Health Care Hospitality
ExclusiveMD isn’t your average doctor’s office. There are no sterile white walls or cold exam tables.
Instead of uncomfortable chairs and outdated magazines, the waiting room has a large comfortable sofa, a big screen television and a beverage area with hot coffee and water for waiting patients. Inside the exam rooms, each patient receives a warm robe and blanket and can relax on the heated exam chairs.
Dr. Michael Catausan has designed the entire Leawood office, which is located in the Mission Farms development, to be a comfortable and relaxing place.
“Anything we can do to make (our patients) more comfortable, we try to do that,” he said.
But patients don’t have to just see the doctor in his new office, the area’s first concierge doctor also makes house calls.
“At exclusiveMD our patients don’t wait on the doctor, the doctor waits on the patients,” he said. “It’s a whole cultural change.”
The field of concierge medicine is a growing trend on the east and west coast, but Catausan says he’ll be the first to bring the unique form of family medicine to Kansas City.
Unlike traditional family practice physicians, concierge doctors provide their patients with access to medical care 24 hours a day every day, in exchange for a monthly fee.
Catausan will see his patients whenever they need him, whether that means an afterhours office visit Saturday night to x-ray a broken ankle or a weekend house call to treat a patient unable to leave their home.
The doctor was drawn to this form of family medicine because he says it allows him to provide more personal and individual care for his patients at an affordable rate.
According to Catausan, traditional family practice physicians may have as many as 2,500 to 4,000 patients and office visits are often kept short due to such large patient case loads.
At exclusiveMD, on the other hand, Catausan plans to limit his patients to 400 to 600 people and says his patient appointments will last six to 10 times longer than the national average, with less time spent in the waiting room.
Easy and immediate access to the doctor will be especially important for patients with health emergencies or illnesses however, Catausan says he doesn’t want his patients to only see him when they are having a health problem. He stresses the importance of prevention, nutrition and wellness with his patients.
“People think that you should go to the doctor when you are sick,” he said “I want to take care of you when you are well.”
Each patient will receive an enhanced annual physical that will include an hour of face time with the doctor, where they can discuss any health-related concerns and lifestyle goals.
He hopes to encourage his patients to be pro-active about their health and says one of the biggest mistakes a person can make is neglecting their own health and wellness.
“We manage a lot of other things in our lives and take better care of that then we do our health,” he says.
Catausan is also a medical weight loss doctor and is able to practice aesthetic procedures like Botox for patients who would like to maintain their youthful appearance.
For Catausan, who received his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, exclusiveMD gives patients the ability to breakthrough traditional barriers in the healthcare industry and allows them easy and convenient access to their health care professional.
He also hopes concierge medicine will encourage other doctors entering the medical field to consider pursuing family medicine after their schooling is done. Due to the large number of baby boomer doctors who are getting ready to retire, the pool of family care physicians has been dropping significantly in recent years and Catausan says concierge medicine may be one way to encourage new physicians to enter the field.
“There are a lot of unique things I am able to do that I would not be able to do if I was practicing the traditional way,” he says.
ExclusiveMD officially opened in September and Catausan has already begun seeing patients.
To be part of his practice, adults under the age of 60 will pay $125 per month. Spouses can be added to the health plan for an additional $125 per month, the first two dependent children are free any dependent children remaining is $30 a month. While there is a monthly fee to belong to the practice, Catausan says there will be no co-pays.
To learn more about exclusiveMD or how to receive a consultation, visit the company’s website at www.exclusive-md.com.
words by Jill Sederstrom
photos by Rachel Swetnam