SAINT JOSEPH'S MEDICAL GROUP EXPANDS TO OFFER PRIMARY CARE 'MEDICAL HOME'

December 08, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
ATLANTA - (Dec. 8, 2009) Saint Joseph's Medical Group seeks to add a total of 80 primary care and advance practice providers to its ranks with the understanding that no matter the future model of healthcare in the U.S., primary care physicians are a patient's first stop - their 'medical home.'

"Trying to foresee what health care is going to look like going forward, no matter what does or doesn't come out of the Obama administration's plan, primary care plays a huge role in the coordination of care for patients, " said Saint Joseph's Medical Group Executive Vice President, Maureen DeBlois. "We will likely see a return of something that looks like capitation, where the hospitals, primary care physicians and specialists are incentivized to work together on a particular episode of care for a patient, and you can do that more successfully with an integrated primary care group."

Problems exist within the current primary care arena, though. "Statistics show a shrinking number of primary care medical school graduates, both in an absolute sense and relative to population growth," said DeBlois. "Also, due to spiraling costs and reimbursement issues, many existing primary care physicians have stopped taking Medicare and Medicaid, or have begun concierge-type practices, which has left a group of patients, in effect, medically homeless."

In successfully reaching its target goal, Saint Joseph's Medical Group will be able to provide a home for both these displaced patients and for those primary care physicians who don't want to continue facing such economic versus clinical dilemmas.

There are clinical advantages for primary care physicians to join such a practice model. Saint Joseph's Medical Group physicians are part of an integrated electronic medical record (EMR) system
that often is too costly for primary care physicians to afford independently. The EMR system is connected with Saint Joseph's Hospital and information flows quickly from within, such as the results of diagnostic tests, thereby helping eliminate unnecessary testing and reducing costs of care.

Saint Joseph's Medical Group also offers its patients and physicians the shared benefits of a 'one-stop-shop,' where consultation and diagnostics are both conveniently located on the hospital's campus.

The practice is physician-governed by an executive committee and is a separate entity of Saint Joseph's Health System. " We recognize that running a practice isn't like running a hospital, which is why we are a separate entity, " said DeBlois, "We don't run the practice as a department of the hospital, but instead support an entrepreneurial, not dictatorial, spirit."

Saint Joseph's Medical Group currently provides patients with both primary care and cardiovascular services in the Atlanta and Lake Oconee, Ga. areas. Cardiovascular services are offered by several renowned cardiologists, who are members of Saint Joseph's Heart and Vascular Institute.

For further information on Saint Joseph's Medical Group, contact Maureen DeBlois at (678)843-5798 or www.sjmedgroup.org

Saint Joseph's Medical Group is pleased to welcome the following physicians to its practice:

Antonia Bunce, MD - Internal Medicine
Dr. Bunce received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. She completed her medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia, and her residency training at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, in Baltimore, Md. She is board certified in internal medicine.

Bunce has practiced in the Atlanta area for six years, working with Mount Vernon Internal Medicine. She joins Saint Joseph's Medical Group on Dec. 1, 2009.

Bobb Cucher, MD, FACP - Internal Medicine
Dr. Cucher received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He completed his medical degree at Chicago Medical School, and his residency training at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals. He is board certified in internal medicine.

Cucher is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Society of Internal Medicine. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Prior to joining Saint Joseph's Medical Group, Cucher was in private practice for 32 years.

Marie Garrity, MD - Internal Medicine
Dr. Garrity received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She completed her medical degree and residency training at Louisiana State University Medical Center Shreveport. She is board certified in internal medicine.

Garrity is a member of the Atlanta Women's Medical Alliance, American Medical Association, and Georgia Medical Association.

Prior to joining Saint Joseph's Medical Group, Garrity worked for 12 years with the Southern Crescent Physicians Group and The Doctor's Office. Most recently she was in private practice for two years.

Tracy Lane, DO - Family Practice Medicine
Dr. Lane received her undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Va. She completed her degree in Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, and her residency training at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa Family Practice. She is board certified in family practice medicine.

Lane is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Medical Association of Georgia. Prior to joining Saint Joseph's Medical Group, Lane worked in private practice for one year in Alabama, and four years in the Atlanta area.

Aurelio Manto, MD Internal Medicine
Dr. Manto, a board-certified internal medicine physician, is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts and holds a medical degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass. He completed his internal medicine residency at Harvard-affiliated Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass.

Manto joins Saint Joseph's Medical Group at the Cowles Clinic, in Greensboro, Ga. Prior to joining Saint Joseph's Medical Group, he worked in private practice for 15 years in Boston, Mass.

Lee B. Padove, MD, FACC - Cardiovascular Disease
Dr. Padove received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and completed his medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia. He did his residency training at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where Padove also served as director of the cardiac transplant program. He is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases.

Padove is a Diplomate in the National Board of Medical Examiners and a Fellow in the American College of Cardiology. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American Medical Association and the Medical Association of Georgia.

Dr. Padove has been practicing in the Metro Atlanta area for the past 16 years.

Mary Sams, MD - Internal Medicine
Dr. Mary Sams received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. She completed her medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia, and her residency training at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University, where she served as the Assistant Chief of Medicine for Internal Medicine. She is board certified in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Sams is a member of the American College of Physicians.

Prior to joining Saint Joseph's Medical Group, Dr. Sams has practiced in the Atlanta area for 14 years, working in both the outpatient and inpatient setting. Most recently, she practiced medicine with Mount Vernon Internal Medicine.

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