|Ocala, FL -
May 1, 2012|
Published in Ocala.com/Star Banner on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 9:31 a.m.
Dr. Dwight D. Landmann talks about working with Munroe Regional Medical Center at Ocala Surgical Associates in Ocala on Tuesday
Ocala Surgical Associates and Munroe Regional Medical Center are forming a partnership that will make the group’s four surgeons and their 12-member staff employees of the non-profit hospital.
The three-year agreement is non-exclusive, meaning the surgeons can still operate at Ocala Regional Medical Center if they so chose. But Munroe’s administration predicts the agreement will bring about 230 additional surgical patients to Munroe annually.
Joining Munroe Regional’s surgical staff will be Drs. Dwight D. Landmann, Robert Gallinaro, Anthony DeIorio and Charles Neustein.
Under the agreement, which is slated to close this summer, Munroe will lease Ocala Surgical’s current 1541 SW First Ave. location, and by the third year clear an estimated $416,000 in revenues over expenses.
The agreement is the latest between such doctors groups and local hospitals.
Last year, HCA’s Ocala Health System acquired Family Care Specialists, one of the largest family care providers in the county. Six months later, its doctors announced they would hold hospital privileges exclusively at Ocala Regional Medical Center and HCA’s West Marion Community Hospital.
Marion County Hospital District trustees approved plans Monday for the partnership between Munroe and Ocala Surgical.
“The signing of these outstanding general surgeons, who have served our community for many years, is an important part of Munroe Regional’s strategic plan to enhance our general surgery service line, which is known as Munroe Surgery,” said Munroe President and CEO Steve Purves in a press release.
Under the deal, Munroe’s cost would be about $2.4 million annually to compensate the doctors and their staff and handle overhead expenses.
Although the four doctors still would be allowed to operate at Ocala Regional under the agreement, Munroe Vice President of Strategic Planning and Marketing Mike Robertson said the partnership is a long-term endeavor.
“There is going to be a loyalty factor that kicks in,” he said. “It’s an investment in the future.”
Chris Carnahan, president and founder of the Tampa-based medical consulting firm Carnahan Group, said the partnership is typical of a national trend of forming partnerships in reaction to a changing health care market.
Part of the motivation is a change in how the government will reimburse for Medicaid and Medicare patient treatment, he said.
Originally, doctors were paid for individual treatments, Carnahan said. The government is overhauling that to a result-based system in which doctors are paid for fixing a given medical ailment and refusing to pay for avoidable complications due to medical procedures. Also diminishing is the amount the government will pay for treatment.
“(Doctors groups) are having to align themselves to start preparing for the management of patients,” Carnahan said.
By becoming hospital employees, Carnahan said, the surgeons also are locking in their salaries regardless of how procedures are reimbursed in the future.
Doctors also are saving money by having their employees work for the hospital and avoid rising employee costs.
Carnahan said that by joining the 421-bed hospital, doctors also can enjoy more traditional work hours and the benefits of the hospital’s malpractice insurance.
Although Medicaid and Medicare are planning the cost-cutting measures and health care reimbursement changes, Carnahan warned that private insurance will likely follow with similar measures.
Ocala Surgical’s Dr. Landmann said in a press release that the partnership will allow him and his colleagues to provide the best care for their patients.
“In today’s unpredictable health care environment, the government and insurance companies ever-changing patient care requirements and reimbursement levels requires us to have an even stronger relationship with our community hospital,” he said. “With this new partnership and combining our mutual knowledge, we are expanding Munroe’s, and our ability, to provide excellent care in our community, care that we have been recognized for over the past 32 years.”