By Kelli Dugan | August 04, 2013
MOBILE, Alabama – Dr. Diana Hashimi might not be able to single-handedly heal an overburdened system, but her new truly private practice, Access MD, aims to restore the care in healthcare one Mobile patient at a time.
“There’s no question there is a need for this style of practice. It’s about individual attention and continuity of care, but it’s also about more informed consumers who now recognize health is an investment and time is a precious commodity,” said Hashimi, a board-certified internal medicine physician whose 22-year career has spanned everything from large, traditional practices to urgent care.
“While I was doing (urgent care), I typically saw 100 patients per day, and the first question you ask is, ‘Who is your primary care doctor?’ but the answer you get is, ‘I don’t have one,’ or ‘I couldn’t get an appointment,’” Hashimi said.
“The longer I did it, the more I realized that was the rule and not the exception. People just didn’t have primary care, and if they did, it wasn’t accessible. I realized quickly patients deserve more options,” she said, noting she would prefer to limit her new practice to no more than 300 patients.
In turn, Hashimi has joined a quiet revolution of primary care and internal medicine physicians nationwide shrugging off the confines of traditional practices in an effort to refocus time and energy on the doctor-patient relationship, preventive care and comprehensive wellness.
Hashimi characterizes her Mobile practice as concierge medicine, but the trend extends to a variety of classifications, including boutique, direct-care and retainer-based practices. In turn, patients often pay an annual membership fee or retainer that grants them practically unlimited access to their physician and often a host of other services, such as wellness coaching, coordinated care with a network of specialists, travel care, executive health programs and even – on occasion – house calls.