{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1


January/February December 2020 2009 >> >> $5 $5 ON ROUNDS

Ophthalmologist Jonathan Casciano Touts New Developments in Vision Care Newest generation of multifocal intraocular lens implants allow some to free themselves of glasses This is an exciting time for new developments to help people with vision problems, said Jonathan Casciano, MD, Arkansas Ophthalmology Associates in Little Rock ... 3

What You Need to Know About Selling Your Practice

Surprise Billing Solution Should Protect Patients, Not Insurance Companies By Doctor Patient Unity

When Congress and the White House reached a rare bipartisan agreement that patients deserve to be protected from surprise medical bills, lawmakers had a rare opportunity. In an age of heightened partisanship, both parties saw the need to take action to help put a stop to potentially devastating medical bills incurred through no fault of the patient. Unfortunately, major insurers also saw this moment as an opportunity for financial gain, more leverage over doctors and medical providers, and greater power to control patients’ access to critically important medical care. They exercised a significant amount of political and financial weight to attempt to quickly pass legislation that would have been beneficial for insurers but would have severely harmed patients’ ability to see a doctor and damaged (CONTINUED ON PAGE 7)

Physicians across specialties are facing mounting legal and operational risks at the same time as healthcare systems and private equity investors are hungry to buy practices and take that risk off physicians’ hands – at unprecedented valuation ... 4


Bridewell Heads Efforts to Increase Viability of Rural Delta Hospitals Arkansas Rural Health Partnership allows hospitals to share resources, provide education and contain costs By BECKY GILLETTE

Mellie Bridewell



Profitability increasingly challenges rural hospitals having a large number of Medicaid and Medicare patients in areas that are economically distressed with an unhealthy patient population. Besides providing life-saving healthcare services, rural hospitals play a significant economic role by (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)

Our staff of caring specialists led by Dr. Amir Qureshi will take good care of your patients and Patient Referral Fax: 501.227.0187 keep you informed ArkansasSpineAndPain.com along the way! Patient Referral Phone:

501.227.0184 The Leader in Central Arkansas for World Class Pain Management Little Rock | Benton | Conway | Jacksonville | White Hall






Foresight in 2020. We believe that your malpractice insurance provider should be prompt and proactive – not hidden behind a mountain of paperwork or unanswered voicemails. At SVMIC, our business is focused on relationships with open and easy access to our legal expertise and protecting your practice.

Move forward with us at








Ophthalmologist Jonathan Casciano Touts New Developments in Vision Care Newest generation of multifocal intraocular lens implants allow some to free themselves of glasses By BECKY GILLETTE

This is an exciting time for new developments to help people with vision problems, said Jonathan Casciano, MD, Arkansas Ophthalmology Associates in Little Rock. “Our cataract patients are having great results with the newest generation of multifocal intraocular lens implant, the Panoptix lens,” Casciano said. “This is an exciting lens that allows some patients to become mostly free of glasses, and is a significant improvement over previous versions on these types of lenses.” There are several new minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries on the market now, and the new version of the iStent inject is allowing many of his glaucoma patients to reduce the number of medications they use every day. Also, there is a new injectable steroid on the market, Dexycu, which allows cataract post-op patients to use a lot fewer eye drops after surgery. This is a huge improvement in their post-op experience. “And there are many new developments in corneal transplantation, which is a constantly evolving field,” he said. Eye care touches on so many areas of medicine, making it really important to ensure patients are seeing an eye doctor on a regular basis – especially people older than 60. Most providers know that diabetics need to see an eye doctor on a regular basis, but Casciano said most other chronic diseases can also lead to some sort of eye problem that will impact the course of their illness. “Ophthalmology is a very focused area in medicine, but patients depend on their vision and we have a role in many chronic disease processes,” he said. Ophthalmology as a specialty appeals to Casciano’s personality and career goals. “I love performing surgery, and because of today’s advanced surgical tools and techniques most patients experience great outcomes,” he said. “Most of the problems that I deal with have the immediate effect of improving people’s day-to-day lives with low rates of morbidity. It is also great career for people like myself who don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time in a hospital

setting. The majority of my time is spent either in the clinic seeing patients or in the operating room performing surgery.” Casciano finds it an advantage that ophthalmology is one of the last areas in medicine where it is possible to be relatively independent; he can have a solo practice and thrive. “Today it is very difficult to remain both efficient and provide high-quality medicine because so much of our time is wasted on electronic charting and compliance,” he said. “I can structure my practice how I want, hire people who are great, choose my own electronic record system, and decide where to focus resources so my clinic can be successful,” he said. Casciano spent six years working at the Central Arkansas VA and was chief of service for three years. He oversaw a major

expansion of services to veterans and raised the profile of the residency program by greatly increasing the number of cataract cases performed by the surgical trainees. “The VA is a very special part of our health care system and I absolutely loved working with our veterans,” he said. “Many of us hear about the problems at the VA, but I can tell you that most people who work at the VA are absolutely dedicated to their job.” During his tenure there, he set a record for the most surgeries per year at the facility because so many patients needed cataract surgery and he operated most days of the week. “I was able to offer updated equipment and techniques to improve surgical safety and post-op care,” he said. “We put in a great deal of effort to expand the number of patients we cared for in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for services. A large portion of our job at the VA was training new surgeons and making sure that they learned the safest, most up to date techniques. We were able to expand our patients’ access to care at the same time that we greatly increased our trainees’ surgical volume. I still see many of my patients thru the VA’s outsourcing of care.” His favorite part of the job is helping people improve their lives. Patients with vision problems give up on a lot of their favorite activities, and restoring vision allows them to live the lives that they want. A difficult part, though, is telling an elderly patient that they can no longer drive due to vision loss. He said that has become

Mountain Home Fayetteville

Fort Smith

Hot Springs

Russellville Conway North Little Rock Little Rock

Bryant Pine Bluff

Follow us on

more of an issue, and finds it is much easier when the family helps. Casciano grew up in Little Rock, and attended Brandeis University near Boston on a music scholarship for violin. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in American history there in 1996. After college he spent a few years working in the biotech industry in Boston, and became really interested in the new drugs and medical products that were in development. He greatly enjoyed some volunteer work at Mass General Hospital, and so decided to try for a career in medicine. Casciano graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a 4.0 GPA and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He studied ophthalmology at the Jones Eye Institute, and spent a year as a medical intern at the UAMS Internal Medicine department. He did his residency at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and the Central Arkansas VA hospital. Then he spent a year studying corneal transplants, external eye disease, and LASIK in Ann Arbor, Mich., followed by several years in private practice in Manchester, N.H., before returning to Little Rock. Casciano married a fellow Brandeis graduate while in medical school. He and his wife, Shelley, have two boys, 10 and 13, who currently attend Little Rock public schools – as did their father. In his leisure time, he enjoys swimming and hiking with his family. For more information, visit www. areyemd.com/.

