Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO, Heritage Provider Network, Sponsors Community Healthcare Dialogue, Fourth in a Continuing Series on Healthcare Addressing Issues for the Community

Oct 07, 2010, 13:09 ET from Heritage Provider Network, Inc.

MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network sponsored the fourth in an ongoing Community Healthcare dialogue series discussing the impact of HealthCare Reform Legislation on the Community and the economic implications for small businesses. The event was co-sponsored by The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, Simi Valley Hospital and Regal Medical Group, part of the HPN family. Over one hundred attendees listened to influential panelists including Dr. Gary Herzberg, Medical Director at the Regal Medical Group, member Heritage Provider Network Family, Mr. Fred Bauermeister, Executive Director of the Free Clinic of Simi Valley and Mr. John Beaman the CFO, of Simi Valley Hospital.

The Mayor of Simi Valley, the Honorable Paul Miller, moderated the panel.  "Regal Medical Group and HPN are filling a need in the community for continued discussion on the important legislation that has already rolled out. They are distinguishing themselves in our community of Simi Valley and we are pleased to support their efforts," said the Mayor.  The energetic discussion centered on the benefits and impact of Healthcare Reform on the Simi Valley community, including what the new legislation means for the average person, how to keep healthcare costs down while integrating the thousands of newly insured to our distressed hospitals and free clinics.  Many questions from the audience centered around the implementation of reform, what are the new benefits, what it means for the individual in Southern California, potential changes in Medicare and access to care.

"At Regal Medical Group and HPN, we are committed to providing and ensuring quality care to our members that is accessible, cost-effective and affordable. Whether they are in the early or latter stages of their lives, we join with our colleagues, the hospital and free clinic with this endeavor and accept accountability for the care we provide," said Dr. Gary Herzberg, Medical Director Regal Medical Group.

"We estimate a large part of every health care dollar will be spent on Medicare once the baby boomers start retiring, "said John Beaman, CFO of Simi Valley Hospital. "It is important that we find ways to work together with free clinics and accountable care groups to keep people out of emergency rooms, and focus on the care they need before having to enter the hospital. 15% of the people we see at our emergency room don't have health insurance, and if we can coordinate our care with physicians and clinics, we can concentrate on keeping these people healthy, and that will help us keep costs down."

"We are treating an older demographic than we used to and seeing more people, last year over 11,000, which is more than we have in our 40 years here," said Fred Bauermeister, Executive Director of the Free Clinic of Simi Valley. "Older and with more chronic illnesses and some of them undocumented. Someone has to treat the undocumented, they are in our daily lives, schools, work, public transportation, and we want them to have some level of basic and preventive care."

"Our Community Healthcare Dialogue series provides an important opportunity to hear from the community on a critically important issue. No other medical group similar to us is sponsoring these types of events," said Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network. "We are happy to continue to help the community understand the changes that our coming in our healthcare delivery system, and continue to look for better ways to provide quality healthcare with feedback from our community and our business leaders."

About HPN:

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) is on the cutting edge of the accountable care model of health care delivery: coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated health care systems that represent the future of health care in the United States. HPN develops programs and services that are responsive to the healthcare needs of today's patient. HPN designs its networks to offer patients a comprehensive range of medical care in convenient locations.  It organizes and manages medical groups and independent practice associations, integrating with hospitals and ancillary care providers. This system represents a workable, successful business model that has been duplicated with medical groups, IPAs and medical facilities throughout California.  HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable health care and putting patients' wellness first.

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.