Integrated Concierge: Bringing more care to healthcare.
It’s refreshing to meet a young woman with a vision for her life’s work. It’s even more inspiring when it’s TWO innovators working together to improve healthcare delivery to their patients. Impressive enough to have excelled in medical school and completed difficult residencies, Dr. Ashley Mays and Dr. Laura Roan are now using their shared experience as emergency department physicians for a higher purpose.
When choosing her medical career, Dr. Roan’s passion for learning led her to consider many options including physical therapy, research and even veterinary care. But it was her inherent leadership qualities that steered her towards medical school. “I didn’t want to be involved in only a small part of patient care. I wanted to treat the whole person without needing permission from others to do my piece.” While many roads were appealing, another difficult decision came when it was time for Dr. Roan to choose an area of focus. “I like a hands on and rapid paced environment,” continues the accomplished physician, “so I chose EM/IM, a five-year program combining emergency medicine and internal medicine. It was intense, but I got great training in a broad skillset, and now I have experience in a wide range of practice settings including inpatient hospital medicine, clinic, emergency medicine, and providing home-based medical care for seniors.”
Also sharing the need and ability to address a wide range of patient needs, Dr. Mays explains why she was initially drawn to work in the emergency department. “When I was doing rotations in med school, I didn’t find one core area that I felt would be fulfilling long term, but I found pieces of each appealing. Those pieces came together for me in the ER. Minor surgery, trauma, orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, psychiatry – we see everything on a wide variety of patients, and I’m able to make quick decisions and take action.
Despite the appealing aspects of emergency medicine to each of these dynamic caregivers, both experienced drawbacks of the system. Dr. Mays explains, “The emergency department is designed to treat acute illness and injury, but people also come to us for the wrong reasons. Through no fault of their own, many have primary care physicians on paper, but when they seek an appointment, they can’t get scheduled in a timely manner and feel the ER is their only option.” Dr. Roan agrees, adding, “The system is definitely broken. One issue is the lack of accessible primary care providers. The cost and time spent on things that go into billing and claims in a traditional setting makes it difficult to practice medicine in the most beneficial way to the patient. I was tired of being overscheduled in order to see enough patients to pay for the high cost of administration and frustrated with fighting for approval of necessary treatments.”
The Next Step
Frustrated with a system that employs on average 11 administrators for every one doctor while inadequately serving patients and those caring for patients, Drs. Roan and Mays became allies who wanted to create an elevated practice while affecting change for their patients. In 2023, along with their nurse and founding partner, Chad Carrone, the pair teamed up to lead Integrated Concierge, a direct primary care medical clinic in Slidell that provides services in person or via text and video.
For those unfamiliar with the direct primary care model, Dr. Roan suggests that it’s worth the time to research. “At Integrated Concierge, members pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited healthcare and 24/7 access to us. There’s no copay, and patients can see us as many times as they want. We’re able to provide more care at less cost because we don’t pay the high cost of personnel navigating the complicated and time-consuming world of insurance claims.” Dr. Roan adds that Integrated Concierge also offers medications and lab work at wholesale costs. “I really just want to practice good medicine and build strong relationships with my patients. I can make the time to do that here and concentrate on patient wellness, including treatments that insurance generally won’t cover. Weight loss is a trending topic, but it’s extremely important that providers take the time to deliver truly individualized medical management. That’s what makes us stand out from other clinics, and it’s a game changer for my patients. It’s not just different, it’s better.”
While Dr. Mays says that there is absolutely a time and a need for the lifesaving services of the ER, she also welcomes her new role as primary care provider in this more appropriate and cost-effective patient-centered environment. With a strong influence from her mother to pursue medicine, she became interested in science, but learned she was just as interested in the human component. “Patients’ perception of their health issues are just as important as their actual diagnosis. They need to feel comfortable, heard and satisfied with their care – not to be treated like a metric which so often happens in the ER.”
“I was really excited when Laura (Dr. Roan) said yes to this venture,” shares Dr. Mays of her business partner. She is double boarded with extensive experience, and our areas of strength complement each other very well. We also share the same mindset regarding bringing sensitivity, warmth and empathy to patients.” Of Dr. Mays, Dr. Roan says, “Ashley has excellent emergency medicine experience and presence. She’s kind, reliable, and genuinely cares for patients. The partnership is working out so well, we’re already looking to expand on the Northshore and beyond. We’re both passionate about creating an environment that allows us to be better doctors.”
While both dedicated caregivers are focused on growing their new practice, they say their belief in the endeavor also allows them to focus on their own wellness. For Dr. Mays, that’s curling up on the couch with a good e-book, spending time with her rescue dog and traveling to see friends with her husband Brian. For Dr. Roan, it’s curating a “small zoo” with four dogs, a cat and a turtle, West Coast swing dancing, and enjoying sights and food when traveling with her husband Ken Meagher.
“When you’re allowed to do your life’s work on your own terms, you’re able to bring so much more energy to it,” concludes Dr. Roan. “We can enjoy a less stressful, better life balance that is so important to our well-being, which also allows us to better serve our patients in achieving their best health.”
Integrated Concierge is located 862 Brownswitch Rd., Slidell. For more information contact them at 985-788-1919 or visit their website at integratedconcierge.com