We provide care closer to you, to help your patients go further. Snell Prosthetics & Orthotics has ten convenient locations across Arkansas. So regardless of where you practice, our professional staff will be waiting to take care of your patients' prosthetic, orthotic, pedorthic or post-mastectomy needs.



@arkmednews arkansasmedicalnews





What You Need to Know About Selling Your Practice Physicians across specialties are facing mounting legal and operational risks at the same time as healthcare systems and private equity investors are hungry to buy practices and take that risk off physicians’ hands – at unprecedented valuations. Forwardthinking physicians rightfully see the unique opporBy DENISE BURKE tunity presented by this market, and many are quietly investigating the possibility of selling to private equity firms or health systems. But, while most physicians have a relatively good understanding of what it would be and DAVID MARKS like to work for a hospital, arrangements with PE investors often remain more of a mystery (understandably so). Those considering the possibility of selling to private equity need to understand its history, the current market and what to do next.

What is Private Equity?

Private equity firms pool money from high net worth individuals, pension funds, institutional investors and other accredited investors into “funds” which then invest in privately held businesses. PE firms often field teams of highly experienced analysts and operators who will actively advise the companies they own in order to grow and then sell the company in three to seven years. Because the PE fund must eventually liquidate and return capital to its inves-

tors, it is essential to understand each PE fund’s “investment horizon” – which can drive whether they view a particular transaction as a short-term or long-term partnership with a business. According to recent data from Preqin, due to record low interest rates, PE funds are currently sitting on nearly $1.5 trillion in so-called “dry powder,” or cash with a mandate to invest and achieve returns. In light of recent projections which estimate that healthcare spending may approach $4 trillion this year alone, PE funds are hungry for opportunities to invest their dry powder in a market which they expect to continue to boom – and to be resistant to recession. Many PE funds, however, recall the lessons learned in the 1990s, when a similar mandate to invest dry powder in healthcare resulted in overly optimistic valuations and the eventual downfall of eight of the top 10 practice management companies – which once boasted billions of dollars in revenues. In this new, second wave of private equity investment in healthcare, there is greater insistence that healthcare companies develop internal controls and accountability, as well as appropriate incentive programs and equity opportunities to attract and retain the physicians and other providers who are essential to maintaining – and growing – the company’s bottom line.

What’s Hot Right Now?

At the start of the last decade, private equity interest in healthcare practices focused on urgent care, dermatology, anesthesia, dental and ophthalmology. More recently, however, there has been a surge of interest in orthopedics, urology and gastroenterology. Investors realize that the recent surge of available capital can enable them to facilitate growth in these specialties to larger service areas, as well as provide capital to expand infrastruc-

Who’s INCHARGE in 2020? A POWERFUL ECONOMIC DRIVER, Arkansas’ diverse healthcare offerings impact the industry on a local, regional and national basis. Knowing who is ‘in charge’ is important to fostering relationships and partnerships to keep this vital industry moving forward. Each April, Arkansas Medical News provides a definitive list of leaders in the annual InCharge Healthcare issue, which is formatted as a glossy, four-color magazine.

InCharge showcases a wide range of difference-makers, including: 

Hospital, health system and large practice leaders

Top researchers and academic leaders

Go-to healthcare advisors including the top healthcare attorneys, bankers, accountants and consultants

Key healthcare investors and entrepreneurs

And other leaders … including some working behind the scenes … who continue to grow Arkansas’ multi-billion dollar industry.

? ? ? ? ?

Want to nominate an Arkansas healthcare leader for a listing? Interested in advertising in the next InCharge? Talk to the publisher: Pamela Haskins 501.247.9189 or pamela@arkansasmedicalnews.com.




Coming in April!

ture to prepare for value-based payments and invest in new ancillary services and technology.

Structuring a PE Deal

The structure of a PE deal can take various forms. Most states do not allow PE funds and other nonphysicians from owning medical practices. As a result, the most common way a PE fund will invest in a practice is by forming a practice management company which will acquire the non-clinical assets of a seller (e.g., equipment and leases) in exchange for a purchase price and the agreement to lease those non-clinical assets back to the practice in exchange for a management fee. When considering one of these transactions, there are numerous factors you need to consider: • Will the selling physician be required to continue to own the medical practice? If so, what protection will be given to the seller from being named in malpractice or other lawsuits? • How long is the selling physician required to continue working in the practice? Under what circumstances can he or she be terminated? • Will the seller have to agree to restrictive covenants such as a non-compete? How  long will the non-compete last, and how broad will it be? What happens if things do not work out, and the seller is terminated? • How much cash will the physician receive at closing, as opposed to some period after closing? How certain is it that the selling physician will actually receive that cash? Who will keep the accounts receivable from work performed before the deal is finalized? • What are the tax consequences of the transaction to the seller? • Will the seller have an opportunity to invest alongside the PE fund in the management company? If so, what are the terms of the equity investment? • How much autonomy will the physician retain over decisions in their practice? Are there advisory committees to ensure that employed physicians’ voices are heard?

Comparing the Deals

PE investors typically pay a higher up-front price for physician practices than hospital systems, in part because PE investors are not subject to some of the laws that restrict hospital payments to referring physicians. In the current market, it is not uncommon to see practice valuations as high as 10-12 times EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) for larger group practices – although single-physician practices will rarely see multiples of EBITDA that high. Post-transaction, physicians should expect to receive compensation based on a percentage of their personal pro-

duction and, often, a share of practice profits. Although their employment compensation will be less in the shortterm than what it was before the transaction, they will have received attractive up-front payments and, hopefully, an additional upside opportunity in the form of equity or bonuses. Because the goal of these transactions is to bring together PE investors’ business  acumen in professionalizing and scaling the non-medical functions of a platform (e.g., marketing, capital expenditures and buildouts, payor negotiations) with clinically talented physicians, the potential upside for both parties can be significant. Over time, physicians in successful platforms may even see their employment compensation approach pretransaction levels – which is on top of their equity upside opportunity. By comparison, hospitals, which are not allowed to share profits from certain ancillary services (e.g., lab, radiology, drugs), typically pay physicians a set rate per relative value unit. This is less likely to vary with overall practice performance, and so may be a better option for practices with less growth opportunity and lower profit margins. In addition, hospitals with longer operating histories can, depending on one’s perspective, assure physicians of either long-term stability and peace of mind, or accumulated red tape and bureaucracy. In addition to more up-front money and long-term upside opportunity, in some cases, a private equity option may provide physicians more autonomy over the operation of their practice, with potential opportunities to participate in physician committees or business development roles. With greater flexibility, PE platforms are often more receptive to creative ideas.

