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written by Megin Potter  |  Photos PROVIDED

According to the Centers for Disease Control, six out of every ten adults have been diagnosed with a chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, etc. Four in ten adults have two or more. 

These numbers have been rapidly increasing during the last twenty years and are significantly higher than just a decade ago. 

While the largest cause of chronic conditions is an individual’s lifestyle choices, some doctors are saying that rather than enabling them to help guide their patients on a productive path toward improved health, traditional fee-based care is trapping the most vulnerable of the population in an impersonal, ineffective, fractured, and reactionary system.

“I needed more time with my patients to earn their trust, discuss pros and cons of treatment regimens, and give proper informed consent, but instead I was charting and completing algorithms,” said Dr. Danushan (Dan) Sooriabalan. 

After completing his Internal Medicine residency in 2010 at Albany Medical Center, where he served as Chief Resident, Dr. Dan worked locally providing both inpatient and outpatient care. Board certified in Internal Medicine, he said the typical fee-for-service structure left him feeling frustrated. In a world where everything had become a transaction, he felt like healthcare should not be one of those.  

“There were pros and cons but what I needed was more time with my patients. A lot of these conditions are cyclical and there are no simple fixes. It takes time and trust which can’t exist when there are multiple layers between the patient and their doctor. Fragmented care is poor care.”


What Dr. Dan wanted was to build a relationship with each patient. 

“I want patients to feel welcome. That this is a warm, welcoming environment. I’m available to talk 24/7 and am accessible if anything arises,” he said. 

His new office, Sooriabalan Medical in Malta, offers direct primary care in what he says is a practice akin to the mom-and-pop medicine that was once commonplace. 

Personalized, convenient, customer-centric care like this has been shown to result in improved patient outcomes. 


Even before its ribbon cutting in April, Dr. Dan’s new membership-based practice had approximately 50 people signed up. Although they vary widely in age and care concerns, the majority are looking for in-depth care that goes beyond seeing a doctor every three to six months. 

“They are focused on preventative care and feel intimidated by our current system,” said Dr. Dan. 

There’s a whole market of folks looking to spend more than the standard seven to ten minutes with their physician (who may likely have to see 1,000 patients that year). In contrast, to provide the kind of time and attention he feels is necessary, Dr. Dan will be capping his patient load to just 400. 


In addition to longer visits, multiple ways to connect, and health counseling, as a direct primary care physician, Dr. Dan can offer patients an unlimited number of visits, same or next-day appointments, and in-house diagnostic testing for one monthly membership fee (rates are $80-$120/mo. based on age).

“Unlike concierge medicine, with direct primary care we have very affordable rates because we keep overhead costs low by not also billing your insurance. Concierge medicine is like double-dipping, they have very high premiums and bill your insurance. I like to say all my patients receive concierge level care at direct primary care’s affordable rates.”

This kind of cost transparency comes with Dr. Dan’s recommendation that patients still hold on to health insurance to cover things like specialty care, imaging and lab work, emergency care, surgery, inpatient care, catastrophic illnesses, and more. 

When outside care is required, Dr. Dan has a network of doctors that he feels confident about referring his patients to and no one becomes just a name on a screen. 

“My care,” Dr. Dan added, “doesn’t end when you step out of this office.”

For more information, call Sooriabalan Medical, PLLC at 518-886-3338. Visit them online at