How about this?
Only agree to an interview if you BOTH get to decide to establish a doctor-patient relationship. In other words, you are interviewing them, too, and if you don't like them, your receptionist can call tomorrow and say "Dr. Jones will not accept you as a new patient at this time."
While working in a small multispecialty group, I would do initial meetings. If we just talked, mostly they wanted to see me in person and find out if I really knew how to take care of them with the diseases they had. Most of these were people who had moved into the area and heard my name on the street. I charged them according to time or maybe a level 3 if I looked at thyroid signs or poor circulation in their legs etc. If they brought their lists and took more time they got charged a higher level. Remember that if we take more than 50% of the appt to talk about medical or psychological issues, we can charge by time as long as long as included in note: Spent X minutes; over 1/2 was spent reviewing concerns of X or counselling about Y or whatever.
The unhappy result is that no matter what we charge we only get a portion of it--a discounted fee. For Medicare patients, this is often less than 1/2 of the charge.
God still performs miracles but sometimes allows us to do the preliminary work.<br /><br />IAmdMOM
I have been involved with several practices in the past where the patients were largely enrolled in HMOS's and were only able to change their doctors once a year during open enrollment (or in special circumstances like birth of child or doctor leaves practice). As a result, patients really were not free to see multiple doctors throughout the year to find their ideal pcp.
We handled this by offering 5 minute "HELLO" visits for those patients. We met them, introduced ourselves, spoke about our medical training and areas of experience and expertise and briefly discussed our philosophy and general rules of operation. A big one for me was telling them that I did not generally prescribe new prescriptions or antibiotics over the phone without a patient visit. This process although still timeconsuming was still good from my standpoint because it 'weeded out' patients that had different expectations from that which I was willing to provide.
I should also add that no medical care was actually done at the hello visit which was therefore not documented. If they needed refills or we had to do or examine anything we converted the visit to a regular billable encounter.
By the way even though I am an internist and my official org is the ACP, I want to say that the AAFP has a wonderful, wonderful practice management tool box for those of us who are minding the store.
Bravo AAFP. When I make some an income, I will donate a huge chunk of money to it--all the money I would have spend on "practice consulting firms." This is what a professional organization should do for its members!