(The Hollywood Reporter) For Hollywood, the idea of concierge doctors — primary care physicians who offer around-the-clock medical services to clients for an annual fee that can run upward of $50,000 — is nothing new.
Taking this concept to the next level is Manhattan-based pioneer oncologist and internal medicine specialist Bernard Kruger. After 30 years of practice, the doctor noticed an absence of top-notch emergency services.
“Even if people have access to great personal physicians, there are too many instances where patients have no other alternative than being sent to an ER,” says Kruger. “I thought that there must be a way to take the principles of personalized concierge medicine and apply them to urgent and emergency level care.”
His Priority Private Care, a referral-based, members-only urgent care facility located in a discreet building on the Upper East Side, provides immediate and unlimited access to such doctors as ER physician Stephan Lynn — who led the team at Roosevelt Hospital on the night John Lennon was fatally shot — with advanced imaging equipment and no wait time for an annual fee that starts at $5,000.
Services available 24-7 can include everything from basic IV drips and diagnosing illnesses to prepping patients for last-minute travel or treating more serious situations such as broken bones or lacerations. Priority Private Care also has extended to the Hamptons this summer, with exclusive house calls available every weekend through Labor Day, and a partnership with Liberty Helicopters for medical transport on and off the island.
Meanwhile, in Malibu, Lisa Benya, longtime internist for local A-listers, has transformed her headquarters, Cure by Dr. Benya, into a full-blown wellness center in an oceanfront spot across the street from Nobu Malibu. Her new Cure Concierge program includes monthly spa, bodywork and beauty treatments (new resident colorist Johnathan Gale’s clients include Laura Dern and Chloe Sevigny), in addition to yearly physicals and 24/7 primary medical care.
“There is so much more to healing people than just keeping them from getting diseases,” says Benya.
“Clients get great medical benefits from what used to be considered luxury work.” Benya also will be launching a full-time concierge doctor at her second location at the Sunset Tower Hotel in the next few months. “We will be expanding concierge club membership,” she says. “Then we feel like we can take this model nationwide.”