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FOCUS TOPICS PATIENT RETENTION • ORTHOPEDICS • PHYSICIAN/HOSPITAL INTEGRATION • ALLERGIES

April 2019 >> $5 ON ROUNDS

Practices Don’t Always Get a Second Chance Proactive Patient Retention Can Pay Large Dividends By CINDy WOLFF

No Place Like Home Dr. Blake Chandler cherishes giving back to his hometown When Blake Chandler, MD, headed to medical school, he did so with the support of his family, friends and his hometown.

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Severe Asthma Disparities Study Finds Social Determinants Impact ED Usage Racial disparities between asthma prevalence, severity and morbidity have been well documented in numerous scholarly journals. A recently published article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) drilled down on emergency department utilization between self-reported black and white patients, finding that while self-reported black patients were more than twice as likely to visit an Emergency Department, those disparities disappeared when factoring out social determinants and related environmental exposures.

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Phyllis Blount remembers when her elderly mother was in the emergency room after a fall. Blount didn’t call Dr. Vincent Smith, her mother’s primary doctor, but he showed up anyway to check on her. On a Saturday. Mary Jehl Kenner recalls a time 25 years ago when she sat for three hours in a waiting room with her daughter to see an eye doctor. Kenner, a single mother, who took off work for the appointment, complained to the doctor. “Make an earlier appointment next time,” he said. There was no next time. Kenner never went back. It still makes her mad, 25 years later.

Sometimes patients leave for reasons beyond a medical practice’s control, such as a change in health insurance coverage, the patient moves away, or their doctor is leaving or retiring from the practice. But there are plenty of proactive patient retention steps in a practice’s control that can keep their patients happy and connected. Most medical practices use technology, training, social media and old-fashioned attention to patients as part of proactive patient retention. The practices contact their patients through texts and emails. Patients can log into their patient portals to see test results and summaries of their office visits.

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Physician/Hospital Integration in the 21st Century Mid-South MGMA panel discusses the issues and benefits By SUZANNE BOyD

At the March Mid-South MGMA meeting, three healthcare leaders discussed Physician/Hospital Integration. The discussion was moderated by longtime healthcare leader, Bill Breen with West Tennessee Healthcare’s Dr. Bob Pryor and Baptist – Memphis’s Dana Dye rounding out the panel. West Tennessee Medical News shares insight from the panel.

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At the basis of any endeavor is the value it has to the organization as well as to those involved. Physician integration has had to react to the

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PhysicianSpotlight

No Place Like Home

Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Blake Chandler, cherishes giving back to his hometown By SUZANNE BOYD

When Blake Chandler, MD, headed to medical school, he did so with the support of his family, friends and his hometown. As an orthopedic surgeon with West Tennessee Bone Joint Clinic in Paris, Tenn., he is giving back to the community that played a big role in making him the man and doctor he is now. Puryear, which is only a hop, skip and a jump from Paris, is where Chandler and his brother grew up and where his parents still reside. His father worked for the City of Paris and his mother was a firstgrade teacher for 36 years, and he was the first in his family to be interested in medicine. Chandler admits he has no idea where his interest in medicine, which began about the age of five, came from. “My aunt asked me when I was little why I wanted to be a doctor since I did not like the sight of blood. I told her I would just turn my head and cut which was a bit ironic because who knew I would turn out to be a surgeon after all,” he said. “At the age of 17, I had the chance to shadow the only surgeon in Paris, Dr. Tom Minor. He was a true surgeon in that he had to do everything. I knew then that surgery was what I wanted to do.” After graduating from UT-Knoxville, Chandler went to medical school at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City with a little support from back home in the form of a scholarship from Henry County Medical Center. With the scholarship came a commitment to return to the area to work a year for each year he received the scholarship. It was in his third year of medical school that orthopedics rose to the forefront for Chandler. “I was sitting in the surgery lounge when a surgeon came in

An avid hunter and fisherman, Dr. Blake Chandler shows off one of his catches while on a fishing excursion in Alaska.