Going From Here

If you want to further explore a PE opportunity, start by building a team. Reach out to reputable investment bankers and legal, tax and financial advisors with demonstrated experience handling private equity transactions in the healthcare space. Bankers and law firms, in particular, want to help sellers get ready ahead of time because it makes their own lives easier. They will often take calls and meetings offtheclock in exchange for the opportunity to work with those proceeding to a sale. Much like staging a house before a sale, an experienced deal team will help you put your best foot forward before you open the doors to potential bidders. Denise Burke and David Marks are both partners at Waller Law.



Finalized Healthcare Price Transparency Rule Unveiled FroM KaISEr HEaLTH nEWS

Hospitals will soon have to share price information they have long kept obscured — including how big a discount they offer cash-paying patients and rates negotiated with insurers — under a rule finalized in November by the Trump administration. In a companion proposal, the administration announced it is also planning to require health insurers to spell out beforehand for all services just how much patients may owe in out-of-pocket costs. That measure is now open for public comment. “What is more clear and sensible than Americans knowing what their care is going to cost before going to the doctor?” said Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The hospital rule is slated to go into effect in January 2021. It is part of an effort by the Trump administration to increase price transparency in hopes of lowering health care costs on everything from hospital services to prescription drugs. But it is controversial and likely to face court challenges. When that rule was first proposed in July, hospitals and insurers objected. They argued it would require them to

disclose propriety information, could hamper negotiations and could backfire if some medical providers see they are underpriced compared with peers and raise their charges. Shortly after the final rule’s release, four major hospital organizations said they would challenge it in court. “This rule will introduce widespread confusion, accelerate anticompetitive behavior among health insurers and stymie

innovations,” according a joint statement from these groups, which made clear their intent to soon “file a legal challenge to the rule on the grounds including that it exceeds the administration’s authority.” The statement was signed by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Children’s Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals. Insurers also pushed back. “The

rules the administration released today will not help consumers better understand what health services will cost them and may not advance the broader goal of lowering health care costs,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, in a statement. Requiring disclosure of negotiated rates, he said, could lead to price increases “as clinicians and medical facilities could see in the negotiated payments a roadmap to bidding up prices rather than lowering rates.” The rule, he added, could confuse consumers. It’s also a potentially crushing amount of data for a consumer to consider. However, the administration said it hopes the data will also spur researchers, employers or entrepreneurs to find additional ways of making the data accessible and useful. The amount of information the rule requires to be disclosed will be massive — including gross charges, negotiated rates and cash prices — for every one of the thousands of services offered by every hospital, which they will be required to update annually. In a nod to how hard it might be for a consumer to add up items from such


healthy vitals ProAssurance has been monitoring risk and protecting healthcare industry professionals for more than 40 years, with key specialists on duty to diagnose complex risk exposures. Work with a team that understands the importance of delivering flexible healthcare professional liability solutions.

Healthcare Professional Liability Insurance & Risk Resource Services

When you are treated fairly you are confident in your coverage • 800.282.6242 • ProAssurance.com






Bridewell Heads Efforts to Increase Viability, continued from page 1 being one of the largest, best-paying employers in the area and one of the largest purchasers of supplies. An organization that is working hard to keep rural hospitals in the Delta healthy is the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (ARHP) headed by CEO Mellie Bridewell. ARHP is pulling together rural hospitals throughout South Arkansas (mainly the Delta region of the state) to share services and provide better care for the areas served. ARHP is a non-profit partnership of fourteen individually owned rural hospitals that provides support services and programs, cost-saving resources and negotiation, provider training and education, and access to patient education opportunities to enable its partners to provide the best care locally. Rural hospital closures across the U.S. have become a growing public concern. According to the National Rural Health Association, 107 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, with more than 120 and counting closed since 2005. “People need to understand, if we don’t start doing something to help rural hospitals, they are going to start closing faster than we have seen,” Bridewell said. “My job is to fight for survival of these small hospitals. I want to help hospitals in rural Arkansas stay afloat with good-bottom line economics allowed by things like collaborative purchasing, negotiation of contracts, access to healthcare services through telehealth, and quality healthcare services that keep the rural patient at home. Healthcare is rapidly evolving and many rural hospitals, especially those with limited resources, are becoming overburdened as challenges grow. A huge concern is that more changes ahead will create an even more dismal future for these small hospitals.” Bridewell said an important issue to address is the high costs of outsourcing. This outsourcing is necessary for rural hospitals to provide health services in rural communities. The challenges of lack of resources locally causes hospitals to contract out services and staff to support their business office, emergency department, hospital, nursing staff, and in some cases their administrative staff. They become dependent on contractual services that cost more money to the hospital, and the hospital ends up financially worse off. An example would be a nurse employed by the hospital making $40 per hour who quits, but continues working at the hospital under a staffing agency might increase costs to $100 per hour. Currently, there is focus on healthcare transformation and how to move hospitals toward care coordination. ARHP has been actively supporting quality improvement, care coordination, and healthcare provider training along with education initiatives to better prepare member hospitals and clinics for the upcoming changes. “With healthcare evolving, small rural hospitals are being forced to look at transitioning to include offering a wider variety of healthcare services and many have gotten into the primary care business. Helping these hospitals with the necessary changes is something we really need 6



to prioritize if we are to continue to keep local healthcare. We must also recognize that quality healthcare services mean making sure every employee in every hospital, clinic and community health center has access to education and compliance training. That has been a focus for the ARHP in 19 Delta counties during the past nine years.” Since 2016, the hospitals have gotten involved in mental and behavioral health. Bridewell said they now have three opioid grants and are working with drug courts and task forces building relationships and helping people addicted to opiates. ARHP would not be what it is today without its committed board of directors and partners, according to Bridewell. ARHP has five staff members including Bridewell who are employees of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences through the UAMS Office of Strategy Management where Bridewell serves as the director. “UAMS’ investment and support in ARHP has provided a valuable connection between a large academic health partner and rural that makes sense,” Bridewell said. “This alignment enables our organization to be able to connect seamlessly to quality services and support provided through various departments across the UAMS campus that bring resources to our hospitals and projects.” The ARHP board of directors, which meets every month, consists of the CEOs from all fourteen hospital members. “What has been most amazing to me is the commitment of my board members who are all hospital CEOs with a lot on their plate,” Bridewell said. “Every month we meet together, committed to working

