Combining practice benefits both patients and doctors
BOUNTIFUL - The recent consolidation between Cope Family Medicine and Ogden Clinic in Bountiful may mean more than a change in name. It could be a new trend in future healthcare.
“We made the move due to immerging trends,” said David Cope, M.D. “The Affordable Health Care Act requires significant reporting to Medicare and Medicaid. That is hard to do on a small practice scale. Ogden Clinic had the ability to come in and fill in those holes.”
Cope said over the years south Davis County specifically has had individual private practices but those have become hard to sustain as doctors retire, pass away or leave the area.
“With Cope Family Medicine | Ogden Clinic we hope to have long-term sustainability long beyond Dr. Cope or Dr. Freestone,” he said. “We never saw it as a marketing tool because we’ve been as busy as could be for the last 20 years. We hope to keep practicing medicine for years or generations to come.”
Ogden Clinic is a physician-owned, multi-specialty group practice that is patient-oriented, said CEO Paul Schofield.
“Physicians have ownership,” he said. “They could work anywhere they choose to work but when they’re owners in Ogden Clinic they can provide better care. It’s like home ownership versus renting. The physicians have pride in ownership. We haven’t been soliciting doctors. We’re not a predatory company trying to take over small practices. They’ve looked at all the different models of care and decided they like a physician-owned model that supports them to practice medicine.”
Cope said the change will benefit both doctors and patients. “It’s been very gratifying to spend more time with my patients and less time with administrative things like hiring and firing,” he said. “Patients will see the same care with the same physicians but it should be enhanced. It’s a good change.”
Doctors across the country have been feeling a bit suppressed, Schofield said. “It’s not the cottage industry from years ago,” he said. “It used to be that one doctor could hang out a shingle but it has changed and become very complicated. Medicare and Medicaid regulations are onerous to a physicians’ practice. They have to hire more people to do all of it. By joining together, they don’t have to duplicate staff so they can spend more time with patients than the business side of medicine.”
Health care costs have been going up and consolidation is happening across the nation in the hopes of slowing it down, according to Schofield. Combining with Ogden Clinic will also give patients with Cope Family Medicine direct access to specialty care they didn’t have before.
“We now have Mohs surgery (skin cancer removal) that was not available south of Ogden until we opened up in Bountiful,” he said. “Things like robotic trained urologists, and tubal reversals didn’t exist here before Cope joined Ogden Clinic. This is very significant in terms of the care patients receive.”
But with all the technical advances in medicine, Cope said there is no replacement or substitute for taking care of yourself.
“Watching what you eat is more important than any of these tests,” he said. “Lower your carbs and sugars and take advantage of the preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies. You should be coming in to see the doctor more often the older you get.”