and said he needed some help. I had no idea what I was walking into,” he said. “It was a hip replacement and that was when I knew I wanted to be an orthopedist.” Residency training brought Chandler back to West Tennessee and the Campbell Clinic in Memphis. At the end of his residency, Chandler knew he was ready to start practice and, while he was committed to returning to Henry County, he did not mind because not only was it home, it also afforded the avid outdoorsman physician ample opportunities to hunt and fish. While he had the support of the hospital, starting his own practice did cause him some anxiety at first. “I had no idea what I was getting into. I just showed up with a tie on in my white coat and the other doctors laughed

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at me,” said Chandler. “They said you aren’t in Memphis anymore and that I was a country doctor now. So, I took off the tie and coat and got to work. The first day I had 25 patients and it has just gotten busier ever since.” In 2001, Dr. Russell Boyd, a general surgeon, and Chandler joined forces to start Surgical Specialists of Paris. Each physician’s practice grew to the point that they each needed their own office space so the practice split. Chandler’s practice became Bone and Joint Specialist of Paris for the next 14 years. Five years ago, he merged with West Tennessee Bone and Joint in Jackson and has since added another orthopedist to his office, Dr. Kyle Stephens, another native of Paris. They also see patients in their satellite office in

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Union City and perform surgery in Paris, Martin and the surgery center in Jackson. “Insurance, contracts and just the politics of medicine were making it hard for a sole practitioner to survive. They were looking to expand their brand and I knew they were a great group. I had gone through residency with some of them and it was the solution I had been looking for,” said Chandler. “I have a lot of autonomy, but it also has taken the administrative burden off me. My former office manager is still with us but now his role has expanded to CFO for the entire group.” Coming back home gave Chandler opportunity to give back to the community that gave him so much. He serves as the team physician for all sports for his alma mater, Henry County High School. “It is impossible to say how rewarding it is to be able to help someone who helped me become the man I am today,” he said. “Paris is such a wonderful community and coming back home was the easiest decision I have ever made. Doing my residency in Memphis showed me I am not a big city kind of guy. I could not wait to get back to this small town in Northwest Tennessee.” Henry County is also home to woods and lakes which also feed the outdoorsman in Chandler who grew up on the lake, duck hunting and fishing. “I love being outdoors and some of my favorite times as a child were hunting and fishing trips with my brother and dad. I also take an annual trip to Canada each Fall to hunt geese, and have made several fishing trips to Alaska,” he said. “If I am not in the office, then I am trying to figure out how to be hunting or fishing, unless of course the Vols are playing football, then that is where I am.”

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Five Reasons Your Practice Is Losing Patients By STEWART GANDOLF

It costs your hospital or practice about five times more to obtain a new patient than to keep an existing patient within your database. That’s why patient retention matters –the overall loss of a patient’s lifetime value is not something you want to give up. So if you’re losing patients, you might be . . . well . . . losing patience. The good news is there’s something that can be done to fight the trend. However, you must be willing and able to audit your current processes and find out what’s turning patients away, and be honest about why they might be seeking help elsewhere.

1. Common Office Mistakes

Most practices, group practices, and even hospitals don’t realize how much money is lost at the front desk. In our research, we’ve found that some practices have the potential to lose millions of dollars at the front desk. Some of this is thanks to the processes you may have (or may not have) in place. But the bulk of the problem occurs when the front office staff is not properly trained in customer service. Gone are the days when the front office staffs were considered a primarily administrative part of our profession. In the modern days of patient experience, the front office experience is held to a higher standard. These mistakes, however, can get in the way: • Poor phone skills. If patients perceive your front desk staff as being rude, indifferent, or rushing through calls, they have the option to simply call someone else. • Long hold times. Putting someone on

About the Writer Stewart Gandolf is CEO and creative director of Healthcare Success. He has marketed and consulted with more than 1,400 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Gandolf cofounded Healthcare Success. In addition to writing about healthcare marketing he is also a noted speaker on the subject.

hold for 10 minutes is no longer acceptable practice. It’s a reflection of how you treat patients in the office, and some people will simply hang up if a hold is unexpected. • Confusion or misinformation. There are some questions your front office staff simply cannot answer, whether due to doctor-patient confidentiality or because a question required medical advice. However, your front office should be able to redirect the question properly and make sure patients feel able to get the answers they need. • Billing issues or inefficiencies. If a patient is overcharged, for example, or given misinformation about insurance coverage, they have plenty of reason to go elsewhere.

