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"They really didn't need to go there, but that was the only way they were going to see a specialist," he says. "Everyone loses in that situation. Personally, I got sick of being put in the situation where you can't help a patient get what he needs when he needs it."
"All patients want is access and convenience," he adds. "That was the same thing I was frustrated with. I thought: Why don't I just get a bunch of primary physicians to operate a clinic, and then invite specialists in and have one geographic location?"
So he did. Village Health Partners is the primary care anchor for a one-location clinic that includes like-minded specialists who agree to follow certain standards and maintain an integrated EMR. Outside of the primary care practice, they're all independent, but Crow describes the 40-physician group of clinicians as a "mini-Mayo," after one of the clinically integrated clinics to which many in government and business point when offering examples of what they say coordinated, less wasteful care should look like.
"It's what passes for an integrated delivery system in this market," he says. "We created a culture and philosophical rules that our specialists embraced, as well."
Being medical-home-certified has certainly gotten insurer's attention, he says. "They know we have the tools to clamp down on communication, handoffs, and nonduplication of services and tests. People call that medical home, but we've had it for years before that term was invented."
Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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