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A group of doctors called the American College of Private Physicians (ACPP) recently applied for 501(c)3 tax exempt status and is creating a network of independent doctors to share best practices and grow concierge medicine.

Dr. Thomas LaGrelius, a Torrance-based primary care physician, chair of the ACPP’s steering committee, told PNN that the business plan and bylaws of the new organization are unique and were developed from lessons learned in the past building numerous other physician organizations, some of which were more successful than others.

“What we seek to do is enroll as many active, established, successful direct practice doctors from all the modes of direct practice into one national organization, vet them, credential them, study their results, and make them available not only to individuals who are purchasing our services independently, but to patients connected to employers, unions and government buyers of health care,” said LaGrelius.

"ACPP will be member run with an elected board and it will provide valuable services such as national vetted referral networks, new associate search services, locum tenens search services, discount insurance and many other services unique to the needs of direct practice doctors," he said. "It will be rolled out as membership grows."

Dr. Marcy Zwelling-Aamot, a Los Alamitos-based internist and clinical care specialist, who is a member of the board of directors at the ACPP, said the purpose of the group is to solidify and accredit doctors’ practices.

“We will do what we can to market the concept,” Dr. Zwelling-Aamot told PNN. “Our hope is by validating and accrediting practices, patients will be reassured that they are getting the quality of care they expect from concierge medicine.”

The committee still needs to develop the quality issues that will be used to validate practices, she said.

Dr. Zwelling-Aamot said the group estimates there are about 10,000 physicians in private practice—roughly 1% of the nation’s doctors’ workforce—who practice concierge medicine. The exact number is unknown.

In concierge medicine, patients pay a monthly or annual fee for enhanced services, including same-day appointments, 24/7 access to their doctor, email consultations and other personalized care. To make time for patients, doctors carry a smaller patient load.

“The incentive for doctors to get involved with the ACPP is to get accredited and work with colleagues of the same mind-set,” Dr. Zwelling-Aamot said. “Every doctor wants to know they are doing the right thing.”

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Dr. Tom LaGrelius

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Dr. Tom LaGrelius - Skypark Preferred Family Care seeks to provide coordinated, detailed, personalized, quality care to its members in an environment of quick easy access and high level service. Patients can feel confident that their...

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