2. High Wait Times

The average wait time for patients in hospitals and practices in the U.S. is just over 20 minutes. That means many

patients are waiting even longer than this—and that’s a long time to go without anything happening to you (not to mention time spent waiting for testing, etc.). About 30 percent of patients say they have left a doctor’s appointment because of a particularly long wait. Many practices in your area are actively taking steps to reduce wait times.  Patients will find somewhere else to go if the problem is not addressed.

3. Poor Relationships

Nurturing patient relationships is one of the easiest ways to ensure patient retention. You only need to ensure patients are able to recall your name when they need you. You and your team should come up with an outreach strategy in order to show patients you care. That goes beyond sim-

ply sending out appointment reminders. The little gestures mean a lot, from calling to check up on how well a medication is working to asking whether a child is feeling better. Patients will remember that you took the time to ask. A big part of maintaining a patient relationship also involves marketing. Build your brand through social media or use automated email campaigns to update previous patients so that they come back to your practice or hospital or recommend you to friends.

4. One Bad Experience

One bad experience can ruin your chances of patient loyalty. There are some experiences you can’t bounce back from if a patient resolves never to return to your office. However, you may be able to learn from those patient experiences to prevent this from happening in the future. Think of a time you’ve had a bad experience that kept you from going back to a restaurant or retail store. Maybe you ranted about the experience to friends who had a similar complaint. Or maybe you went online to find that lots of people had left reviews of a similar nature. When patient retention is low, you may be able to attribute it to a shared experience driving people away from your practice or hospital. Check your online reviews to find out what people are saying about your practice. Better yet, automate reviews so that you can easily review feedback and respond if need be. Part of marketing any healthcare organization means being willing to change your processes to keep up with what patients want.

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Practices Don’t Always Get a Second Chance, continued from page 1 “We send reminders by text, said Shanna Smith, director of payment services for OrthoOne. “We call them two days prior and send the text the night before. Our no-shows have decreased. They’ve gotten so used to our contact, that if we somehow forget to call or the text doesn’t go through, they get anxious and call to make sure they have the right day. They like the reminders.” Levy Dermatology also sends texts and emails, and they email a patient survey right after a patient leaves. The practice, which averages about 200 patients a day, gets between 20 and 30 surveys returned them that day. A negative comment is immediately addressed by the office manager or Shira Levy, the chief operations officer. “We listen, we apologize, we offer them a free visit,” Levy said. “We deal with the issue.” Other ways in which the clinic practices proactive patient retention includes: Continuous training of staff on customer service, social media games on Facebook 4

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such as Bingo for Botox, Instagram giveaways, charity events that patients are invited to attend, an open house, free consultations and free cancer screening. “Our retention rate is directly tied to our attention to detail and emphasis on the customer experience,” Levy said. “What we hear most often that keeps patients coming back is the high efficiency of patient flow, the friendliness of our staff, attentiveness of our providers and the cleanliness of the clinics.” Jennifer Goodfred, DO, medical director of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) University Clinical Health Family Medicine said since the clinic treats a range of patients, from infants to geriatric people, and provides a continuity of care not found with other practices. “Patients feel they are getting excellent continuity of care,” she said. “They want to know if I’m going to still be their doctor (when they get older).” The biggest reason patients leave a medical practice is because they are upset with how they were treated, said Stew-

