Ask an expert - DR. TOM CARABALLO, PHYSICIAN
Last updated 3/29/2023 at 3:20pm | View PDF
Why did you launch a concierge practice?
While attending to injuries and acute illnesses, emergency department physician Tom Caraballo said he also sees the department waiting room filled with people with less-than-urgent needs. Emergency medicine has become primary care for many people, Caraballo said, due to difficulty in getting appointments, access to doctors and access to care in general. As the founder of Fashioned Health, the Hinsdale resident is offering a solution.
Fashioned Health is a concierge, private-pay medical practice that offers patients prompt, unlimited access to their physician. The Fashioned Health website describes the service as "a physician partnership that will bring back the doctor-patient relationship and focus on optimizing one's health to help prevent disease." The practice's goal, Caraballo said, is to empower each patient to take charge of their health through informed lifestyle decisions and changes.
"I like the idea of holistic medicine," Caraballo said of the practice of treating the body as a whole rather than as a collection of unrelated parts. "The whole body is connected."
While they are not averse to conventional medications and interventions, Caraballo said he and other doctors in his practice consider how things like sleep, exercise and diet affect a patient's health and existing conditions. Whenever possible, the doctors try to use lifestyle changes to achieve the outcomes the patient desires.
Caraballo earned a degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Miami before attending Nova Southeastern Osteopathic Medicine School in Ft. Lauderdale. Caraballo and his family moved to Hinsdale about four years ago. He's now medical director of the emergency department at Ascension Mercy Medical Center in Aurora.
"Now, I'm doing the concierge practice, as well," he said.
Fashioned Health is a membership-based practice that doesn't involve insurance companies or co-pays. For a flat monthly fee, members have unlimited access to their doctor, in-home lab testing and more. The company's HIPAA-compliant app allows doctors and patients to communicate safely and immediately, Caraballo said.
"It makes it easier for the doctor to provide care to the patient because the physician works for the patient," he said.
New members begin the relationship with a thorough health history and baseline labs that measure 40 to 50 blood markers.
"We go deep into everything," Caraballo said.
Once a patient's overall health is assessed, the doctor works with the patient to develop a game plan to reach health goals.
"The physician becomes a health coach and the patient's No. 1 cheerleader," Caraballo said. "We stick with you the whole way."
Fashioned Health launched in November 2022, but Caraballo already has success stories to share, including a patient in his 30s who was hesitant to take statins to control his high cholesterol.
"We were able to reverse the high cholesterol," Caraballo said.
Another patient struggled to find help with his mental health. Working as a team, the doctors of Fashioned Health matched the patient with the professional help he needed.
- by Sandy Illian Bosch