PartnerMD, a membership medicine and executive health practice, has evolved from a single-location practice to a high-growth health care company with an expanding national footprint. The Richmond-based company, which has doubled its number of practices in the last year, now operates coast to coast.

The growth in demand for concierge-style medicine – marked by increased physician access and a focus on preventive care – has occurred in tandem with health care changes and a looming physician shortage.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 34 million people in the United States will gain access to healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The influx in patients will be complicated by an anticipated physician shortage, which the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates could lead to a national shortage of 91,500 physicians by 2020, including 45,400 in primary care.

“PartnerMD offers a more personal and attentive primary care experience,” said Linda Nash, the company’s CEO and founder. “Consumers want to be a name, not just a number, to their physician. More and more people are realizing the benefits our practice can offer as the impact of health care changes and a looming physician shortage become more apparent.”

PartnerMD’s practices offer members 24/7 access to their physicians, minimal waiting time, and a holistic approach to care which focuses on prevention and healthy living. The demand for this concierge-style medicine has led to growth across several benchmarks over the past year:

  • PartnerMD opened four new practices since November 2012. The company now practices in four states – Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Washington – with plans to open practices in Maryland and Illinois next year.
  • Physician staff increased by 130 percent, to 24 doctors to keep up with patient demand.
  • PartnerMD’s membership surpassed 6,000 members.
  • The company celebrated its 10-year anniversary in February.

The widespread surge in demand for PartnerMD’s services has occurred alongside the company’s internal growth. PartnerMD has grown from four employees to more than 100 since its founding in 2003, and the company outgrew its headquarters and expanded its combined clinical and business space from 13,000 square feet to 22,000 square feet in the Bon Secours Heart Institute in Richmond. This flagship office welcomed its ninth physician – Dr. Barry Wein – in September, and is the largest single concierge medical practice in the nation.

PartnerMD’s other practices have also experienced growth. In September, Dr. Dan Riegel joined the recently opened Seattle, Wash., practice. In October, PartnerMD expanded into Atlanta with an office in Sandy Springs. And in December, PartnerMD will expand its presence in Midlothian, Va., from a single physician’s office to a spacious new practice with three physicians: Drs. Kevin Keller, Susan Sharpf and Robert Cross.

“In 2012 we focused on laying the groundwork for a national expansion,” Nash said. “We’ve grown nationally by identifying new markets and selecting top-quality physicians to extend our services to communities across the country.”

For an annual fee, PartnerMD members receive a more focused primary care experience with several amenities not offered by traditional primary care practices: direct physician access; on-time, no-rush appointments; access to exercise physiologists; and a customized Personal Health Portfolio detailing results of their annual physicals. PartnerMD allows members to develop relationships with their physicians, which members find most rewarding.

“As the founding physician of PartnerMD, I’m most proud of our 96-percent patient retention rate,” said Dr. James Mumper, chief medical officer of PartnerMD. “We’ve successfully maintained our company culture and our focus on member satisfaction.”