The University of Miami Health System has launched an executive health and concierge medicine program that will provide personalized and expedited care to its members.
Stephen V. Avallone, M.D., director of executive health and concierge medicine, launched the program alongside Cristina I. Pravia, associate director of executive health and concierge medicine, both of whom previously launched a similar program at Cleveland Clinic.
Executive health and concierge medicine are two different models of care. Executive health involves a single visit of several hours with a set fee. The UHealth executive program consists of a thorough physical examination, blood work, cardiovascular screening and pulmonary evaluation, and consultations with a nutritionist and an exercise physiologist.
By contrast, concierge medicine is a membership model in which patients pay an annual fee not only for an annual expansive physical exam, but also for 24/7 phone and email support toward patient health education and annual exam health goals. The smaller concierge practice panel and substantial electronic communication connection translates into easier scheduling of appointments with their physician.
“Drs. Avallone and Pravia will help us make UHealth a leading destination for top-quality executive and personalized health care with a global reach,” said Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., chief clinical officer of UHealth, and professor and chair of the Department of Urology. “Their expertise will make our programs second to none.”
A physician in a typical practice might have 2,000 to 3,000 patients; a concierge practice physician might have 300 to 600 patients. This smaller and more connected practice model builds stronger doctor-patient relationships, providing health care in a more efficient, effective manner. This results in stronger patient-doctor relationships and more informed recommendations that result in better outcomes for the patient.
“The individuals we see in executive health are high achievers who have a lot of stress in their lives, but only about half of them are business executives,” Dr. Avallone said. “The other half may be teachers or firefighters — people in other professions with long, demanding work schedules who don’t have a lot of free time for doctor’s appointments — and international patients who fly in to Miami knowing they can complete their examinations and tests in a single day.”
If an examination does turn up a medical issue, the program can arrange to have that patient meet with a specialist.
“That’s the advantage of being at an academic medical center, said Dr. Pravia. “The patients don’t have to be referred out and spend weeks going from appointment to appointment.”