Case Study #1: INDEPENDENT STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
For more than 25 years, physician-owners of Changebridge Medical Associates successfully ran a single-site primary care practice in Morris County, NJ. They were meeting the challenges of managing arduous regulations, working with hospitals and insurance payers, and becoming early adopters of advanced medical technologies. Yet, they were keenly aware that the outlook for remaining a sustainable independent business like theirs was questionable. They wanted to consider viable alternatives and solutions as well as break new ground for patient growth and revenue streams. They knew they needed a long-term plan.
They explored remaining a local practice, being acquired by a hospital or other large practice system, or finding like-minded primary care groups with which to join forces. After weighing these options, Changebridge Medical Associates decided to merge with two other practices and develop a new regional primary care business model. The three practices formed Vanguard Medical Group, a full-service, integrated, medically and technologically advanced model of patient-centered, physician-led primary care.
VMG worked with nationally known consultants who participated in each step of the initial merger, and a replicable model for use by subsequent practices joining VMG was created. Attention was paid to existing best practices and maintaining the culture of each location to ensure a smooth transition into a regional entity using a single-tax ID number. Since then, VMG has focused on integrating business functions to create better financial leverage, integrating patient-centered care components consistently across the three practice locations, and building a cohesive team.
The Montville office increased stable revenue streams; streamlined billing, HR, and finance processes; enhanced contracting with payers; and maintained physician income levels of 75%-90% for primary care nationally. The average revenue per visit has been increased by over 20%. The Montville team hired RN patient care coordinators to help their chronically ill patients better manage their diagnosis and treatment plans, increased usage of sophisticated technology at the point of care, and improved patient access to the right care at the right time. Robust quality improvement programs have been instituted with the help of national consultants to improve team-based care and patient engagement.
Call the Vanguard Medical Group’s founders to help you assess whether remaining an independent practice is the right strategy for you and to learn more about our practice development and merger support services. Becoming a member of VMG offers you training and development, negotiation strength with insurance payers, advancing the use of information technology, NCQA application guidance, best practice recommendations, practice transformation coaching, HR guidelines, and HIPAA/OSHA compliance assistance. This results in a better bottom line for the physicians and a better patient and staff experience.
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