice and immediately made headlines for my views on healthcare. Upon graduating from residency, I had made my decision to move to beautiful Monterey, California, where I had a dozen patients waiting for me due to marketing efforts while completing my program.

Within two months, I made local headlines again for starting the first concierge practice in central California, and soon thereafter, became the house physician for the famed Pebble Beach Resorts. In the meantime, my wife, Dr. Hisana Qamar, began her own practice that accepted traditional insurance and Medicare. Both of us grew our respective practices to great success, and were in a unique position to compare the membership model with a traditional model.

In 2009, witnessing the effects of the recession on unemployment (and resulting lack of benefits), I created MedLion Direct Primary Care. I wanted to design an affordable membership model for those with little or no health insurance. It wasn’t long before I realized this model appealed to employers as well, and our company began to grow.

MedLion launched the first direct primary care practices in California. Today, MedLion Direct Primary Care is one of the national leaders in its industry, with practices in multiple states. Without any outside investment, MedLion’s lean business tactics have enabled it to scale quickly, outshining capital-heavy competitors in half the time.

Read the full interview for insights into direct primary care fees, how $10 office visits are possible, telemedicine, insurance, and employer offerings.

FULL INTERVIEW

Visit Med Lion for more information on their direct primary care services and physician opportunities. Alternative medical practices are growing, explore online to find a concierge doctor or direct primary care practice. A concierge doctor or direct primary care physician may be right for you.

About Concierge Medicine Journal

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) curates breaking concierge medicine news, and editorial opinion on a wide variety of topics relevant to the practice of Concierge Medicine.

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