art Gandolf, the chief executive officer of Healthcare Success, a California-based marketing and advertising agency. (Gandalf’s commentary about patient retention can be found on page .) “In business in general, upwards of 70 percent of people who take their business elsewhere do so because they perceive an attitude of indifference,” he said. “Admittedly, their perception may not have been due to a deliberate slight or discourtesy, but the result is staggering anyway.” Goodfred says that is something her practice takes seriously. “The behavior and attitude of the staff is a reflection on me, said Goodfred, “We are part of a team that takes care of our patients from the person who greets them when they walk in the door. It’s very important for patient retention.” Gandolf said successful practices maintain a culture of respect and attention to patients’ needs and concerns, even if it’s something like the long walk from the parking lot. “A practice should leave no room for

anyone to feel that they (the patient, visitor, family member) are an intrusion or interruption to the busy office environment,” Gandolf said. “Doctors and staff have to pay attention to patient needs, and to hear them when they share their concerns. Even if the issue seems trivial or out of your control . . . listen.” The other big reason patients leave is because of wait times. The University Clinical Health clinic offers a half hour each morning at 7:30 for walk-ins, which addresses some of the wait time issues. But since the clinic is a residency teaching practice, there will be some delays, Goodfred said. Their goal is to give each patient their full attention. OrthoOne has patients back within 5 to 10 minutes of their arrival, Smith said. They are usually finished within 30 to 45 minutes, unless it’s a complicated issue. “Staying on schedule (or close to it) is a major factor in retention; perhaps one of the biggest,” said Smith. “There is a clear message of ‘indifference’ that flows when people frequently experience long wait times.” westtnmedicalnews

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Severe Asthma Disparities

Study Finds Social Determinants Impact ED Usage By CINDY SANDERS

Racial disparities between asthma prevalence, severity and morbidity have been well documented in numerous scholarly journals. A recently published article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) drilled down on emergency department utilization between self-reported black and white patients, finding that while self-reported black patients were more than twice as likely to visit an Emergency Department, those disparities disappeared when factoring out social determinants and related environmental exposures. The research, published in JACI in January, stemmed from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP). Lead author Anne M. Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, an associate professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, explained SARP is a consortium of investigators at institutions across the country who have been granted funding to build the knowledge base related to severe asthma. “Each investigator has their own unique interest, but together we make a really great partnership,” she noted. “By pooling our resources and creating a shared group of individuals, we can now answer questions we wouldn’t be able to answer on our own.” Fitzpatrick added that while asthma is common, severe asthma is less so. “We think about 5 percent of asthma patients have severe asthma,” she said. That relatively small patient sample made it difficult for any single researcher or team to gain enough critical mass to make the clinical determinations that can be achieved by looking at a larger patient pool through SARP. In her clinical practices, Fitzpatrick said she had observed black patients utilizing the ED to care for asthma significantly more often white patients. However, she continued, before the national study through SARP, it was hard to know if that usage pattern was specific to Atlanta or the Southeast or held true nationally. Looking at entrance to the health system through the ED along with a prescription for steroids, which indicates a severe asthma episode, Fitzpatrick said researchers thought they would get a straightforward answer to the question of why self-reported black patients used the emergency department more frequently than self-reported white patients for severe asthma. “What became immediately apparent,” she continued, “is that it was like comparing apples to oranges. Almost every baseline characteristic we looked at between black and white patients was different.” A laundry list of economic and social variables – from increased environmental westtnmedicalnews

