Concierge care: Comeback of old-school medicine

Doctors make housecalls, giving patients direct access to 24 hours a day

By Melanie Lawson - The Morning Show anchor
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla - Toppy Carter was born with cerebral palsy but he doesn't let much keep him from accomplishing his goals.

"For the most part I'm pretty healthy," said Carter.

He's got an official badge from the sheriff's office, a college degree and he's even written a book.  But getting to and from his doctor's appointment used to be a struggle.

"We have to get up get dressed get in the wheelchair, go to the office for about an hour," said Carter

Then he does it all over again to come home.  His wheelchair is not the easiest to navigate and this inconvenience of getting to the doctor came at a cost.

"Before I started seeing Toppy, he was being admitted to the hospital on a fairly regular basis," said Stephens.

Dr. Brian Stephens is Carter's personal health concierge. Stephens comes to visit Carter for check ups and whenever he needs medical care.

"Our goal for what we do is being available to our patients. I've learned that good quality care is about time. It's about listening and it's about dealing with issues and problems while they're still small and keeping people healthy," said Stephens.

Stephens is also just a phone call away, but if he's needed he can bring the office to you.  

I can do everything from EKGs, X-rays, lab services, pretty much anything that can be done in a doctors office I can do in someone's home or on a regular visit, said Stephens.

Stephens says he's noticing younger, healthier patients are using his services, especially with people paying more for their health care. He says if you pay on the front end you save in the long run.

"If you have a good primary care doctor that can take care of 98 percent of your issues and keep you out of specialist offices and out of the hospitals, you can save a tremendous amount of money," said Stephens

You can use your insurance to cover your medical costs, but the concierge service runs an extra $2,000 a year. Medicare or insurance pays for the rest. Stephens' practice is called Little Black Bag Medical.  For more information call 904-371-4051.

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