With uncertainty in the healthcare market and questions about medical reimbursement, physicians are looking to diversify their service offerings, taking a proactive approach to patient care. In addition, an emerging trend is to evolve into a “concierge physician”, which allows clinicians to supplement their revenue by offering an annual fee-based option in addition to billing.
Concierge medicine has grown to 5,000 practitioners and according to the American Academy of Private Physicians, embraces the philosophy of “improving the quality of patient care and care coordination, strengthening the bond between patients and their physicians, and empowering patients as healthcare consumers.”
The majority of concierge physicians are primary care or family physicians and adding ultrasound to their practice enables them to take a proactive approach in patient care by providing ultrasound exams such as screenings, biopsies or procedural applications. When selecting an ultrasound system for the office the following tips may be helpful in the decision making process:
- Determine the mix of the practice: Ultrasound screenings such as AAA or CIMT, biopsies requiring needle guide assistance, OB/GYN ultrasound
- Size, workflow, image management: Portable ultrasound vs cart based, online or “cloud” image archival?
- Ergonomics and ease-of-use: Who will be scanning? How comfortable is the person with ultrasound? Will all of the features on the system be utilized or is simple better?
- Education and post-sale support: Does the vendor offer ultrasound workshops? On-site training? Warranty, service or repair of the equipment?
It’s also important to include each person in the office when making the decision. Ultrasound can be a personal choice; sonographers like spending time capturing the perfect image and using all features available, as opposed to physicians performing procedures and having little time to spend with knobs and buttons. Most importantly, however, is talking about the future of the practice and ensuring the ultrasound investment will be able to handle the growth and any future clinical specialties.
Click here to watch a video on the benefit of ultrasound with needle guided assistance.