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exposures to decreased access to resources – factored into a patient’s ultimate arrival at the ED for asthma treatment. Once inverse probability of treatment weighting was used to balance for these variables, Fitzpatrick said the difference in ED usage ceased to be statistically significant. “I think the encouraging thing about our results is they are not pointing to genetics or biology,” Fitzpatrick continued. “That’s a good thing because we can design interventions,” she added of addressing the root causes of the disparities. She added that while ED usage was the primary outcome studied, secondary outcomes included use of inhaled corticosteroids, physician office visits for asthma and asthma-related hospitalizations. “Outpatient visits for asthma were much less in black patients,” she said, adding the study found black patients were 43 percent less likely to see a physician or other provider for asthma care in the community. “It tells us our efforts toward outpatient management of asthma are not sufficient.” Noting the black patients in the study tended to be more economically disadvantaged than the white participants, Fitzpatrick said social determinants loom large. “These medications for asthma are expensive, and there are very few generics,” she said. “These are real world problems,” Fitzpatrick continued of trying to decide between using limited resources to care for your children or purchase your inhaler. She noted the nature of asthma also adds to the problem. “Asthma is one of those diseases where some days you feel really good, so you skip your medicine. It’s like a perfect storm,” she continued. “You feel okay, but inflammation is actually building up.” The SARP findings have opened the door to many more questions. Does more time need to be spent on health literacy and disease education? Can access to care and affordability of medicines be improved? Is there a cultural mistrust of the health system? What are the best ways to reach the target audience for improved outpatient management? What steps should be taken to address environmental factors? This initial ED usage report came from the first year of observation of 579 participants ages six and older. Follow-up reporting from SARP investigators will continue over the next few years. While this new report doesn’t offer specific solutions to the larger issue of disparities, Fitzpatrick said it’s a first step to further study. Knowing the role of social determinants on ED utilization allows other investigators, public health officials and policymaker to look for specific interventions to address the non-biological factors exacerbating severe asthma. “It’s good because we can do something about it,” she concluded.

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Physician/Hospital Integration in the 21st Century, continued from page 1 healthcare climate and move toward value for the patient. During his time at BaylorScott & White Health, West Tennessee’s CMO, Dr. Bob Pryor noticed a lack of trust between boards even though they were partners and employees. This was caused by a lack of understanding each other’s role. In order for the partnerships to move forward, physicians and administration had to be held equally accountable in terms of quality, safety, delivery, cost of care and morale of providers and patients. As these partnerships move forward, he found that it was better to have doctors that were accountable not just looked to for advice. For Baptist-Memphis CEO, Dana Dye, integration is something that is near to her heart. She has witnessed its rapid progression as it moved across the country and says healthcare leaders need to be poised to move into that change. “It is no longer about just having a relationship with the doctor, you have to have partnerships. And those can come in a multitude of ways, from joint ventures to foundation models,” she said. “We as administrators think we know what should happen in the c-suite and physicians think they do as well. We have to come to the table to figure it out together with the understanding that all are equal partners.” Throughout the process of integration there are lessons that can be learned. One important lesson Dye says is that you cannot rely on the contractual relationship because it is more about the partnership formed. “Just joining forces does not necessarily equate to profitability,” she said. “You have to look at it as a whole and be willing to take risks when needed while eliminating the ones that do not work in favor of the whole.” Pryor shared that you cannot rely on the contract to put things on auto pilot. “Relative Value Units (RVU’s), quality bonuses and salaries can make why you are paying someone fuzzy. If you pay them by paycheck, they are an employee and then you have to hold them accountable to how well they are producing the outcomes you determine you want them to produce. Quality bonuses can also be problematic because if a physician is making $1.2 million, what value does a $5,000 bonus really mean to them,” he said. “When Scott-White moved away from paying based on RVU’s to salaries,

it gave the physician the ability to manage the budget and be accountable for it. For instance, when dealing with downstream revenue, and who should benefit from it, is easier when the physicians involved understand that revenue comes with expenses that have to be factored in and managed.” For Dye, complete transparency at every level is critical. “Good relationships require that we listen to physicians and hear them correctly as well as consider how we each look at and interpret data,” she said. “They have to understand the world they operate in as well as that of administration and see things from both sides of the table. Transparency can make that possible.” Has integration improved the patient experience? Dye says it is about value and what that is to the patient and their family. “People have so much out of pocket expenses in healthcare and it takes partners that are committed to reducing waste and costs,” she said. “EMR’s have changed the whole dynamics of this because they are forcing all to be on the same page. The patient gets a better value from the experience when there is enhanced communication. This increased linkage between providers and patients can also allow for economies of scale that further the patient’s experience.” Prior to the EMR, Pryor said there was purposely fragmented care but now we are heading in the right direction, it is just slow moving. Fueling this, is that now a patient sees a hospitalist in the hospital, not their primary care physician. “Once discharged they are sent back to their primary care physician for a five-minute follow-up visit,” he said. “That worked back when the primary doctor saw them in the hospital. Now he doesn’t know what happened in the hospital which makes the EMR even more crucial in the care pathway. One way to improve on this is for the hospitalist to call the primary care physician the day before discharge to update them. Putting little things like this into the system of care compels quality.” “Electronic Medical Records are going to have to be linked,” said Dye. “That is critical to effective communication after leaving the hospital. Doctors in the hospital are so busy it is hard to call a primary care doctor that is just as busy in the clinic. When the EMR’s can talk

