Concierge physician contracts under fire

With 4,000 to 8,000 fee-based practices so far, concierge practices continue to gain in popularity throughout the country.

And as more physicians look to profit from the model, one of the movement's leaders, MDVIP, is under fire for what some competitors argue is an unfair monopoly in several U.S. cities, including Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta and Houston, the Boston Globe reported.

According to the article, SignatureMD, with just 70 physicians nationwide, filed suit in federal court alleging that the 700-physician MDVIP violates federal antitrust laws by requiring its doctors to sign noncompete agreements that effectively block competition. SignatureMD, based in California, currently has no doctors in Massachusetts, and MDVIP's 10-year physician contracts, which prohibit doctors from competing for another two years, leave very few Baystate doctors left to target, Matthew Jacobson, chief executive officer and founder of SignatureMD, told the newspaper.

"We're using litigation to try to break monopolies in key markets," Jacobson told the Globe. "If MDVIP is doing their job well, they shouldn't need a non-compete."

An MDVIP spokesperson, Nancy Udell, declined to comment on the company's contracts, but claimed that the lawsuit was in retaliation to a previous lawsuit MDVIP brought against SignatureMD over stolen trade secrets. SignatureMD denied the allegations, while both parties reported confidence they would prevail in their current battle.

To learn more:
- read the article