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Retainer practice model for uninsured patients at OHSU

In 2008, two family medicine clinics at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) began to offer a retainer practice model for uninsured patients.  The retainer, or boutique, or concierge, model has received quite a bit of media attention, but in the context of an elite service for the well-to-do, insured patient.  The authors were not able to turn up literature about other retainer practice models for the uninsured.  What does the OHSU model look like?  Uninsured patients calling in to make appointments were given the option of paying a monthly fee for 6 or 12 months to be part of the Access Assured retainer practice.  The monthly fee was in addition to a per-visit fee (discounted on a sliding scale based on the patient’s income).  These two articles examine the initial experience of the retainer practice and patient opinions about it.

Sources: Saultz, J.W., and others.  Uninsured patient opinions about a reduced-fee retainer program at academic health center clinicsJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine;24(3):304-312, May/June 2011; and, Saultz, J.W., and others.  Access Assured: a pilot program to finance primary care for uninsured patients using a monthly enrollment feeJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine;23(3):393-401, May/June 2010.  Posted by the AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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