Five Reasons, continued from page 4 5. No Plan in Place

All in all, if you have no plan in place for patient retention, you can expect to run into trouble at some point. This should be part of your overall marketing plan. You cannot expect your patient volume to stay the same forever, but with a marketing plan in place, you won’t have to wait until your waiting room is empty before you do something about it. Physicians ensure patient retention in their practices simply by being proactive. This means having a plan in place for staff training, process improvement, maintain6

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ing patient relationships, reviewing and responding to feedback, and much more. Published with permission from Healthcare Success. This article originally appeared on the Healthcare Success blog. Healthcare Success is a full-service healthcare marketing and advertising agency serving practices, hospitals, and organizations nationwide. Our principals have marketed over 1,000 healthcare organizations and have 20-plus years of experience with traditional and digital advertising strategies that deliver results. Its website is  https:// www.healthcaresuccess.com/

to each other it is going to improve that communication.” “We are accountable for our patients, especially when they go to the hospital,” said Breen. “You would hope that some barriers moving them back to their primary care doctor would be broken down due to being within a healthcare system and many of the hospitals and physicians within that system are on same EMR. But it can’t be done without resources and no one knows where those are coming from.” Other barriers to integration that the panel noted were fair market value and regulatory issues. “When you are paying the physician a percentage of some table, that table really means nothing when you are trying to start a new program and recruit people to it,” said Pryor. “We were spending $1.8 million every six months using locum tenens for our neuro program in Texas, while trying to recruit for a level one trauma center because we did not have a resident program that we could draw from. We established one, stabilized the program and got a better product because of it. Often, it is the governmental and financial constraints that stand in the way because they leave us asking how can I pay for this? But in our case having that trauma center was imperative. When the Fort Hood shooting occurred, we had 12 casualties in one hour which would have been very taxing on our resources and had we not prepared, we would not have been able to handle it.” “There is a shortage of some physicians/specialties, and when you are in competition for the same small pool it can be extremely difficult to recruit experienced personnel. You have also got to know where the resources are to pay for that,” said Dye. “It can cause you to evaluate fair market value. Young doctors right out of training want to be compensated but also value having a life outside of work. They consider patient load, call schedule, etc. and this work life balance can be difficult in the scheme of things under the current regulations.” In the case of joint ventures, the fair market value of what you are paying the physician has to be evaluated. “Are you paying them as a physician or an investor?” said Pryor. “Is their investment in line with what it cost to bring them in? You have to look at their salary versus what they get as an investor in a joint venture and the total compensation has to work with that.” Breen stressed that again it is all about transparency. “If you have been on the same RVU for 30 years, what do you do? The doctor thinks he is at the top of the scale. If you have to up the rate, then you have to ask for something in return,” he said. “It can be complicated because you have to ask them to help you make that money back by doing these things or helping with them. FMV and regulatory issues make it hard because no one wants to be in an orange jumpsuit.” What can healthcare execs do to promote physician communication and alignment? Pryor said even though he was a physician, when he went into negotia-

tions as a CEO, he always took his CMO. “He can say things the CEO cannot. He can say here is where we are going, here is where we would like you to go with us and why,” he said. “I will say that in any negotiation you can reach your limit and when/if you do, you have to say this is all I can do and go to the next best thing, which sometimes is better in the end.” Knowing when to cut your losses is key, according to Dye. “Be brave enough to step away and poised to address the downstream noise,” she said. “Most doctors want to know there is a plan and a backup. Many times, this leads to better services at better costs.” “One of the most important tools for an administrator is the doctors’ dining room,” said Pryor. “Because that is where you can go and hear what the conversation is and intervene by telling them what is happening. Often times the medical staff is only hearing a part of the story and you can tell them the rest of it. It is a great place to nix some of the rumbling and restore sanity.”

