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Hospitals and physicians develop new clinical trials in their offices along with other service lines as a means to attract new patients and revenue. For hospitals, however, much of healthcare now happens outside of the hospital, outside its purview and brand dominance.

— Maria K Todd, MHA PhD


Today: Adding Stem Cell and Hormone Replacement Therapy to Your Concierge Medical Practice

Each weekday morning, Maria Todd shares a useful tip to cogitate during your morning java break.

Today’s Musing

Adding Stem Cell and Hormone Replacement Therapy to Your Concierge Medical Practice

Hospitals and physicians develop new service lines as a means to attract new patients and revenue. For hospitals, however, much of healthcare now happens outside of the hospital, outside its purview and brand dominance.

Stem cell, bio-mimetic hormone replacement therapy and other personalized medicine services are three ways in which an increasing number of physicians are expanding the services they offer in their office. These physicians are not only concierge physicians, but also include international medicine, orthopedics and neurosurgeons, cardiovascular specialists, ophthalmologists, rheumatologists and oncologists.

Advocates of the ACA (“ObamaCare”) support hospitals that widen their care offerings to additional settings and specialties to ensure that they can provide the breadth of very basic, entitlement health services required to participate in an ACO program so they don’t get left out. But what about the physicians who don’t want to join the ACO and want greater control over the quality of care of the patients who choose to receive their elective care in a more personalized setting?

To determine if your practice will support and sustain an additional service line such as stem cell treatments, hormone replacement therapies and other personalized medicine services, your have to look at several things:

  • the relationships you have established with your current patients
  • the market’s appeal for new approaches, technologies and treatments
  • legal restrictions on the use of certain drugs, treatments and therapeutic interventions
  • a target market large enough to sustain the cost to introduce the new service line
  • a target market with enough disposable income, potential therapeutic benefit from the therapy, enough interest to be motivated to learn more, and that can afford to shop with you.

The depth of service lines often comes down to the needs of the patients in the area. General surgery, general cardiovascular care, and general orthopedics are specialties that tend to perform well almost anywhere. But the decision to expand into other service lines, such as concierge medicine, stem cell and regenerative medicine, and hormone replacement and other anti-aging services will depend on the population’s needs and competitors in the area.

When you plan to add a service line such stem cell, concierge medicine and HRT, you must consider a launch strategy designed not only for improved clinical care and outcomes, but also with an eye to the manner in which the practice can market these services to patients without sounding too sales oriented. Simply because you have it available for sale doesn’t mean that your patients will buy it.

I recently met with a supplier of amniotic stem cells. They are working on a program whereby patients can qualify without credit score minimums for stem cell treatment funding, for up to $2000. The company will also supply physicians with up to $1000 in frozen injectable product at no charge, so that doctors can set up a trial program, see how it goes and if they want to continue at low risk.

The appeal is that the amniotic cells are less manipulated than other stem cells such as adipose, and less controversial than embryonic lines. Research reports claim that amniotic stem cells derived from donated amniotic fluid could be stored in banks and used for therapies and in research. Even after growing in culture for some time, the reprogrammed cells were able to develop into functioning cells of many different types, including liver, bone and nerve cells. They also maintained their pluripotency even after being frozen and thawed.

The results suggest that stem cells derived from amniotic fluid could be used in treatments for a wide range of diseases. Donated cells could be stored in banks and used in treatments, as well as in disease research and drug screening. A previous study estimated that cells from 150 donors would provide a match for 38% of the population.

One supplier recently awarded us an exclusive contract to help their client orthopedic and other physicians build their launch strategy and their programs. Similar to all other pharmaceutical regulations. The supplier cannot pay for our services, so they do what they can for physicians while staying inside the regulatory compliance limits. Contact me if you want to learn more.

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