Now that we have the starting of a dynamic team, it’s time to brainstorm on a functional clinical structure for IHC - not only the theoretical membership structure for our non-existent clinic, but also finding a location plus developing an environment suitable for the headache population.
Every conversation with the team, legal counsel, patients, and friends willing to hear my latest news started with an explanation of why headache and facial pain patients are unique, what I do, and the problems within the current structure of treatment for these charming folk! Then we talk about membership models.
The model we discuss time and time again is direct care. Direct primary care clinics usually base their membership pricing on age, though, which doesn’t work for headache patients (refractory headaches can occur in youths). Basing membership pricing on severity, however, is subjective and the structure becomes too complicated. We had a green-yellow-red-white and purple (graduated) membership scheme worked out which never made it beyond the drawing board. Structuring based on time and expected graduation, would push everyone through the same program length taking away the individuality of management. None of these models would work.
Is it in the best interest of the member to do free membership as long as they signed a mutual respect agreement, which would then allow for a-la-carte options so that they potentially could be reimbursed by insurance? The ultimate answer would be no, because it limits patients reaching out secondarily for financial reasons and makes expected costs unpredictable.
We’re working on perfecting our model still. Your ideas, concerns, suggestions, and insights are welcome!