Read our physician stories and see why they chose Central Ohio Primary Care
I have been a physician for about 30 years. Prior to working for COPC, I worked for a hospital system. I was there for approximately 10 years, and though there are benefits to being employed, there are far many more benefits of being independent. I think one of the main reasons that all of us went into medicine is the ability to make decisions and have impact on people’s lives. The beauty of COPC is that you decide what your office hours are, who your employees are and how many patients you see per hour.
When I was with the hospital, we didn’t have those decisions. You were told what your hours were, how many people you saw a day, and unfortunately, too much of your day was spent in meetings. With COPC, we don’t have to do that. Our main focus is taking care of our patients.
We have an excellent administrative team that takes the work out of running a medical practice. They are responsible for our billing, for our credentialing, for making the behind the scenes decisions that keep our practice rolling. That allows us to concentrate on patient care.
There are multiple reasons for a new physician to look at joining COPC. We are a well-respected group of physicians, we have multiple benefits, and there are excellent signing bonuses available. People can also work toward loan forgiveness, and after you have been with your group for two years, you are offered the opportunity of partnership. Being a partner at COPC gives you the right to become a member of the board of directors for your groups. It gives you the advantage of having the ancillary income that derives from your lab, from your radiology and your cardiology test ordering. It gives you more of a say-so in the group. The advantages of COPC versus being an employed physician, whether it be for a hospital or whether it be for an insurance company, is that you’re still in charge. No one tells you what your salary will be for the long term. The harder you work, the more salary you’re going to make. The more benefits you’re going to have. After you’ve been with the group for a while, you’ll be amazed at the profit sharing and the pension plan that comes along with COPC.
Joining COPC was one of the best decisions I have made. It has given me the independence to practice medicine the way I’d like to practice. With the clout of over 250 physicians behind us, we have respect in the community, we have respect with insurance companies, and we also have a life outside of medicine. I don’t think you’ll find a better place to practice medicine than COPC.
I’ve had a 21-year run in internal medicine, so I‘ve been exposed to several different types of practices. When I first started practicing medicine, the first 5 years I was a hospital-owned physician. Then, for 10 years, I was in private practice. The past six, I’ve been a part of COPC. It was a huge decision going from a private practice to a very different setup. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only do I run my own practice and still make my own decisions but I have the support of a huge corporation run by physicians, run by my peers and my friends and my colleagues whom I respect.
I’m really proud to be a part of the second largest physician-owned primary care group in the country. That’s pretty neat just in and of itself. I really feel like we have control over our own destiny; the fact that it’s run by physicians and not by an insurance company or a hospital conglomeration.
Since being with COPC, my overhead has gone down. It’s great to have COPC negotiating with insurance companies for me for better reimbursements, purchasing, and our new computer system. When I was in private practice, these were cost prohibitive, but with over 225 physicians, you get a little break on your prices, so that’s been a huge benefit.
One of really neat thing about COPC is we have access to all kinds of interesting new programs, technologies, and companies that come to us for different programs. Right now I’m involved in HealthSpot (Video), which is a pilot program. It’s a company that’s looking at doing remote access care. This may include using the HealthSpot pods for third-world countries, FEMA applications, and even truck stops. It’s a really neat experience for me.
We had been courted by the local hospitals for some time to join them and we never were very interested in that because we wanted to maintain our independence. When we began speaking with Central Ohio Primary Care a number of years ago, they offered the benefit of maintaining our independence as a private practice and also giving us the benefits of the support of over 225 family doctors, pediatricians, internists. The combination of our independence with the support of a larger group was very appealing to us.
I have great confidence in our administrative leadership. The company certainly had been in the place long before our practice joined it and the level of expertise they offer; I have been very impressed with the dedication, too. Because we’re dedicated to primary care, as opposed to a hospital group, we can be confident that our administration is looking after we family doctors, we pediatricians, we internists, as opposed to colleagues that have joined the hospital facilities. They always have to worry that the hospital’s agenda does not match the primary care agenda. That is, they may want to support their surgical services, or they may want to support some type of hospital program that is not germane to primary care. That’s not true with Central Ohio Primary Care. It’s what the name says. We’re involved in primary care from the doctor that provides the service all the way through the administration. That’s reassuring to me.
I started my career at a large hospital system in Columbus and was there for about six years and realized that it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I felt it was too large of a system, I didn’t have enough control. The difference between such a large system and what we have now is I have much more control and flexibility. I also have better say and voice in how things proceed within our practice.
A big benefit of being a part of COPC is that everyone has a common goal of providing primary care. When I was in a large hospital system, contracts were based on multi-specialties, so primary care rates were often decreased in order to get better benefits for surgical rates or cardiac catheterizations or other procedures. We were then told we had to produce more and work harder, yet they were getting decreased reimbursement for us. At Central Ohio Primary Care we’re all focused toward primary care and have the same agenda. There aren’t those specialists that are trying to compete with us to get better rates.
COPC allows me to give my patients the best possible care. In a large hospital system, I was told or directed to use their sub-specialists and also their radiology services. With COPC, I can pick and choose. I can use sub-specialists from all over the city to be sure my patients get the best care. COPC has been a great change for me.