Group Practice without Walls

Proactive physician groups create solid business model for a changing health care environment

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LOUISVILLE In the face of a rapidly changing health care climate, physicians are experiencing significant uncertainty due to increased regulations, decreasing reimbursements, rising expenses, and added competition. In effort to diminish some of these industry pressures, my group along with six other independent pediatric practices in the metro region have come together to form ONE Pediatrics. East Louisville Pediatrics, All Star Pediatrics, Kaplan Barron Pediatric Group, Pediatrics of Bullitt County, Prospect Pediatrics, South Louisville Pediatrics, and Springs Pediatrics, created a “group practice without walls” with the goal of providing the highest quality pediatric care in the region.

ONE Pediatrics is dedicated to the idea that independent primary care practices, in collaboration with their patients, are best equipped to make appropriate health care decisions. By combining resources, our groups are able to acquire the latest technology at the lowest cost and pool our time and talents for developing innovative health care solutions at the local level.

Our seven pediatric practices are spread throughout the Kentuckiana area. We are all fiercely independent and did not want to be owned by larger corporations. We think the model we developed is distinctively innovative and will provide the children in our practices with the finest care possible. Best of all, each of our groups remain 100 percent clinically and financially in control of our own practices.

“Our patients will not be able to tell that anything has changed when they come to our office,” according to my colleague, Dr. Pat Hynes of Prospect Pediatrics. “Our signs are the same, our patients still see their same personal physicians and staff. What we hope they WILL see is more advanced technology and more efficient scheduling, which leads to shorter wait times and a better overall patient experience.”

By integrating financially and clinically, the unique business model gives each group access to the best qualities a practice can have. “We are already gaining economies of scale and realizing greater efficiencies through cooperating on the use of clinical and non-clinical components of our practices. The larger structure of the group has already helped us acquire the premier pediatric EHR (electronic health record) in the market. And, we are on the way to becoming one of the first pediatric practices in the region to be nationally certified as a Patient Centered Medical Home,” stated Dr. Casey Lewis of Pediatrics of Bullitt County, another associate of mine.

Additionally, we will be partnering with the specialists and ancillary health providers that give the best and most personal care possible. All of these initiatives will help ONE Pediatrics provide the highest quality and most integrative care available today to our families.

ONE Pediatrics is part of a layered business model that starts with control at the physician level. Each office is unique in its operations but as part of the larger structure will be able to pool resources to acquire the latest technology and monitor quality measures.

Each of the seven groups are also founding members of a national management corporation, ONE Management Services Corporation (OMSC), based in Louisville and Dallas. OMSC provides all management services and benefits for our staff, as well as the operational expertise our practices need to provide high quality and cost effective care for our patients. The goal is to empower independent practices so that they can succeed and grow in a volatile health care setting by offering unique partnerships, investment opportunities, and business services. One such investment opportunity is the Pro One Insurance Program, where we are able to convert some of the present expense associated with professional liability insurance into a long-term asset growth strategy.

By combining independent local practices with a national management corporation, ONE Pediatrics can provide the highest quality, personal pediatric care in a structure designed to withstand the momentum of increased government and corporate intervention in primary care. Our group plans to continue to expand beyond the metro area and become a regional force in pediatric care.

Lawrence Jones, MD, FAAP, has been practicing pediatrics since 1983 and has been with East Louisville Pediatrics since 1986. Dr. Jones is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.