Emerald Physicians Joins Cape Cod Healthcare
Cape Cod Healthcare and Cormac Coyle, M.D., are pleased to announce that they have entered into a partnership that will further integrate primary care and acute care services on Cape Cod, and will give patients better access to quality services.
Under the new partnership, Emerald Physicians, a Hyannis-based practice that provides internal medicine and specialty care services, will become a member of Cape Cod Healthcare. Dr. Coyle will remain, under a five-year contract, as the business and medical director of Emerald Physicians, and will continue to run the practice as he has in the past, said Michael Lauf, President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare. Emerald Physicians will remain a separate entity.
“This is an investment in the people of Cape Cod,” Mr. Lauf said. “We know the future in the post-reform era of healthcare is about integration between physicians and hospitals, and this creates an opportunity to bring a more seamless model of care for patients.”
The partnership will offer patients:
- Improved patient service
- Increased access to providers
- Increased access to state-of-the-art technology
- Continued physician-patient medical decision-making
Emerald Physicians was founded by Dr. Coyle in 1997 and is one of the most innovative and progressive practices on Cape Cod. Their 15 physicians and nine mid-level providers care for approximately 38,000 patients across the region.
Dr. Coyle said the new partnership with CCHC will allow Emerald Physicians to preserve its model of care, while forging a stronger, more formal affiliation with both Cape Cod Hospital and all of Cape Cod Healthcare.
The Emerald model brings a fresh approach to how healthcare is delivered in the primary care and specialty care arena, said Mr. Lauf. The high-quality model is focused on same-day access for primary care patients and same-day or 24-hour access for neurology patients. This real-time approach allows physicians to concentrate on the acute care of patients and to avoid unnecessary emergency room visits or hospitalizations. Nurses, mid-level providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants; and patient advocates work closely with physicians to ensure patients are getting quality care as quickly as possible.
“We believe in educating our patients about their responsibilities for their own care and also informing them of best practices, so they may stay healthy,” said Dr. Coyle. “We believe that ultimately all patients at Emerald will be empowered to be their own advocates in all matters related to their health.”
The Emerald model gives CCHC an opportunity to test new models of care and focus on the management of chronic disease.
“We feel there’s more than one way to partner with physicians,” Mr. Lauf said. “This is an efficient, qualitative model that we wanted to be a part of.”
Better cooperation between hospitals and physicians is imperative in the new healthcare environment, Mr. Lauf said. The new model is a shift away from one in which physicians and hospitals are paid for every service they provide to one in which they will gradually accept more risk and will be paid for how well they take care of patients and manage costs. Reimbursements are declining, which has placed a financial burden on healthcare systems and physician practices.
To stay viable and maintain quality, hospitals and doctors must develop more collaborative ways to deliver care, agreed Mr. Lauf and Dr. Coyle.
“Dr. Coyle and I believe strongly that an independent healthcare system on Cape Cod is best for the people and the best way to preserve jobs in the economy of this region, and we are committed to working together to make that possible,” he said.
Under the new Cape Cod Healthcare-Emerald partnership, the Emerald physicians will join Cape Cod Preferred Physicians and the Cape Cod Health Network, a physician organization and physician-hospital organization, respectively. The two groups formed in 2010 and positioned Cape Cod Healthcare and its physician base to provide evidence-based, cost-effective care to patients.
“Our physicians have stepped up to do their part in making sure this healthcare system can continue to care for patients in the best possible way, and the Emerald partnership is another example of this cooperation,” Mr. Lauf said. ”This is a promise to the people of Cape Cod that the healthcare leaders and providers in this region will continue to think creatively, innovatively and cooperatively to ensure that residents have access to high-quality, convenient and timely services for years to come.”