together to maintain access to healthcare resources in south Arkansas. This collaboration has allowed these small rural hospitals to have a strong voice together while still maintaining independence. As we continue to move forward, I believe that we will be able to accomplish great things and create a successful model for future rural healthcare. The more I see this collaboration, the more confidence I have that this model can work.” Bridewell, originally from south Louisiana, didn’t have a healthcare background prior to moving to Lake Village in 2004. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama and a master’s in Management Tourism and Recreation. After a couple of years living in Lake Village, she purchased a health club. While loving her work there, she felt the need to get involved in the community around her, recognizing the need to address the health and wellness of all residents in the community. “I decided to venture out and got involved in the local Hometown Health Coalition,” Bridewell said. “I had done some successful writing in the past and felt there was a way I could help bring some funding to the area to address the health issues of the community. After working with the local hospital, I eventually took on the job as the director of the UAMS Delta AHEC in Lake Village, which began my relationship with UAMS. Through this job, I was charged with helping the hospitals in Chicot and Desha counties. It was through this job that I was able to convince five local hospital administrators to help me start up the Greater Delta Alliance for Health (now the ARHP). These original

five members have turned to fourteen members and the ‘community’ I served eventually grew to the south Arkansas region and here I am.” A hospital in Lake Village or Dumas has one voice. However, together the hospitals in ARHP have become one of the largest healthcare entities in the state. Bridewell said this means they have enough patient volume to speak to not only legislators and grant funding agencies, but also with payers. “We can now negotiate and converse with payers and contractors and we are heard,” she said. “That wouldn’t happen with one or two hospitals, but it works with 14.” Bridewell and her husband together have two daughters, three sons, three daughters-in-law, and three granddaughters. She credits a lot of her success to her husband, Robert, an attorney in Lake Village, who continues to support her hectic life and is her biggest supporter. “We are all about family and enjoying our life on the lake and spending time cheering the Hogs on in Fayetteville,” Bridewell said. Her greatest accomplishment, she says, has been raising her two daughters, Lillie and Camille. “One is beginning her career in healthcare next month and the other is pursuing a degree in law and policy (hopefully healthcare policy); imagine that!” she said jokingly. For more information, go online to: Arkansas Rural Health Organization, https://www. arruralhealth.org/

Finalized Healthcare Price Transparency, continued from page 5 an a la carte list of prices, the rule also requires each hospital to include a list of 300 “shoppable” services, described in plain language, with all the ancillary costs included. So, in effect, a patient could look up the total cost of a knee replacement, hernia repair or other treatment. Insurers, under the proposed rule, would have to disclose the rates they negotiate with providers like hospitals. They would also be required to create online tools to calculate for individual consumers the amount of their estimated out-ofpocket costs for all services, including any deductible they may owe, and make that information available before the consumer heads to the hospital or doctor. It would go into effect one year after it is finalized, although it is not known when that will occur. Although consumer advocates say price information can help patients shop for lower-cost services, they also note that few consumers do, even when provided such information. Earlier this year, the administration ordered drugmakers to include their prices in advertisements, but the industry sued and won a court ruling blocking

the measure. The administration has appealed that ruling. Nonetheless, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the administration is confident. “We may face litigation, but we feel we are on sound legal footing for what we are asking,” Azar said. “We hope hospitals respect patients’ right to know the prices of services and we’d hate to see them take a page out of Big Pharma’s playbook and oppose transparency.” He and other officials on a call with reporters admitted they don’t have any estimates on how much the proposal would save in lowered costs because such a broad effort has never been tried in the U.S. before. Still, “point me to one sector of the American economy where having pricing information actually leads to higher prices,” said Azar. Azar cited some studies that show that when prices are disclosed, overall spending can go down because patients choose cheaper services. However, such efforts also generally require financial incentives for the patient, such as sharing in the cost savings.

The proposed rule for insurers urges them to create such incentives, said Seema Verma, who oversees the federal government’s Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. George Nation, a business professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania who studies hospital pricing, called the final rule and the insurer proposal “exactly a move in the right direction.” Among other things, he said, the price information may prove useful to employers comparing whether their insurer or administrator is doing a good job in bargaining with local providers. Today, “they just see a bill and a discount. But is it a good discount? This will now all be transparent,” said Nation. Kaiser Health News  is a nonprofit news service committed to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics. And it reports on how the healthcare system — hospitals, doctors, nurses, insurers, governments, consumers — works. In addition to its website, its stories are published by news organizations throughout the country. Its website also features daily summaries of major healthcare news.



Surprise Billing Solution Should Protect Patients, continued from page 1

our healthcare system as a whole. In fact, major insurers spent approximately $50 million lobbying Congress for legislation they endorsed. And before patients, medical providers, and hospitals spoke up, lawmakers were poised to fast track the insurers’ preferred bill through the legislative process before anyone was able to ascertain the full scope of the damage it would cause. For the last several months, lawmakers have heard from those who would be negatively affected by the insurers’ approach, known as rate setting. As a result, Congress is now giving consideration to alternative legislation that would stop surprise medical bills, but, unlike rate setting, would also protect patient access to care, help to preserve the size and scope of insurance networks, and avoid doctor shortages and hospital closures. Make no mistake: surprise medical bills present a problem that needs to be solved, but Congress should take the time to get the solution right. Any legislation that hurts patients, closes hospitals, and leads to doctor shortages is not an acceptable solution to surprise medical bills. Rate setting would do just that. This proposal claims to shield patients from surprise medical bills by capping out-ofnetwork charges, benchmarking them to an insurer’s own median in-network rate. This benchmarking mechanism incentivizes insurers to cancel contracts and demand ‘take it or leave it’ negotiations from providers and unreasonably low rates in order to drive down their in-network obligations. In turn, insurers are able to drive down their out-of-network rate. In other words, the rate setting proposal favored by insurers allows them to set their own prices. Unsurprisingly, insurance companies come out as the big winner in this scenario, but patients, doctors, hospitals, and other providers all lose. Hospitals, especially rural hospitals that already face serious financial distress, could be forced to close their doors if reimbursement rates are cut any further. Doctors can’t afford the cost of doing business. Emergency departments, which rely on commercial reimbursement to offset losses incurred by treating Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients, would very quickly find themselves operating in an unsustainable economic environment. And patients would lose access to their doctors, see even narrower insurance networks, and experience higher out-of-pocket costs as a

Keep your finger on the pulse of Arkansas’ healthcare industry. SUBSCRIBE TODAY to begin receiving Arkansas Medical News in print or on your tablet or smartphone

result. Under rate setting, everyone loses but the insurance companies. Congress hit the brakes on rate setting for the right reasons, but now it’s time to pass a surprise billing solution that works for everyone and, most importantly, puts patients first. Congress should look to a proven solution that has been championed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who are physicians themselves: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN). This proven solution relies on Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR), a system that is already working at the state

level. From Texas to New York, IDR is a model for protecting patients from surprise medical bills. Under IDR, patients are removed from the middle of billing disputes between providers and insurers. Instead, they pay their in-network obligations, and the provider and the insurance company are able to settle their dispute through a third-party arbitration process. This system maintains a balance between doctors and insurers and avoids the disastrous consequences of allowing insurance companies to set their own prices. Most importantly, it protects the ability of patients to see a doctor when they need one.

