As a former vice president of the Boston-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Charles Kilo, M.D., prefers to focus more on improving medical outcomes than on providing concierge-type services to patients.
As CEO of the year-old GreenField Health System in Portland, Ore., Kilo views his upfront, $350 annual retainer as a down payment on repairs to a broken primary care system rather than a ticket to better service. In raising capital for the effort, "We didn't want to go to venture capitalists. We couldn't go to health systems because we wanted to be an independent group," Kilo says.
"We decided to start from scratch and see what we can do," he says. "Nice care is nice, but better care is better. Charging $10,000 to $20,000 per year per patient (as at least one Seattle-area practice does) isn't going to benefit healthcare as a whole."
The first GreenField-affiliated practice, called inTandem, opened in Portland last June with four physicians and one nurse practitioner, all of whom share Kilo's philosophy.
"Our whole foundation is based on quality improvement," Kilo says. "Our intent is to be an incredibly accountable system."