Cover Feature

Mount Sinai Delivers Concierge Care With a Difference in the Palm Beaches

Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai Health System

A doctor who knows you well, has the time to talk things through, and is available to help when you are in need. This kind of strong physician-patient relationship is important to good health—but is all too rare in today’s medicine.

The Mount Sinai Health System is answering the call for personalized care with many initiatives; the latest is a new comprehensive concierge medicine program in the Palm Beaches, Mount Sinai New York-Concierge Care. Following Mount Sinai’s highly regarded concierge medicine program in Hudson Yards, New York City, the new program provides personalized, patient-centered health care, including unlimited and seamless access to leading specialists, a tailored preventive health and wellness program, travel medicine consultations, nutrition counseling and treatment planning, coordination and health management. Mount Sinai New York-Concierge Care will soon be moving to its new location at The Square, in downtown West Palm Beach.

“With this new program, we’re staying very focused on our mission, which is to keep people healthy and provide exemplary patient-centered care at the highest level,” said Joshua Kugler, MD, medical director of Mount Sinai New York-Concierge Care. “We have pioneers in many fields of medicine, both locally and internationally, so we can offer access to a very deep group of specialists at any time of the day or night.”

While the concierge medicine concept is not new, concierge programs differ widely in quality, cost and services provided. A basic model might offer primary care, often with no or limited access to specialists, for a monthly or annual fee. In contrast, Mount Sinai New York-Concierge Care offers a wide range of services, as well as access to the full resources of the renowned Mount Sinai Health System, including access to the Hudson Yards concierge practice in New York for members who travel back and forth throughout the year. Services are coordinated, navigation is easier and faster than in many traditional models and there is a strong emphasis on prevention.

Concierge medicine patients have immediate access to Mount Sinai Health System specialists locally and in New York, where The Mount Sinai Hospital is nationally ranked in 11 specialties, including cardiology, geriatrics, neurology/neurosurgery and orthopedics. “Our goal, of course, is to keep all of our patients out of the hospital while we provide them customized, comprehensive care,” said Dr. Kugler.

Wellness, Longevity, Specialty Care

South Florida traditionally has been viewed as home to an aging population of retirees, Dr. Kugler noted. But Palm Beach, like much of the rest of the world, has changed since the pandemic.

“Today, older adults who used to be ‘snowbirds’ are now spending more and more time here, and we are seeing a growing younger demographic, as well,” he said. “What is common to both is an increasing interest in a healthy lifestyle and longevity. So, we’ve embedded services to support wellness as part of our concierge care, including annual cardiology assessments with specialists, pulmonary care and testing, annual skin exams—critically important given sun exposure here—and even spa services with an aesthetician.”

Mount Sinai New York doctors have been delivering high-quality care in Palm Beach for many years and are well known and respected in the community, Dr. Kugler said. The new concierge care program extends and expands its services, accessibility and patient-centered care resources, including patient navigators to help coordinate care. “When a patient gets sick after hours in the traditional medical world, they often end up in urgent care or an emergency room, where they are met by somebody they don’t know, who is not familiar with their care and has to start from scratch to try to understand what is going on and how medications and everything else play into the presenting issue. This can come at a high cost to the patient and to the health care system, with unnecessary repeat testing and time spent regathering basic information such as family and personal medical histories,” Dr. Kugler explained. “On the other hand, the concierge physician does not need to repeat tests or ask questions they already know the answers to, because they know the patient. In addition, it’s easier for me to rapidly refer to or consult with a top-notch specialist if needed.”

Plenty of Time

A recent survey by “Concierge Medicine Today” reported the top reasons patients leave their current physician in search of a concierge medicine physician. High on the list are long wait times, feeling like a number and a physician spending less than 15 minutes per visit.

Concierge physician Raiza Lopez, MD, an internist who focuses on preventive care, screenings and disease management and treatment, said these concerns don’t exist in Mount Sinai’s concierge care system. “My goal as a primary care physician is to be a partner with my patients in their health journey. I want to have the time to not only treat them when they are sick, but also to offer preventive medicine so they stay healthy and to help them achieve their wellness goals.”

“I love the concierge practice, because when patients come in, they don’t wait,” Dr. Lopez added. “They’re greeted at the front desk and quickly taken to the room where their visit with me happens, and very often their treatment as well.”

In most traditional medical settings, a primary care physician has 15 or 20 minutes, at most, per patient visit. “That time is used not only for the doctor, but also for the medical assistant to do an initial intake, check vital signs and verify medications, allergies and other conditions,” Dr. Lopez said. “In the remaining time, the primary care physician has to listen to the patient’s concerns, address why they are there, and review lab results and other follow-ups from the previous visit to see how they’re doing after the treatment they were given. Then at the end, the doctor has to come up with a plan specifically tailored for that patient to move forward. Even someone who is not a physician realizes that 15 minutes is hardly enough time to do all that well.”

“With concierge care we have ample time,” she continued. “Some of our appointments are 30 minutes to an hour—that’s double and sometimes four times the time that a traditional primary care physician is spending.” In addition to addressing medical issues during a concierge care visit, Dr. Lopez can talk with the patient about lifestyle issues such as what they are eating, how much exercise they’re getting and when and where they’re going on vacation. “All that is important,” she said. “It’s not just about disease and medications—it’s about the patient as a human being.”

The convenience of having testing services onsite can’t be overestimated, for both patients and doctors, Dr. Kugler said. Mount Sinai New York-Concierge Care provides onsite imaging (X-ray and ultrasound) and laboratory services, saving time and money, and with faster access to results. “Concierge care’s time has come,” he said. “The benefits are real for patients and for the health care system, as well as for the physicians and specialists who are committed to making a real difference in their patients’ lives.”

To learn more about Mount Sinai New York-Concierge Care or inquire about membership, visit, or call 561-328-7112.