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Considering a concierge doctor in Tampa Bay? We talk to a few

For a fee, patients get enhanced availability and unlimited primary care services.
Published Aug. 8, 2021|Updated Aug. 9, 2021

Tired of long waiting room delays, rushed office appointments and not being able to reach your doctor after hours? Some physicians are offering options — if you are willing to pay extra. Many doctors, including some local physicians, are forming concierge practices. They’re also called direct primary care doctors or personalized medical service providers. Patients pay a monthly fee and receive personal care including more availability by phone or email, same or next-day appointments, minimal or no waiting times and unlimited primary care services. We interviewed some of the local practitioners who have moved into concierge medicine. Services listed were taken from their websites.

Dr. Khalid Saeed, D.O.

Dr. Khalid Saeed, D.O., is founder of Tampa Bay Concierge Doctor.
Dr. Khalid Saeed, D.O., is founder of Tampa Bay Concierge Doctor. [ Courtesy of Dr. Khalid Saeed ]

Saeed formed Tampa Bay Concierge Doctor in 2018. He did a dual residency in emergency medicine and internal medicine in Philadelphia and continues to work in a local emergency room on the weekends. In the ER, he noticed a lot of patients coming in for problems that could be taken care of by their primary doctor, so he opened a practice to provide those services.

“I wanted to fix our broken health care system and provide a more direct experience with the physician,” he said. He said he had issues with insurance companies nitpicking charges and with reimbursements going down, so he only works with companies that work well with doctors.

At his single doctor practice, he offers membership packages at a range of price points and thinks that in some cases they could be more economical than insurance plans with high deductibles.

Part of the benefit of the membership is that patients get his cellphone number and 24-hour access to him. One package includes house calls — he’s even made calls to event venues. He also provides intravenous hydration and Botox and Juvederm injections.

Saeed thinks that his patients are getting a better experience than at traditional practices. His caseload isn’t as big, allowing him to spend more time with them.

“I call my patients my family and hold them tight,” he said.

Tampa Bay Concierge Doctor, located in the Fifth Third Center, 201 E Kennedy Blvd., No. 415, Tampa. 813-773-6715. tampabayconciergedoctor.com.

VIP Care: $150 per month per person

Includes same-day/next-day appointments, unhurried office visits, an annual comprehensive physical, telemedicine visits at no charge, discounted aesthetic and wellness services and 24/7 access to the doctor via personal cellphone.

Premier Care: $250 per month per person

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Includes everything in VIP Care plus home lab draws (up to four per year).

Elite Care: $500 per month per person

Includes everything in Premier Care plus one house call per month.

House call pricing varies based on location and medical service(s) to be provided. House calls start at $250 per visit.

Dr. Emily Burk, D.O.

Dr. Emily Burk, D.O., works at Robinson MD.
Dr. Emily Burk, D.O., works at Robinson MD. [ Courtesy of Emily Burk ]

Burk joined Robinson MD in November 2020. The practice founded by Dr. Stacey Robinson, M.D., takes a wellness-forward approach to health care and offers a number of specialized services, including an in-house lab, IV hydration, IV nutrition, infrared sauna, customized nutrition and supplements and massage therapy.

Before joining the practice, Burk worked briefly in a traditional office and was a hospitalist. She joined the concierge practice because “there’s so much more time you can spend with the patient and not feel hurried.”

She said that is most beneficial because she and the patient can take the time to develop a plan together and talk about lifestyle options. Her goal is to see nine patients or fewer per day, whereas in traditional offices the caseload is 20 to 25.

Burk said the concierge model is becoming more mainstream, especially in Florida.

“Overwhelmingly, people are becoming dissatisfied in general with health care and their doctor by default,” she said. “It’s the system; you have to seek outside of the system.”

Burk thinks that people should retain health insurance for things like imaging and prescriptions.

“Essential direct care does not replace insurance, but can work well with a high deductible plan to increase access” she said in an email.

Robinson MD, 100 Second Ave. S, St. Petersburg. 727-291-7306. robinsonmed.com.

Consultation Program: $1,175 annually

Annual physical

Body composition testing

Initial blood draw

One followup visit

Written health plan

Essential Direct Care (ReCODE/PreCODE Program): $1,500 annually

Initial Pre-review of history

Two-hour Initial consultation

Initial Phlebotomy service in-office (draw)

One 90-minute follow-up visit

One mid-program 60-minute phone consultation

Written health Plan of Care

Communication with Personal Support System as directed

Non-Primary Care Fee-for-Service Visits available, as indicated, for on-going care

Wellness Concierge: $2,500 annually

Includes all Essential Direct Care services

24/7 physician access via phone/text

Advocacy for hospital/ER

Comprehensive Concierge: $3,500 annually

Includes all Wellness Concierge services plus no charge for the following:

Routine visits

Urgent visits

In-office blood draws

Dr. Michael Zimmer, M.D., FACP

Dr. Michael Zimmer, M.D., FACP, is the founder of Zimmer Medical Group.
Dr. Michael Zimmer, M.D., FACP, is the founder of Zimmer Medical Group. [ Courtesy of Dr. Michael Zimmer ]

Zimmer formed the Zimmer Medical Group years ago, but in more recent years has adopted a Concierge Medical Membership model to bring a family doctor concept and preventive medicine approach to the practice.

“I was tired of rushing to see patients in a fixed amount of time,” he said.

He said one of the biggest benefits to the membership is increased access and availability for patients to see or talk to the doctor. It’s handy for patients who are traveling and need medical care; they can call or email and not have to worry about finding a practice.

He also said scheduling is easier and there’s more time for behind-the-scenes work, like interpreting data and coordinating patients with specialists.

While patients should keep their health insurance for medical events like strokes or heart attacks, Zimmer Medical’s website states that “many insurers allow you to submit the membership fee for reimbursement from a flexible spending account, health reimbursement account, or medical savings account in which you participate.”

Zimmer originally wanted to cap his number of patients to 600 but said now he has found that he wants to make it even lower, like 200.

Zimmer Medical Group, 509 Jackson St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-820-7800. zimmermedicalgroup.com.

Concierge Medical Membership

The pricing structure is confidential between the doctors and patients.

Unlimited office visits

Extended availability by phone (including mobile) and email

Same-day or next-day appointments

Minimal or no waiting times for routine scheduled appointments

Flexible hours for scheduling appointments

Email consultations and correspondence

In-house auxiliary services that streamline your visits

Dedicated staff ready to provide personalized and efficient care

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