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Total Health Law Primer: 4 Tips for Setting Up Your Primary Care Practice

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Video Transcript

Kevin Little: Hi, I am Kevin Little. This Total Health Law video primer summarizes four pitfalls to avoid in setting up your direct primary care or concierge medical practice.

Do not overpromise. A natural tendency in trying to obtain patients for your new practice is to overpromise what you will do for them, including promises that use the word unlimited. For regulatory and business reasons, it is actually very important to specifically limit the scope of the services and amenities that you are providing. Have your healthcare lawyer carefully prepare contract for your patients that states what your membership base practice provides and what it does not provide. Then ensure that your website does not contradict it.

Do not charge for services covered by Medicare. Physicians who are participating providers in Medicare cannot accept private payments for Medicare-covered services. This means the membership fee cannot include additional charges for items or services that Medicare usually covers. If you do not opt out of Medicare, be very careful about accepting payment for concierge services that could be considered Medicare-covered services. It is a crucial issue.

Make the patient contract comprehensive but not unwieldy. It is important that your patient contract be properly structured for compliance and business purposes, and perhaps address or include exhibits that address practical points such as patient consents, notice of privacy policies, patient acknowledgements, financial authorizations, etc. You and your healthcare council should be very careful to include what is needed to protect your practice, but without making the contract too cumbersome.

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