Going to see the doctor can be a pain. Delays in the waiting room combined with the ever-increasing cost of health care can represent a major hurdle.
However, Ahwatukee resident Dr. Duane Wooten is looking to change that. In addition to his current pediatric practice, he’s jumping on board a new trend: concierge medicine.
Wooten’s new concierge medicine business, called Just For Kids (JFK), is allowing him to go back to making house calls and providing a more personal level of care like he used to when he first began in medicine.
“I used to do house calls all the time,” Wooten said. “I was like the only person in town doing them for children and I always thought it was a situation where it was a convenience for my patients.”
Wooten noted that wait times to see a doctor can be upwards of an hour and if the child needs to go to the emergency room, the wait can be many, many times longer.
So, he thought, it would be easier to eliminate the wait altogether, especially for children with special needs. “The concept is to not only take care of those people who want the convenience of having a physician for their children who will come to them,” Wooten said. “But also for those special needs and those niche children, it makes it extremely convenient for those families.”
Ahwatukee parent Todd Heaton thinks the concierge service would be a much easier process than the current routine.
“The biggest challenge as a parent when it comes to doctor visits is waiting,” he said. “If it’s not an emergency, like a broken arm or something dire, you’re waiting sometimes weeks just to get in…I think (concierge medicine) would be great.”
JFK is broken into two tiers, level I and level II. Level I customers receive home visits and after-hours service, among other things. Level II, which is more comprehensive than level I, includes everything in level I as well as a personal Skype account whereby customers can video message Wooten and acquire generic prescriptions covered by the doctor.
The cost for the JFK service begins at less than $4,000 for the year, and considering that children typically see their doctor far more often than adults, the price is particularly cost effective even though it isn’t covered by insurance because, as Wooten said: “”In my humble opinion, insurance companies are the root of all evil.”
“Just For Kids won’t have any insurance plans,” Wooten said. “Just For Kids is a premium-based company that you pay a premium per year and you get significant services.”
Because Wooten can only be available to a certain number of patients to be able to efficiently serve them, he plans to cap his number of clients at 100.
Wooten said he has taken care of all levels of people, from the wealthiest to the most disadvantaged, and that he treats them all the same.
It’s part of the reason he started JFK, to be able to help those who need it.
“I do it because I have a passion to take care of my people,” Wooten said. “This is just an avenue where I can do it.”