A new concierge medical practice is opening in the Richmond area.
Dr. Tara Dall, the chief medical officer for Richmond-based Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc., has partnered with Dr. Neal Carl, a general practitioner in the Richmond area for 17 years, to open Virtua MD.
The concierge medical practice is in the process of opening an office at 2500 Gaskins Road in western Henrico County and has started to sign up patients.
“We are having a soft launch this month,” Carl said Friday, adding that about 10 patients have signed up so far.
The practice expects to be fully operational with a small staff by the spring.
Like other concierge practices, Virtua MD operates on a membership model. Its goal is to attract patients by offering a more personalized approach to medical care.
The practice charges a fee to its patients of $3,000 per year, or $250 per month.
For that fee, the practice promises its patients shorter wait times, guaranteed same-day or next-day appointments, appointments that last as long as a patient needs, access to a dietitian and other health counseling services, and 24-hour access to a physician either in person or through an online portal. Virtua MD also plans to offer “walk-in” consultations for a $400 fee.
“It is obviously going to be an opportunity to provide very personalized medicine,” Dall said. “We will be able to take whatever amount of time people require to be able to prevent chronic disease.”
Other concierge practices in the Richmond area include PartnerMD, a rapidly growing Henrico-based business that has 11 offices in seven states and is owned by the investment subsidiary of specialty insurer Markel Corp.; and Boca Raton, Fla.-based MDVIP, which has two area offices.
Concierge medicine “is certainly becoming more prevalent in the marketplace,” Carl said. He attributes that to patients’ desire for more time and attention from their health care providers.
Virtua MD aims to differentiate itself by providing advanced biomarker testing to help inform patients about their health risks and prevent chronic conditions. Carl is currently working on a fellowship in anti-aging medicine, which focuses on the prevention of age-related illnesses.
He said the practice also wants to focus on helping patients improve overall health and quality of life without relying heavily on prescription medicines.
“We want people to be able to live and age without chronic disease,” Dall said.
Dall said she remains the chief medical officer for Health Diagnostic Laboratory, the company based in downtown Richmond that provides specialized blood-testing services to detect early signs of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Dall, who is board certified in clinical lipidology, said she plans to work part time for Virtua MD, including providing consultations for patients.
The practice is limiting itself to about 500 patients for the time being. “We really want to be able to offer same-day or next-day service, so we don’t want to get too busy,” Carl said. He added that the practice may add more physicians based on patient demand.
Carl attended the Medical College of Virginia and most recently worked at Chippenham Family Medicine.
Dall attended the University of Wisconsin Madison medical school and started her medical career working with her father as a family practitioner in Waukesha, Wis. She has been HDL’s chief medical officer since 2012.