Zocdoc scraps subscription pricing model: 4 things to know

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Zocdoc, a service that allows patients to schedule medical appointments online, is getting rid of its subscription model and opting to charge providers using a per-booking fee, CNBC reports.

Four things to know:   

1. This marks the company's first pricing-model change since 2012. The move is part of Zocdoc's attempt to push into less-populated regions, where providers don't see enough patients to justify paying the flat fee, CNBC notes.

"To lower the barrier to entry for more providers, Zocdoc's new pricing model will shift from a flat fee to one that fairly reflects the number of new patient bookings each provider receives," Zocdoc founder and CEO Oliver Kharraz, MD, wrote in an email to New York subscribers.

2. The change will roll out on a state-by-state basis, and has already gone into effect in five states.

"The results have exceeded our expectations," Dr. Kharraz said in the email, referencing the new pricing model's initial rollout. "In our first state, we have grown overall provider participation on Zocdoc by more than 80 percent, dramatically improving patients' choice and access to care."

3. Zocdoc expects that half of its participating providers in New York will pay the same or less under the change. A typical Zocdoc annual subscription costs $3,600 per physician, according to CNBC.

4. However, physicians told CNBC the change may not be sustainable for their practices, since Zocdoc will still charge a booking fee even if patients do not show up to their appointments. For one New York-based dermatologist, Zocdoc's cost would increase seven times.

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