TunesDay, and I had something happen yesterday that brought Cyndi Lauper‘s version of a song by the The Brains to mind. I’ll state up front that today’s rant is a bit more personal than usual but I’m feeling…I don’t know…jilted? I’ll explain why in a minute, but first Cyndi. If nothing else, watch the video for the incredible 80’s hair:
So why this song today? Our primary doctor, whom we love, is doing what many in the field are doing: going concierge. Concierge medicine is where you pay an annual fee directly to the physician and in return you get better access due to limited patient loads, the doc’s cell phone and email, and some services included. No, insurance doesn’t cover it. I guess if you spent a lot of time with your physician this would be worth the several thousand dollars per person it costs each year. For those of us who are, fortunately, relatively healthy it means we’re going to find another doctor.
How does it make me feel? Like the lyrics say:
We swore each other everlasting love
She said well yeah I know but when
We did – there was one thing we weren’t
Really thinking of and that’s money
Money changes everything
Money, money changes everything
It’s not just medical practices, folks. When any customer engages with our business there is an implicit bond formed. I’m not so naive to think that it’s not centered around services provided in return for compensation, but the best businesses get well beyond that. Great brands are built upon strong customer relationships. You’re not looking for a date with your customers, you’re looking to get married. You also don’t want that marriage to end over something as simple as money. After all, what a customer does or doesn’t have today could be different tomorrow. Hopefully the bond is stronger than that.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it. It’s easier and more cost-effective to retain a customer than to find new ones. Blowing off customers, especially active, loyal ones, makes no sense to me at all. What if the practice loses half its patients and can’t replace the revenues via fees? Yes, I’m sure on paper the possibility of fewer visits, fewer insurance hassles, and better profitability is appealing. Money does change everything, including our ability to sort out the underlying issues and think clearly. I wish them well and hope their thinking in this case ends up making sense. We’ll see.
Anyone know of a great doctor?