Congress should take advantage of its opportunity to protect patients and get the policy right. With a full understanding of the harm that rate setting will cause for both patients and the healthcare system at large, lawmakers should move forward with IDR as the right answer to protect patients from surprise medical bills. Doctor Patient Unity represents tens of thousands of doctors across the country who understand the importance of preserving access to life-saving medical care and support a solution to surprise medical billing that protects patients, similar to laws enacted in New York and Texas. Visit https://www. stopsurprisemedicalbills.com/

Free your mind to think about something other than med-mal.

Since we’re focused on medical malpractice protection for physicians, healthcare providers, hospitals and facilities, your mind is free to go other places. LAMMICO is not just insurance. We’re a network of insurance and legal professionals experienced in medical liability claims. A network of robust in-person and online Risk Management educational resources to help you avoid a claim PU[OLÄYZ[WSHJL(UL[^VYR[OH[WYPKLZP[ZLSMVU personalized customer service to exceed your expectations. LAMMICO’s a partner – so that when you insure with us, you’re free to do your job better. And that’s a very peaceful place to be.







UAMS Turns 140 with Renewed Energy, Vigor on All Fronts By BEN BOULDEN

LITTLE ROCK – On December 20, 2019 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) celebrated its 140th birthday in a dynamically changing year shaped by leadership changes, the passing of a UAMS civil rights pioneer and the start of a $150 million energy project. UAMS also organized all of its clinical enterprises in Little Rock and around the state under the UAMS Health umbrella to consolidate programs and realize greater efficiencies in patient care. In February, UAMS promoted two financial officers. Amanda George, CPA, became vice chancellor for finance and chief financial officer of UAMS. Jake Stover took on the role of chief administrative officer and associate vice chancellor for clinical finance with UAMS Health. Angela Wimmer, M.Ed., who has more than 19 years of fundraising experience, joined UAMS as vice chancellor for institutional advancement. Along with notable changes in leadership came positive changes for UAMS hourly workers and others. Chancellor

Cam Patterson spearheaded the establishment of a $14 minimum wage for hourly employees. On a sadder note, Edith Irby Jones, M.D., passed away July 15. She was 91. Jones became a pioneer when she enrolled at UAMS in 1948 as the first African American to enroll in an all-white medical school in the South, and who went on to a distinguished career as a doctor, educator and philanthropist. Because 2019 was such a year of energetic change on all fronts at UAMS, it was fitting that nearing the year’s end the university embarked on a three-year energy project, The  energy project  will enable UAMS to address $101 million in maintenance needs, energy efficiency measures and reroute Cedar Street onto a multilane expansion of Pine Street. A new $49 million electrical power plant between those two streets is part of the larger, $150 million, three-year project. Once completed UAMS’ energy efficiency ranking will be in the top 1 percent of all academic medical centers in the United States. Other major developments and ac-

complishments include:

ager. Spree will take on the leadership role of the marketing department leading NARMC’s marketing and public relation efforts. Spree has been with the NARMC team as a Spree Hilliard Marketing Communications Specialist since June 2017. Spree is a 2006 Harrison High School graduate and has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a Masters degree in Multi-Media from Arkansas Tech University. Her past work experience as a newspaper reporter and development coordinator for a national non-profit-organization brings a variety of skillsets to the team.

The tower features 14 surgical suites, with the ability to expand in the future. The surgical suites, which are almost doubled in size from the hospital’s current suites, feature new equipment and cutting-edge technology. This level also includes a hybrid surgical suite, which is equipped with advanced medical imaging devices enabling minimally invasive surgery, as well as a special procedure room used for interventional radiology procedures. This floor also features additional support programs including a pharmacy and a GI Lab. Additionally, the tower houses a 46bed intensive care unit that can be expanded in the future. All intensive care rooms are larger than the ones in the current hospital and this expansion brings all adult intensive care services to one floor. The St. Bernards intensive care unit now has open visiting hours, which means that with physician approval a family member can stay in the room with the patient. All rooms have a private bathroom, as well as a larger, more spacious family area. The unit also now features an ongoing nursing observation area situated right outside each patient room. One floor of the tower is a shelled space allowing for future growth and expansion. Each level of the new tower directly connects to the current medical center, allowing for easy access for both patients and visitors. The new tower is a $103 million project and is the third phase of St. Bernards’ master facility plan, which includes the completed Cancer Center, updates to the Emergency Department and Heartcare

Patient Care

U.S. News & World Report in July recognized UAMS as having the best hospital in the state, and its ear, nose and throat department was ranked among the top 50 nationwide. The university in February established the  Institute for Digital Health & Innovation, and named  Curtis Lowery, M.D., as its director. The Digital Health Stroke Program achieved a long-sought-after goal — getting more than 50% of stroke patients from hospital arrival to treatment in 60 minutes or less. A university search committee in September selected internationally recognized medical oncologist Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., as the new director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Birrer specializes in gynecologic cancers joined UAMS in December.


Two new deans joined UAMS. Mark Williams, Ph.D., in July became dean of

the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. Also in July, Cindy Stowe, Pharm. D., started as dean of the College of Pharmacy. Michelle Gonzalez, Ph.D., CRNA, in January joined the College of Nursing to guide the formation and accreditation of a new nurse anesthesia educational program. By July, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education had given the program its OK.


Internationally renowned scientist Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., joined UAMS as vice chancellor for research and a professor in the College of Medicine Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. UAMS’ Teresita Bellido, Ph.D., an internationally known leader in bone research, was named an Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) Scholar at a news conference in December. The UAMS Translational Research Institute in July announced five years of federal funding totaling $24.2 million to accelerate research that addresses Arkansas’ biggest health challenges.

