Despite the complications of a physician's practice, he wasn't entirely ready to walk away from it. Besides, he has raised four children. Graf kept talking to patients about the full-time concierge model, and he got differing opinions. Some patients wanted to remain with him, and others didn't.
"I have had a very long relationship with many of these patients," he says. "Offering the hybrid program was the best way to continue to care for all my patients and also ensure my autonomy, while providing my patients with real choices. I have a long way to go in medicine."
While many internal medicine physicians are exploring the hybrid model, specialists are only beginning to embrace the concept, he says.
Graf didn't reveal the number of his patients in concierge or hybrid models. "The number of patients in the Concierge plan is increasing slowly but surely," Graf says. "The hybrid model is working out well. I still have a greater number of patients in my traditional practice."
Graf anticipates that more patients may choose concierge and like the hybrid approach since healthcare reform may mean "many millions more patients and a major shortage of primary care MDs," as well as far fewer medical students choosing primary care as their career path.
"I'm not looking to work harder," Graf says with a laugh. "I want to work better for people. I feel I'm practicing good, old-fashioned medicine and that fits right with everybody."