At the suggestion and request of several patients, in 2003, I began a retainer practice, which, I integrated into the larger model of my current practice. These patients expressed the desire for a practice that would fit their own personal needs and lifestyles. I designed a program similar to many of those developing rapidly across the country for a yearly fee.
More and more care physicians are retiring or leaving medicine for other opportunities. Additionally, fewer and fewer residents and students are choosing primary care due to its meager reimbursement and are instead opting for the higher paying subspecialities. These factors combine to produce a shrinking pool of well trained Internists. Those that remain are mainly in large group offices and are usually pressured to see as many patients as possible . I am part of a growing trend of Internists to offer a better option: a small, private office with helpful and courteous staff, very little waiting and no rushing. All for a fee that is not much more than most people's monthly cable bill. Many participants in the Retainer Program are able to pay for it by using their Health Savings Account (HSA) or a similar program through their employer.
We are currently in the process of actively expanding the Retainer Practice and are converting to a strictly Retainer-based practice. Only 400 patients will be accepted into the program.