First Private Stimulus Money? — PHR kickbacks

Posted on August 5, 2011 I Written By

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

I think this story detailing an interesting business model for personal health records (PHR) adoption may be a telling sign of the times.  It appears that a crafty company has finally figured out how to partner with docs by pitching in some sweet kickback dough and calling it “unlimited MMR stimulus money”.  No government involvement required!  You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

From the story:

“Any health care professional, including dentists, veterinarians and homeopathic specialists, can offer their patients a 30-day free trial of the premier MyMedicalRecords.com Personal Health Record ( www.mmrvideos.com ). If the patient upgrades to the full-featured account, the doctor receives 25% of the monthly subscriber fees in the first year and ongoing residuals for as long as the account is maintained. Payments are designed to reimburse the costs of helping health care professionals set up and update a patient’s PHR, reducing the cost of communicating with patients. “

The announcement makes one wonder how successful PHRs would be — considering the failure of giants like Google Health — if doctors were really encouraging their patients to participate in one.  Apparently from the above description, they would actually have to provide the work in setting up and updating the account, which makes it a bit more onerous.  However, it does seem like an amazing little marketing experiment in which the doctors, who have far more clout with their patients, ultimately drive traffic to the PHR business.  We’ll have to watch and see how it turns out.

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.