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VOL. 128 | NO. 1 | Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Memphis Primary Care Aligns With Baptist Group

By MICHAEL WADDELL

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The trend of consolidation in the local health care industry marches on as Memphis Primary Care becomes the latest private physician practice to align with a major hospital system, joining Baptist Medical Group.

“I feel right now that aligning with a hospital is the next logical step in the evolution and continued progression of our medical practice,” said Dr. Freddie Everson, who partnered with Dr. Jay Patchen to establish their practice in 2002 with a special emphasis on preventive care, managing acute and complex conditions, and monitoring medication interactions and side effects. “We feel we provide consistent quality clinic-based care to our patient population. Quality patient care is also a value shared by Baptist, and I feel it makes us a good fit.”

The acquisition by Baptist takes its total number of physicians to more than 400. For fiscal year 2012 (from October 2011 to October 2012), BMG added 96 physicians, and since the birth of BMG in February 2010 its physician roster has grown from 76 to 408 health care providers.

“For Baptist Medical Group it is not really about numbers,” said Robert Vest, Baptist director of acquisitions and development. “It is about finding the right partnerships with the right physicians. We want to attract the highest quality physicians that we possibly can to accomplish our mission of bringing the highest quality of care to the people of communities which we serve.”

Memphis Primary Care became the first traditional primary care clinic in the Midtown area acquired by Baptist.

“With any medical group, primary care has to be one of the foundation building blocks on which you build your practice,” Vest said. “We are very excited that we are expanding our primary care footprint into Midtown.”

Everson, who has practiced medicine for 30 years and done so in Memphis since 1994, explained he reached a point in his career where he wanted to spend less time dealing with the administrative aspects of running a practice and find ways to focus solely on patient care and increase quality outcomes.

So Memphis Primary Care approached Baptist about forming an alliance.

“I feel right now that aligning with a hospital is the next logical step in the evolution and continued progression of our medical practice.”

–Dr. Freddie Everson

“Most of my associations since I’ve practiced in Memphis have been with the Baptist medical system, so I had a better knowledge of their system and I naturally gravitated towards them,” said Everson.

His specialty is family medicine, while Patchen specializes in internal medicine. Their clinic treats patients aged 16 and up with conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, lipid disorders, thyroid disorders, heart disease, digestive disorders, osteoporosis, arthritis, depression, anxiety, respiratory disorders including allergies and asthma, and chronic lung diseases.

The practice has grown steadily over the years, primarily from word of mouth, and now sees an average of 20 to 30 patients per day. The Midtown office employs a staff of seven, excluding the two main physicians.

Everson would like to expand the practice in the next few years, but the office will remain in Midtown.

“We plan to stay in the Midtown area,” Everson said. “There is potential that we could move to a new office, but it would hopefully be in the same general area.”

As health care reform takes shape, Everson is not sure if the end result will be more patient visits at BMG-Memphis Primary Care, but he hopes the new changes result in better options for treatment.

“I would hope that as more individuals are paying insurance it will allow them to seek more routine medical care in the clinic outpatient setting as opposed to the emergency room system,” said Everson.

Vest expects Baptist to continue to pad its list of physicians in the new year, and he thinks the national trend of consolidation will also continue.

“I think it is national phenomenon that we are seeing a healthy dose of in our metro market,” Vest said. “We are likely to close deals on four more practices in the next 14 days, including one very large primary care group. I think that growth in the Memphis market is here to stay for a while.”

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