As an internist at Ochsner Baton Rouge, Patel enjoyed working the after-hours urgent care shift so much, he asked to do it every day.
Urgent care patients might have elevated blood pressure, a fever or flu, or any other medical condition that demands immediate attention but doesn’t call for an emergency room visit, and Patel enjoyed the variety and unpredictability.
“You never know who you’re going to meet, or what problem they may have,” Patel, 45, says.
Soon he was in charge of Ochsner’s urgent care, and he convinced his bosses to expand the hours and open more urgent care clinics. In 2015, he left the hospital and launched a chain of urgent care clinics in hopes of capitalizing on a growing industry.
His Patient Plus Urgent Care clinics are clean, modern and bright—and his business model is growing rapidly. patientplusuc.com
5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HIM
1. He’s from an entrepreneurial family. His father built one of the first hotels in Gonzales at age 44. “He was unemployed, and my mom was pregnant with my little brother,” Patel recalls. “He took a risk.” As Patel reached the same age, he also felt the urge to leave his job and go out on his own. “I was ready for my next challenge,” he says.
2. He has opened three clinics in two years. Patient Plus Mid City opened on Florida Boulevard in January of 2016. Patient Plus Bocage opened in November of that year, followed by Southdowns in August 2017.
3. He’s not afraid to open a business in an underserved area. Patel says he opened the Mid City clinic first because “we wanted to bring urgent care to a part of town that didn’t have it.”
4. The demand for urgent care is growing. Urgent care is now a $15 billion industry with 10,000 clinics nationwide and the market is still expanding, according to health care market researcher Kalorama Information. Younger patients in particular “want to be seen now, and feel better tomorrow,” Patel says.
5. He plans to open several more clinics this year. While Patel is coy about specifics, he says he’s planning major growth in the Capital Region.
Click here to read about the rest of the People To Watch in 2018.
This article was originally published in theJanuary 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.