GrandRounds Dr. Gerry Jones Appointed Chief Medical Officer for CHI St. Vincent Infirmary LITTLE ROCK – CHI St. Vincent has appointed Dr. Gerry Jones the Chief Medical Officer for CHI St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock. Dr. Jones, a cardiothoracic surgeon with extensive administrative experience, has served as Vice President for Medical Affairs for Gerry Jones The CHI St. Vincent Central Arkansas Market since January 2019. He will continue to serve in that capacity, while providing transformational leadership in this expanded role for the CHI St. Vincent system and its healing ministry. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jones will oversee all clinical operations at St. Vincent Infirmary as well as the day-to-day operations of medical staff at all CHI St. Vincent’s Central Arkansas facilities while driving operational efficiencies and quality improvements. A native of El Dorado, Arkansas, Dr. Jones received a Bachelor of Science with Distinction from Rhodes College and his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. He completed his residency and fellowship at Cornell University.

NARMC Announces New Marketing Manager HARRISON - North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) is proud to announce Spree Hilliard has been promoted to Marketing Department Man-




St. Bernards Medical Center Opens New Surgical and Intensive Care Tower JONESBORO -- St. Bernards Medical Center officially opened its new, stateof-the-art tower, which now serves as the hub of all surgical and intensive care services for the hospital. Visitors and patients to the new tower enter a ground-level atrium with access to visitor-friendly amenities such as a community/education room, a chapel, improved wayfinding and support services for surgery and critical care areas, including sterile processing. The tower also includes the 1900 Market, a café and coffee shop serving Northeast Arkansas’ own Shadrachs coffee. All surgical services – including inpatient and outpatient procedures, as well as waiting areas – will be in the new tower.

Center. The fourth phase is extensive renovations to patient and family areas inside the Medical Center. Together, all of the projects are a $137.5 million investment.

Wright Named COO of Washington Regional Medical Center FAYETTEVILLE – On March 1, Birch G. Wright, MPA will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Hospital Administrator of Washington Regional Medical Center according to Larry Shackelford, President and CEO of Washington Regional Birch G. Wright Medical System. Wright will be responsible for hospital operations and strategic business development, providing day-to-day leadership that is aligned with the mission and core values of the organization. Since 2018, Wright has served as Associate Medical Director and COO of the Veterans Healthcare System of the Ozarks. He previously held various leadership roles within the VA Healthcare System including Business and Financial Operations Director and Chief Financial Officer. Wright earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in Social Work from the University of Arkansas in 1998 and a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from the University of Arkansas in 2001. He will replace Mark Bever, who is expected to retire in April after more than 15 years of service at Washington Regional. arkansasmedicalnews


GrandRounds Fayetteville Surgical Associates Joins Washington Regional FAYETTEVILLE – Fayetteville Surgical Associates, located at 3264 N. North Hills Blvd. in Fayetteville, joined Washington Regional Medical System on January 1.General surgeons Jon Berry, M.D., Gareth Eck, M.D., Stephen Wood, M.D. and their staff will continue to provide their patients with high-quality, compassionate surgical care at the clinic, which Jon Berry is now called Washington Regional General Surgery Clinic. Dr. Jon Berry earned his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and completed a surGareth Eck gical residency at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. Dr. Berry is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Gareth Eck Stephen Wood earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and completed a general surgery internship and surgical residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and certified by the American Board of Surgery. He is a member of the Arkansas Medical Society and the Washington County Medical Society. He is a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Arkansas Area Health Education Center in Fayetteville and Surgical Site Director at UAMS Northwest College of Medicine. Dr. Stephen Wood earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and completed his internship and surgical residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Tulsa. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and certified by the American Board of Surgery. He is a member of the Arkansas Medical Society, the Washington County Medical Society and the Frank A. Clingan Surgical Society. Visit wregional.com/generalsurgery to learn more about Washington Regional General Surgery Clinic and Drs. Berry, Eck and Wood.

Conway Regional Health System Acquires Conway Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center CONWAY – Conway Regional Health System has acquired Conway Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center arkansasmedicalnews


(COSMC). The announcement brings together two organizations that are committed to providing comprehensive orthopedic services to Central Arkansas and the River Valley. Conway Regional Health System will manage and oversee all operations of the orthopedic center. Physicians who currently practice and who will remain at the COSMC location include: Scott Smith, M.D., Tod Ghormley, M.D., Jay Howell, M.D., Grant Bennett, M.D., James Head, M.D., Rick McCarron, M.D., and Glenn McClendon, D.P.M.

The center is located at 550 Club Ln in Conway, Arkansas. Conway Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center has provided comprehensive orthopedic care to Central Arkansas since 1988. The clinic offers a wide range of services, including specialized care for the hand, upper extremity, foot, and ankle; minimally invasive surgeries of the knee and hand;

total hip, knee, and shoulder replacements; and sports medicine services. All current services of Conway Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center will remain in operation, and patients will continue to see their current physicians. Physicians and staff of the orthopedic center will become Conway Regional Health System employees, and the center will retain its name and current location.

CANCER EXPERTS. PATIENT WARRIORS. When it comes to your health, you can never have too many people on your side. That’s why we’ve assembled a team of nationally-renowned experts specializing in the most advanced cancer care. From medical oncologists and radiologists to surgeons and imaging specialists, our world-class team is honored to deliver the highest level of cancer care to the patients of Arkansas.

501.906.3000 | CARTI.com




GrandRounds Dr. Dina Epstein Joins Baptist Health Women’s Clinic-North Little Rock NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Dina Epstein, MD, recently joined Baptist Health Women’s ClinicNorth Little Rock as an obstetrician-gynecologist. Dr. Epstein received her medical education from the University of Arkansas for Dina Epstein Medical Sciences and completed her residency at Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. Dr. Epstein joins two other providers at Baptist Health Women’s ClinicNorth Little Rock, located within Baptist Health-North Little Rock. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit baptisthealth.com

UAMS Baptist Health Orthopaedic Clinic-Conway Welcomes Dr. Sean Morell CONWAY – Sean Morell, MD, recently joined UAMS Baptist Health Orthopaedic Clinic-Conway, providing care for a wide range of problems with the hand, wrist and forearm. Dr. Morell, a native of Russellville, received his medical education Sean Morell from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he also completed his

residency in orthopedics. The physician’s training also includes a fellowship at the University of Colorado-Denver. UAMS and Baptist Health-Conway have teamed up to provide complete orthopedic services, giving patients at UAMS Baptist Health Orthopaedic Clinic-Conway the expertise of the state’s largest fellowship-trained orthopedic team combined with the state’s largest, most comprehensive health care network. For more information about the services that UAMS Baptist Health Orthopaedic Clinic-Conway, 625 United Drive, Suite 350, offers, visit baptisthealth.com.

