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IU doc group becomes Eskenazi Medical

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A group of 123 doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have formed the Eskenazi Medical Group in order to focus on maximizing patient care and performance-based bonuses at Wishard Health Services.

The county-owned hospital system announced the new structure on Thursday. The members of the new Eskenazi Medical Group, all of whom are part of the faculty at the Indiana University School of Medicine, were formerly part of the primary care unit of the IU Medical Group.

IU Medical Group had 189 physicians last year, according to IBJ research. The remaining physicians from that group—who tended to practice in medical offices affiliated with the IU Health hospital system—are joining IU Health Physicians.

IU Health Physicians is a physician joint venture of the IU med school and the IU Health hospital system. With more than 850 doctors, IU Health Physicians already is the largest medical practice in the Indianapolis area.

Wishard will retain all the primary care and hospitalist doctors who practice in its downtown hospital and its 10 community clinics. Dr. John Kunzer, interim CEO of Eskenazi Medical, said being affiliated with only one hospital system will help the new group focus on advancing the “medical home” concept for patients.

“We want to be involved in that model of care,” said Kunzer, noting that by helping address patients’ health issues both inside and outside the clinic setting, the medical home concept should be able to reduce unnecessary ER visits and expensive hospital stays.

That’s key for Wishard because two out of every five of its patients has no health insurance. So reducing the need for health care is crucial to the hospital’s financial health—and it’s good for its patients, too.

“There is absolutely a desire to have physicians engaged and involved in leadership roles in developing the model,” Kunzer added.

The physicians in Eskenazi Medical also are interested in achieving the best patient outcomes, because the federal Medicare program is promoting a shared savings model that would pay a percentage of any savings achieved by a physician group back to them as a bonus.

Other private health insurers have been launching or discussing similar programs. And Kunzer said Eskenazi Medical hopes to create similar arrangements with the Wishard Advantage health plan—run by Wishard Health Services. It accounts for 40 percent of Eskenazi Medical’s annual revenue.

“Medical groups across the country understand that primary care, in its current form, doesn’t pay the greatest,” Kunzer said. “By partnering with health systems, it just increases the medical groups' viability.”

Kunzer said Wishard is conducting a national search for a permanent CEO and expects to name one by summer. He is one of the candidates for the post.

Wishard will change its name to Eskenazi Health in 2014.

 

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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