Executive Medical Clinic of Lake Charles
The only female-owned direct primary care facility in the area. And yes, they make house calls.
The benefits of Executive Medical Clinic direct care membership include 24/7 access to a physician or nurse practitioner. Shown here are Jessica Sonnier, MD; Mary Dahlen, FNP-C and Melissa LeBrun, DNP, FNP-C.
Two local nurse practitioners and a physician — all women — are making their family practice patients feel good about health care again.
No more rushed 10-minute-or-less appointments after spending hours in the waiting room. Even house calls are available.
After working in the medical field for years, Melissa LeBrun, DNP, FNP-C and Mary Dahlen, FNP-C became far too familiar with the alarming trend of patients who put off routine doctor’s visits or showed up at the emergency room instead of making a doctor’s appointment.
Reasons varied. Many of the patients had healthcare coverage. High insurance deductibles did discourage routine exams. Patients couldn’t get in to see doctors in a timely manner. They wanted to discuss a new, troubling symptom with a doctor right away. Or, they hated asking someone to drive them to appointments.
“It can be hard to take the time off from work to drive aging parents to doctor’s visits,” Dahlen said. “I’ve known elderly people in my community who’ve lost confidence in their driving ability. Some cancel appointments if the forecast even hints at rain.”
“The lack of continuity of care and follow up after discharge from the Emergency Room was another troubling issue,” LeBrun said. “Some appointments were months out.”
LeBrun and Dahlen saw a real need for change and decided to do something about it. These two women opened Executive Medical Clinic of Lake Charles, the only female-owned direct primary care facility in the area. Joining them in their endeavor to deliver more personalized health care service is Jessica Sonnier, MD.
Executive Medical Clinic is located at 2002 W. Walnut St., Suite 1A, in Walnut Grove. Call them at 337-210-1260.
Direct primary care is a membership-based means to dramatically improve access to a personal physician or nurse practitioner. Executive Medical Clinic Members pay a $125 monthly fee. In return, they receive:
• Two house calls and two in-clinic visits per month. (These visits can include IV hydration, injury treatment, medical management or aesthetic treatment.)
• 24/7 direct provider access
• Same-day appointments and referrals
• Minor injury care
• Annual health examination
• Lab draws
• Injection/medication costs
• Botox and derma fillers
• Discounted fees for aesthetics
Executive Medical Clinic also operates like a family practice clinic for non-members from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Like a typical family practice, the clinic offers medical management, women’s health exams, annual physicals and injury treatment. The waiting area has only two comfortable chairs, which no one gets much of an opportunity to try out.
Executive Medical Clinic accepts Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, United Healthcare and Worker’s Compensation.
Not including government Medicare and Medicaid coverage helps keep office staff, overhead costs and the monthly membership payment low.
“Our goal is to have no more patients than we can provide with immediate access and highly personalized quality care,” Dahlen said.
There have been challenges, the women admit. People are hearing new health care model buzzwords such as direct primary or concierge care but have no idea what it means.
Patients familiar with new models are surprised to find that Executive Medical Clinic offers such services here in Lake Charles. Patients may remain guarded during the first house call. After they become familiar with the process, the professional expertise and the personalized service, the guardedness gives way.
The Walnut Grove location and name of the clinic can make the practice seem exclusive. However, the location was chosen because LeBrun lives nearby. Plus, having a doctor who makes house calls in a traditional neighborhood development with high walkability makes sense.
Educating Lake Charles about Executive Medical Clinic’s affordable membership — less than what some people might pay for a cellular phone bill or trip to a beauty salon — will take time to sink in.
“Who’s not automatically suspicious of anything new that sounds too good to be true?” LeBrun said.
“Even our patients have a hard time believing how much time we spend with each of them,” said Dahlen. “We think that’s how healthcare should be.”