Mercy NWA Adds Neurosurgical Team to Specialties ROGERS – Mercy has welcomed a new neurosurgical team that can treat patients with serious neurological illnesses and injuries who formerly had to be sent elsewhere for treatment. Dr. Castellvi said it Alejandro makes a big difference Castellvi for patients to be able to stay in the community for treatment because of the need for follow-up and continuity of care. Dr. Alejandro Castellvi and nurse practitioner Paula Stephens Paula Stephens joined Mercy Clinic

Neurosurgery – Physicians Plaza, treating patients in the clinic and hospital setting and performing life-saving and life-changing neurosurgery at Mercy Hospital. Stephens concurred that keeping patients in the community can improve outcomes and makes treatment easier for both the patient and their loved ones. The neurosurgical practice can help patients with a wide variety of complaints, from nonsurgical treatments for back pain to stroke treatment and surgical treatment of cranial issues. Dr. Castellvi earned his medical degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in Grand Cayman, British West Indies. He completed a residency in neurosurgery and a fellowship in complex spine surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Stephens has worked in neurosurgical medicine since 2009. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in gerontology from the University of Arkansas. She is board certified as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. She also has experience in trauma and intensive care. Dr. Castellvi and Stephens are available for appointments at Mercy Clinic Neurosurgery – Physicians Plaza at 2708 S. Rife Medical Lane in Rogers. The practice does not require a referral from another physician, nor prior imaging, for patients to make appointments.

Baptist Health Dedicates New Medical Office Building in North Little Rock NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Baptist Health officially dedicated its new Baptist Health Medical Office Building on Monday, Jan. 13, in North Little Rock. Governor Asa Hutchinson was on hand to help Baptist Health President and CEO Troy Wells and other local dignitaries cut the ribbon on the four-story 160,000-square-foot building which houses the Baptist Health-University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Education Program. The Baptist Health-UAMS Medical Education Program is a joint venture with UAMS that started with 24 residents in the specialties of family medicine and internal medicine with plans to expand and ultimately provide up to 120 or more new residency opportunities in the state. Pictured from left to right are Joe Smith, North Little Rock Mayor; Troy Wells, President and CEO of Baptist Health Internal Medicine Baptist Health; Dr. Cam Patterson, UAMS Chancellor; Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Governor; and Judy Henry, Chairman of the Baptist Health Board of Trustees. Clinic and Baptist Health Family Medicine Residency Clinic are located in the building. These new clinics serve as new points of access for the North Little Rock community and provide opportunities for the residents to practice in a clinical setting. The facility features state-of-the-art equipment, conference rooms, a resident lounge, shower facilities, an exercise room, a kitchenette and patient care clinical areas. In addition, the new building will house other physician clinics, as well as lab and x-ray. Lewis Architects and Engineers served as the architect on the $32 million project. The engineering firm was Petit and Petit while the general contractor was CDI Contractors.




Dr. Jessica Pullen Joins Baptist Health Women’s Clinic-Conway CONWAY – Baptist Health Women’s Clinic-Conway recently welcomed Jessica Pullen, MD, as an obstetrician-gynecologist. Dr. Pullen received her medical education from Louisiana State University Health SciJessica Pullen ences Center-Shreveport and had her residency at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Dr. Pullen is married with three children: two girls and a boy. She enjoys spending time with her family through activities like hiking, biking, camping and traveling. Baptist Health Women’s Clinic-Conway, 625 United Drive, Suite 420, is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

PUBLISHER Pamela Z. Haskins pamela@arkansasmedicalnews.com EDITOR Pepper Jeter editor@arkansasmedicalnews.com ADVERTISING SALES 501.247.9189 pamela@arkansasmedicalnews.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Susan Graham sgraham@nashvillemedicalnews.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Susan Graham, Katy Barrett-Alley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ben Boulden Denise Burke Becky Gillette David Marks All editorial submissions and press releases should be sent to pamela@memphismedicalnews.com Subscription requests can be mailed to the address below or emailed to pamela@memphismedicalnews.com.

Arkansas Medical News is now privately owned by Ziggy Productions, LLC. P O Box 1842 Memphis, TN 38101- 1842 President: Pamela Z. Haskins Vice President: Patrick Rains Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Arkansas Medical News will assume no responsibility for unsolicited materials. All letters sent to Arkansas Medical News will be considered the newspaper’s property and unconditionally assigned to Arkansas Medical News for publication and copyright purposes.




GrandRounds Arkansas Advanced Nurse Practitioner State Award Winners LITTLE ROCK - The AANP (Arkansas Advanced Nurse Practitioner) congratulates this year’s state award winners. Leonie DeClerk, ANPA MemberAt-Large from Jacksonville received the Arkansas NP State Award for Excellence and Karen Reynolds, ANPA Member-AtLarge from Springdale received the Arkansas Advocate State Award for Excellence. The prestigious AANP State Award for Excellence (comprised of two separate awards) is granted annually to deserving NPs and NP advocates. The NP State Award for Excellence is given to an individual NP in each state who demonstrates excellence in clinical practice. The Advocate State Award for Excellence is given to an individual in each state who makes a significant contribution toward increasing awareness and recognition of NPs.

Dr. Richard E. Phelan Joins The Dental Clinic at CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock LITTLE ROCK – CARTI has added dentist Richard E. Phelan, D.D.S. to its team of cancer specialists. Dr. Phelan will oversee The Dental Clinic at CARTI, located at CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock. He has run his own private dental practice in Richard E. Benton for more than Phelan 40 years. Dr. Phelan earned his dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Arkansas Dental Association and the Central District Dental Society.

G. Thomas Frazier, M.D., Invested in Inaugural G. Thomas Frazier, MD Chair in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery LITTLE ROCK — G. Thomas Frazier, M.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), was invested Dec. 19 in the inaugural G. Thomas Frazier, MD Chair in Hand and Upper ExG. Thomas tremity Surgery. Frazier Frazier joined UAMS in 2017, where he specializes in hand and microsurgery and has a special interest in joint replacement of the hand, wrist and elbow, and joint arthroscopy for the elbow and wrist, minimally invasive surgeries in which a tiny camera is inserted into the joint through a small incision, thereby avoidarkansasmedicalnews


ing traditional open surgery. Ellis Walton provided funding for the chair to honor her son-in-law Frazier’s contribution to the treatment of the hand. She and her late husband, Gus Walton, have been graciously philanthropic to UAMS in various capacities over several decades, and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and specifically the Section of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery has been near and dear to their hearts. She has volunteered with the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, and has served on boards for the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Psychiatric Research Institute. The ceremony hosted a packed house on the 12th floor of the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, many from Frazier’s hometown of Hope. That sense of community was referenced many times, including Frazier’s longtime friend and fellow Hope native Larry D. Wright, M.D., an associate program director for internal medicine residencies and associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. Frazier was presented with a commemorative medallion by Patterson and Westfall. He thanked his mentors, colleagues and family, and presented roses to his wife, Cynthia Walton Frazier, and his mother-in-law. C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., chair and professor of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, has a special relationship with Frazier, having known him since

