AUSTIN, Texas, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While many independent family and primary care practices in the U.S. are struggling to survive and/or selling their practices to hospitals or large health systems, one e-MDs customer is bucking that trend in a major way.
A recent Medical Economics article highlights the ability of John L. Bender, M.D., FAAFP and CEO of Fort Collins, Colorado-based Miramont Family Medicine, to consistently expand his independent family practice while 30% of local practices have been sold to hospitals or gone bankrupt. Dr. Bender's use of Lean management principles and information technology, including e-MDs' Solution Series software, have driven consistent 45 percent growth while managing escalating costs.
"Family and primary care practices are critical for bringing health care costs under control by moving care from hospital emergency departments and focusing on wellness," said David Winn, MD, FAAFP and e-MDs CEO and Chairman of the Board. "Yet the economic realities of managing these practices are creating tremendous financial stress, resulting in declining numbers. The changes Dr. Bender and the Miramont Family Medicine team have been able to make show how reinventing primary care delivery can reverse this trend by helping clinicians operate more efficiently while delivering a higher level of care to patients. We are proud that e-MDs has made a significant contribution to Miramont's success."
In the article, Dr. Bender says the latest estimates show a 50 percent increase in utilization of hospital emergency departments in the Fort Collins area. He attributes this movement of care to the more expensive hospital setting to a decrease in the availability of family care overall in the area. He adds that in the last two years, 250 formerly independent physicians have become hospital employees, yet the local hospital system lost a combined $27 million in 2010 and 2011. The solution, he goes on to say, is reinventing family and primary care to make it more profitable for the practice and more satisfying for both clinicians and patients.
Miramont Family Medicine transformational changes include:
- The use of Lean management principles, such as identifying all steps in the process and eliminating those that don't provide value to improve efficiency. Miramont Family Medicine uses e-MDs to build checklists to ensure all providers are following the organization's best practices.
- The frequent use of metrics to measure where the clinic stands, what improvements have been made and where improvements are still required.
- Publishing a fee schedule to provide transparency in pricing. Most services for a patient without insurance are just $64. These patients sign a contract that says they will pay for services at the time they are rendered, eliminating the overhead involved with billing, coding and waiting for an explanation of benefits. Payers can also receive that pricing if they will guarantee payment by 5:00 p.m. the day the service is performed.
As a result of these changes, patient satisfaction scores are higher and the practice continues to grow. Dr. Bender states Miramont Family Medicine plans to double its size in the next 2.3 years, driven partially by the growth of Medicaid patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The practice currently serves 35,000 patients.
e-MDs is a leading developer of integrated electronic health records and practice management software for physician practices and enterprises. Founded and actively managed by physicians, the company is an industry leader for usable, connected software that enables physician productivity and a superior clinical experience. e-MDs software has received continual top rankings in physician and industry surveys including those conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians' Family Practice Management, KLAS®, AmericanEHR™ Partners, MedScape®, and Black Book®. e-MDs has a proven track record of positioning clients for success as demonstrated by Meaningful Use attainment in 2011-2012. According to data provided by CMS, e-MDs clients are attesting in the top proportion of all major vendors. For more information, please visit http://www.e-mds.com, http://facebook.e-mds.com, and https://twitter.com/emds.