Extending Access to Primary Care Cuts Costs 10%

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media , October 15, 2012

The Anne Arundel Physician Group looks for ways to be creative around this issue, says Czapp, because it recognizes that the need for extended hours varies for each of its 10 offices scattered around the greater Annapolis area.

"So the total number of hours doesn't change, you just stagger your schedule," says Czapp. "We try to say to our physicians, okay, look at your lifestyle and what works for you, and let's say if once a week it's better for you to start seeing your patients earlier at 7am and to leave earlier, then we say, ‘do that!'"

It's a rare type of person, Czapp says, who refuses to work any hours other than Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In terms of the day-to-day business of treating patients, Czapp notes that quick cases—the kind that might otherwise wind up going to an urgent care center, take so little to do, and require so little overhead—that doctors find them refreshing.

Despite the appeal of opening your practice up to "minute clinic"-style appointments, there is the business imperative. To compete with urgent care centers, practices must bring in enough business to make up for any additional possible labor costs and overhead of extended office hours.

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