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January 15, 2009


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Only 10% of med school grads choose primary care (and financially, who can blame ‘em?). Enter Executive Healthcare Services Kevin Kelleher, whose business model allows for proactive care and prevention, while reducing the volume of patients he must treat to be a viable business. It’s a throwback to days when docs had enough time to get to know their patients. He even penned an article entitled “Do You Remember Marcus Welby?” (It was better than his previous work, “Doogie Howser: We Need More Kid Doctors.”)


In ’04, Kevin and long-time business partner Mark Vasiliadis switched to “retainer medicine” (aka, concierge medicine). While most primary care docs need to treat 3000 patients a year to sustain themselves, Kevin says he sees 300, charges a monthly fee, and has the luxury of time: to discuss treatment with patients; coordinate follow-up and prevention; and if necessary, “guilt people” into doing the right thing for their health. This year he launched a new corporate care plan, which combines a standard 2-3 hour executive physical with ongoing, coordinated, and personalized care. He brought in former Inova Fairfax internal medicine chief John Mamana to lead the effort.


Kevin enlightens Tyson Chadaz, a third-year GW med student rotating through local primary care centers. To preempt concerns over leaving 2000 patients without medical care, Kevin continues to operate his original old-fashioned residential practice. Ultimately, he feels the retainer model will be one reason med students choose primary care again. With more doctors in the field, seeing fewer patients won’t be a problem, and care can return to being about quality and not quantity. Of course, having fewer patients doesn’t mean less excitement. Kevin recently arranged care for a patient on a sailboat off the shores of Virgin Gorda by perfectly timing the arrival of a smaller boat carrying a local doctor and supplies, providing “a boat call.”


We wonder from this photo if Kevin’s also tried to putt with a stethoscope. Even with personalized follow-up, he doesn’t have to hire more help because staff time is not wasted fighting with insurance or fretting over keeping a full schedule. Only one employee handles billing, compared to the three or four at other practices. Despite all the business acumen, his sports choices are suspect: A native Buffalonian, he intends to see the Bills win a Super Bowl. This explains why he’s a proponent of quality healthcare and longevity.

Medical writer Curtis Raye hopes you’ll have an even better story idea.  Send it to Curtis@bisnow.com

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