Dr. Mark Niedfeldt and his ModernMed Practice in Mequon are bringing a new approach to health care to the Milwaukee area.
With Niedfeldt’s delivery model, the patient pays to have access to care 24/7, house or workplace visits, same-day appointments and a great deal of one-on-one patient attention.
“What we offer here is a very different patient experience from what a lot of people are used to,” said Niedfeldt. “What we try to do is give people a much better experience in the sense of extended appointment times, a focus on prevention, and the big thing is access. Patients in my practice have my cell phone number, they have my email address. They can get a hold of me 24/7.”
Patients of Niedfeldt pay an annual membership fee of $1,800. Additional discounts are available for family members, Niedfeldt said.
For that membership fee, patients receive a higher quality of patient care, including same day or next day appointments, home or office visits, no waiting rooms, annual comprehensive exams, sports medicine services, direct access to the doctor at any time, and access to their health records online, Niedfeldt said.
According to Niedfeldt, a typical primary care doctor sees 2,300 to 3,000 patients per year. Because of his more comprehensive service, Niedfeldt has a maximum patient load of 300 to 400 people.
“The membership fee allows me to cover the cost of seeing fewer patients, but it also allows me to concentrate on each of my patients as individuals and provide them with more undivided attention,” Niedfeldt said.
Niedfeldt’s office has no real waiting room, and appointments are scheduled farther apart to allow more time with each patient.
“One of the nice things about my clinic is that as the doctor I am here for my patients,” Niedfeldt said. “They can call me when they are feeling sick. I can come to their home or their office or get them an appointment quickly during a plane lay-over or something. I can be really flexible with appointment times that fit the patient’s schedule.”
Niedfeldt is an independent doctor, and he said he also benefits by not being owned by any particular health care system.
“It is nice, because I am not limited in using specialists from anywhere,” he said. “If (patients) need a specialist, I try to get them to the best specialist for their particular issue. Plus, there is the added benefit that, because of my type of practice, I can accompany them to their specialist, try to understand their options and help them understand the things that are going on. That’s a big deal for most patients. They really like that.”
ModernMed Practice has an office manager and a medical assistant on staff. Niedfeldt may consider expanding in the practice in the future, provided that the “home-like” atmosphere and personal attention remains the main focus.
“When my practice is full, I would really like to have another physician join the practice and do the same thing I do. I think there are a number of advantages to that,” Niedfeldt said. “I don’t see this growing to a clinic of eight or nine doctors though. Again, the priority is to keep that individualized attention.”
While his clinic is one of a kind in the Milwaukee area, his “concierge physician” model has become popular in retirement communities and in winter travel communities.
According to Niedfeldt, this type of clinic is beginning to see the most growth in areas such as Florida, California and Arizona.
“This type of practice is spreading because people are reaching the point where they are paying more out of pocket for their health care, but they aren’t seeing the added value,” he said. “With this model, you put the extra money in and you get the added value.”