The medical concierge market in the United States is expected to reach $13.3 billion by 2030, from $6.1 billion in 2022, according to reports from Research and Markets.
What is Concierge Medicine? It is a subscription-based model of primary care medicine. Most patients pay membership fees at a concierge practice, typically between $1,500 and $2,400 per year – or $125 to $200 per month, for more direct and easier access to their doctor.
In Youngsville, Dr. DeeDee Luke has been practicing concierge medicine since 2016. She said moving from a traditional practice to a concierge-like practice has helped her feel more connected to overall health and wellness planning. well-being of his patients.
“I was able to make a bigger difference in their health trajectory,” Luke said. “I have relationships with my patients that go beyond just being a number.”
In Baton Rouge, Dr. Gunjan Raina, who started practicing concierge medicine five years ago, agreed.
“The best way to tell people is that it’s like old-fashioned medicine when a doctor takes care of the mom, the dad, the children. I really care about my patients,” Raina said. “For me, it’s a real connection with the patients.”
Raina says she takes time with her patients.
“At the end of the day, patients want someone to talk to. Taking that time with patients is why I got into medicine,” said Raina, who practiced traditional medicine in Baton Rouge for about 12 years before changing her practice style.
“I was seeing a lot of patients and I had a nurse practitioner. I could have continued to develop this practice, but I didn’t want to practice treadmill medicine,” she said. “Now I serve a smaller volume of patients.”
Raina, who is still affiliated with Baton Rouge General, said most primary care doctors, depending on how long they’ve been doctors, “have a panel of 4,000 to 10,000 patients,” and that in the concierge model, most physicians “get off between 250 and 600 patients.”
She said one of the benefits of being able to spend a lot more time with her patients is that it reduces the number of tests needed. She is able to sit and talk with patients to connect the dots of what is going on.
“I don’t neglect the specialists. They are important, but I will do everything we can together and sort it out,” Raina said. “I focus a lot on food and obesity. I think that’s the root of most of our problems.
Beverly Brooks Thompson has been Raina’s patient since September 2020. The two met 18 months earlier when they were both interviewed on a radio show.
“I kept asking him questions. ‘What, what are you doing? How it works? said Thompson.
When Thompson started having health issues, she decided it was time for a change.
“I was tired of doctors not listening to me and doctors not talking to each other,” she said. “I’m not superfluous, but Dr. Raina has changed my life. She looked me up and down and said, “I can fix that. A lot of people would have been offended, but I wasn’t.
Thompson has since lost more than 70 pounds.
“He’s not a weight loss doctor, but I said, ‘Let’s go.’ Dr. Raina played air traffic control for my medical situation. Kidding aside, she made a baseline and said, “Let’s get your labs and work where they should be,” Thompson said. I have relatively serious health issues. What I love is that I can text her and say, “I think that’s a problem,” and she’ll get back to me right away.
Thompson said she believed the change in approach saved her life.
“My body was a mess. I would go to doctors and say, “Something is seriously wrong,” Thompson said. “When my mother-in-law said, ‘You’re going to have a stroke. What is going on? I picked up the phone and called Dr. Raina.
Thompson conceded that she wasn’t sure it was Raina’s tough, no-nonsense approach, but it worked for her.
“It’s new-school medicine with old-school practices. She has time to dive. Not that the other doctors aren’t fantastic, but they have so many deadlines and billings and whatever,” Thompson said. “For me, it was worth every penny – and I don’t have extra pennies. I don’t think it’s a luxury for the rich. Ultimately, it saves me money.