PUBLISHER Pamela Z. Haskins pamela@memphismedicalnews.com EDITOR Pepper Jeter editor@westtnmedicalnews.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Susan Graham sgraham@nashvillemedicalnews.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Susan Graham Katy Barrett-Alley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Suzanne Boyd, Stewart Gandolf Cindy Sanders, Cindy Wolff 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. West TN Medical News is now privately and locally 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. West TN Medical News will assume no responsibility for unsolicited materials. All letters sent to West TN Medical News will be considered the newspaper’s property and unconditionally assigned to West TN Medical News for publication and copyright purposes.

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GrandRounds West Tennessee Healthcare and Hinds Medical Clinic Form New Collaboration

JACKSON - West Tennessee Healthcare is pleased to announce a new collaboration between its multispecialty medical clinic, West Tennessee Medical Group, and Hinds Medical Clinic. The clinic, which includes 2 providers, is located at 215 Hawks Rd., in Martin, Tennessee. The providers practicing in the clinic will be Michael Hinds, MD, and Amiee Stooksberry, NP. Farrah Vernon, DO has also joined the practice. The acquisition was effective March 18, 2019, however, patients of Hinds Medical Clinic will likely see no change with the transition. Patients of Hinds Medical Clinic will continue to see their same provider at their same location said Darrell King, vice president, West Tennessee Medical Group. The new collaboration will enhance the existing primary care services provided by Hinds Medical Clinic by creating access to the vast array of innovative resources offered through the West Tennessee Healthcare system. Office hours of the clinic are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. For appointments, please call 731-5873454.

pensation for the 11 faculty physicians in the program and residency program and administrative support staff. The health system will be the owner and operator of the clinic. This agreement strengthens the long-standing and successful relationship with Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, benefits the academic and clinical mission of the university, and ensures continued excellent delivery of family medicine services to the people of Jackson and the surrounding area.

Jackson Surgical Associates Joins West Tennessee Healthcare’s Growing Team of Specialists

JACKSON - West Tennessee Healthcare is pleased to announce that Jackson Surgical Associates is joining its multi-specialty medical group, West Tennessee Medical Group. Since 1970, Jackson Surgical Associates has been providing high quality surgical care to patients in West Tennessee. Its five surgeons, Drs. Dean Currie, Daniel Day, David Laird, Gar-

rison Smith, and David Villareal, are all board-certified and will continue to provide services at 395 Hospital Blvd in Jackson. West Tennessee Healthcare and Jackson Surgical Associates have been working collaboratively for many years according to Darrell King, Vice-President, West Tennessee Medical Group. Office hours of the clinic are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00 pm.

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UTHSC Strengthens Ties with West Tennessee Healthcare to Form Family Medicine Faculty Practice Group in Jackson

JACKSON - The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in collaboration with West Tennessee Healthcare is forming a new family medicine faculty practice group in West Tennessee. For years, the UTHSC College of Medicine has maintained a family medicine training program for residents, as well as a clinical teaching practice and a clinic in Jackson. UTHSC partners with major hospitals and health systems across the state to conduct successful faculty physician practice groups. Among these are UT Methodist Physicians, Regional One Physicians, and UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists. The university sought to bring the Jackson program in line with others in which it partners. Under the collaborative arrangement, West Tennessee Healthcare will assume operation of the clinic, which is located on the campus of JacksonMadison County General Hospital. The university and the health system will jointly govern the new faculty clinical practice. The providers will be joining the West Tennessee Medical Group, which currently has over 130 providers utilizing their specialized expertise to improve the overall health of patients in the service area. Practicing in 17 specialties with more than 35 clinic locations throughout the region, West Tennessee Medical Group is the largest physician practice between Memphis and Nashville. UTHSC will continue to administer the residency program there, as well as research and educational activities, and will pay the academic portions of comwesttnmedicalnews

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