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The Subscription Healthcare Model and Why It Works

September 6, 2022
The Subscription Healthcare Model and Why It Works

KindlyMD's pain management doctors are somewhat unique in a few ways. For example, they offer quality care to interested patients on a subscription model. The subscription model of healthcare is based on charging a monthly membership fee – or subscription – in exchange for unlimited in-office healthcare.

Our Utah pain clinics did not invent subscription-based healthcare; it is not something our pain management physicians can lay exclusive claim to. Rather, we've seen the model work in settings across the country so decided to adopt the model for our clinics. We also take insurance for some services.

How Subscription-Based Healthcare Works

The subscription healthcare model treats healthcare services like any others that could be utilized on a prescription basis. Clinics vary in their approaches, with some charging a membership fee plus a monthly subscription on top of that. Others charge a flat annual fee.

Regardless of fee structure, all standard in-office services are included in the subscription. In a primary care setting, parents can take their children in for well-child visits and general consultations without paying anything additional out-of-pocket. Pain clinics that utilize the subscription model work in much the same way.

If any special tests or out-of-office procedures are required, they are charged at a separate fee. But all routine care in the office is covered by the subscription. Patients can consult with their physicians, PAs, or NPs as frequently as they like at no additional charge.

Providers and Patients Have More Freedom

Subscription-based healthcare is ideal in the pain management arena because it gives both healthcare providers and patients more freedom. In a traditional fee-for-service setting, providers are locked into a formula that requires them to see so many patients in a day in order to cover the bottom line.

This is why it's not so unusual to only spend 10 to 15 minutes with your doctor in a traditional setting. The doctor listens to what you have to say, writes a prescription, bids you farewell, and moves on to the next patient.

Subscription-based medicine isn't so structured. It is not married to tightly controlled schedules that only allow 10 to 15 minutes per patient. With the subscription model, providers and patients can spend as much time as they need to while trying to figure things out. They can have good discussions. Questions can be asked and answered.

Pain Clinics Need That Freedom

The freedom to spend time with patients and explore alternative treatments is a big deal for pain clinics. As you know, pain is generally a symptom of some underlying condition. Yet it can be exceedingly difficult to pinpoint. What's more, pain can be very difficult to manage on a long-term basis.

Pain management physicians need the freedom to be able to explore every avenue with their patients. They need the time to talk things through. Working on a subscription model makes that possible if, for no other reason, than providers not being bound by insurance company guidelines.

A Growing Model

For the record, subscription-based medicine isn't entirely new. It has been explored by providers for more than two decades. Just prior to the COVID pandemic, the model began coming into its own in the primary care arena. More physicians, having seen how their colleagues had done so well with the model since the early 2000s, decided to give it a try.

Post COVID, subscription-based healthcare continues to grow thanks to higher insurance premiums, a greater emphasis on telemedicine, and other factors. We think it's right for pain clinics. It is a model that works, and one that is especially relevant to long-term pain management. We hope it works for you.

By KindlyMD

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