Fam Pract Manag. 2001 Jun;8(6):13.
To the Editor:
I read “14 Alternative Practice Styles” [February 2001, page 33] with interest and wondered where I could get more information about practicing as a “free-range physician.” It seems like you’d need more than a car, laptop and cell phone. How do free-range physicians handle billing and malpractice insurance? How does a call schedule work? How do they promote themselves to the patient community?
You’ll need to submit your own charges and arrange your own malpractice insurance. You could field all of your own telephone calls after hours but refer patients needing immediate care to a local urgent care center, ER or hospitalist. A call group that covers each other’s vacations would allow you some time away. I have known some doctors who use a local “ask-a-nurse” as their first-line call coverage and then take the calls that exceed the ability of the ask-a-nurse service. You might decide to find a partner to go into free-range practice with you.
To build your patient base, you should promote yourself like other physicians in private practice. Consider the phone book, print ads, billboards and radio spots. Word-of-mouth and physician/nurse referrals will remain important sources of new patients. Long-term relationships with facilities such as nursing homes will also generate significant patient volume.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Send your comments to email@example.com. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.
Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions
More in FPM
Related Topic Searches
MOST RECENT ISSUE
Access the latest issue of Family Practice Management