Barnes was a medical student at UAMS and Frazier a resident. Both men helped form Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics, with a focus on sub-specialty orthopaedic care, where Frazier served as chairman of the board and Barnes was president and managing partner. Frazier grew up in Hope, Arkansas, graduating from Hope High School and later Hendrix College with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. In 1982, he graduated from the UAMS College of Medicine and completed an internship with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, where he was selected Outstanding Intern. He completed his orthopaedic residency in 1987, and Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship in 1988, both at UAMS. Frazier then joined Orthopaedic Associates to practice and helped start the Arkansas Hand Center in 1991. Along with his colleagues, Frazier helped provide the entire spectrum of hand care for Arkansas. In 1998, the Arkansas Hand Center joined with Orthopaedic Specialists and the Arkansas Spine Center to form Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics. Frazier is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association, the Southern Orthopaedic Association and the Arkansas Orthopaedic Society. He is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and holds a certificate of added qualification in hand surgery. He has been listed in “Best Doc-

tors in America” each year since 2004. Frazier has served as an inaugural board member at Access Schools, a member of Hendrix College’s Physician’s Advisory Council, a board member and president of The Anthony School, and on the Potluck Food Rescue’s board of directors.

Arkansas Surgical Hospital Announces Leadership Changes NORTH LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Surgical Hospital announced that Chief Operations Officer Brian Fowler has replaced Carrie Helm as Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2020. Fowler previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer. As CEO, he will be responsible for Arkansas Surgical Hospital continuing to meet and exceed the expectations of their patients. Fowler has also served Brian Fowler as President for the Arkansas Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Helm will remain on as Executive Advisor to the Board of Managers, providing additional assistance to Fowler and continuing with strategy development for 2020 and beyond. Helm joined Arkansas Surgical Hospital in 2008 after years of executive-level experience at other health facilities.

Medical Center Of South Arkansas Announces New Rehabilitation Therapy Options EL DORADO - Medical Center of South Arkansas Inpatient Rehab has acquired two new pieces of therapy equipment with electrical stimulation technology for treatment of patients recovering from accident or illness. MCSA will use this new equipment as the standard of care in rehabilitation therapy for many neurological conditions such as spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and brain injury to support positive therapeutic outcomes. Shelby Cater, MCSA Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation, believes that, this new equipment will give South Arkansas residents seeking recovery from accident or illness the opportunity to maximize their potential for return of prior level of function and improve their overall outcomes through advanced therapy services available close to home. The new equipment’s electrical stimulation technology sends targeted stimulation to arm, core and leg muscle groups with 6 to 12 integrated and coordinated channels of stimulation to improve weakness by re-building or conditioning muscles to regain or maintain functionality. Safe, low-current electrical pulses activate paralyzed or deconditioned muscles for functional movement and they are a proven therapy with a wide range of therapeutic indications. The electrical stimulation technology helps improve secondary conditions lingering from accident or illness including circulation, range of motion, and muscle memory and reduces complications like muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, UTI, and skin break down. Benefits from electrical stimulation therapy include but are not limited to improved arm function, gait/ walking, spasticity, and physiologic function leading to better quality of life and independence. Individuals suffering from neurological disorders caused by accident or illness can benefit from electrical stimulated therapy at the onset of their diagnosis or after disease or injury has progressed. Patients who have previously been discharged from rehab and didn’t quite meet their goal of mobility will have the opportunity to come to our program and use the equipment. Patients eligible for rehabilitation therapy must meet medical necessity, be able to actively participate in intensive therapy program for three hours a day, and have the need for two therapy disciplines including physical, speech, and occupational therapies. A complimentary pre-admission screening is conducted for each referral to determine if the patient meets these requirements and if their specific condition may benefit from the program. Referrals to the MCSA Inpatient Rehabilitation Program can be done by calling their referral specialists line, 870-863-2588. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



LISTEN. LEARN. SHARE. FREE PAIN MANAGEMENT TELEVIDEO CONFERENCES UAMS AR-IMPACT Speaker’s Bureau is a FREE interactive televideo lecture series designed to help Arkansas clinicians better manage their chronic pain patients and those who need their opioid dosage reduced. Each of our AR IMPACT team members will travel to the UAMS Regional Centers to provide lectures on various topics related to pain management and opioid use disorder. You can access these lectures remotely from your computer or handheld device. Continuing medical education credit for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, and social workers is available with 2 hours of credit being offered per lecture date. See our speaker schedule for details. Questions? Email arimpact@uams.edu.

TO JOIN A CONFERENCE: Visit arimpact.uams.edu and click the link to join

OR Call 1-844-885-1319, then enter 415081971

2/13/20 | 12 pm - 2 pm Johnathan Goree, M.D. 1. How the Prescription Drug Epidemic became an Opioid Epidemic: Failure in Upstream Policy and a Call for Downstream Solutions 2. Neuromodulation and Radiofrequency Ablation. Is it the Pain Treatment of the Future? UAMS Southwest - Texarkana 2/27/20 | 12 pm - 2 pm Johnathan Goree, M.D. 1. Assessment and Evidence Based Treatment Algorithms for Low Back Pain 2. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Diagnosis, Treatment, and Review of Cases UAMS South Central - Pine Bluff 3/5/20 | 12 pm - 2 pm Corey Hayes, PharmD, Ph.D. 1. Opioid Tapering 2. Naloxone Formulations, Cost, and When to Talk to Patients UAMS South -Magnolia 4/2/20 | 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm Leah Tobey, PT, DPT 1. Alternative pain relief & self-management with physical therapy 2. Tips for the Busy Clinician: 5 minute lumbar exam UAMS West - Fort Smith 4/16/20 | 12 pm - 2 pm Masil George, M.D. 1. Opioid Free-Success Stories of Effectively Stopping Opioids 2. Managing the Difficult Patient Encounter UAMS Northeast - Jonesboro More talks are being added, check arimpact.uams.edu/speakersbureau for the latest schedule.

Profile for Medical News

January-February 2020 Arkansas Medical News  

your primary source for professional healthcare news

January-February 2020 Arkansas Medical News  

your primary source for professional healthcare news