Should You Choose a Multispecialty Group Practice for Your Care?
HealthSmart! Should You Choose a Multispecialty Group Practice for Your Care? (PDF, 92 KB) »
Americans and the second opinion
Improved diagnostics, new therapies, more sophisticated equipment - as medicine progresses, it is impossible for a single physician to know everything the field has to offer. A multispecialty group practice fosters an environment of collaboration among many physicians - each an expert in a particular aspect of medicine - to provide the greatest benefit to patients. Group practices can assemble a team of physicians and other experts to meet the unique medical needs of a patient.
What is a multispecialty group practice?
A multispecialty group practice is composed of physicians from a wide range of specialties who are employed by the same organization, such as a hospital or clinic. Through collaboration among these specialists, patients receive comprehensive medical treatment that is efficient and thorough. Systems and services are designed to assist physicians in the delivery of high-quality, coordinated, patient-centered care.
Physicians at UK HealthCare form a multispecialty group practice of more than 600 primary care physicians and specialists across disciplines.
What are the advantages of a multispecialty group practice?
- Multispecialty group practices promote an environment that encourages and enhances communication, collaboration and peer review, leading to high-quality care. This is especially beneficial to patients with multiple or complex medical problems.
- A multispecialty group practice can offer "one-stop shopping" and save patients time by scheduling appointments with several doctors on the same day at one location, coordinating testing, and obtaining on-the-spot referrals and consultations.
- Multispecialty group practices provide a setting in which physicians can specialize in a particular area and become experts. This means there are experts on hand to diagnose and treat unusual medical problems.
- Many multispecialty practices have physicians in rare specialties such as pediatric gastroenterology or transplant surgery that you can't find in smaller, less diverse practices.
- If you require surgery, the chance for a positive outcome with fewer complications increases if you are being treated by a large multispecialty practice because the full scope of your medical problems is considered and addressed. Your surgeon, for instance, can consult easily with cardiac and pulmonary medicine specialists for better management of your surgical and postoperative care.
- Multispecialty group practices often offer services unavailable in most communities. For instance, UK HealthCare is one of the few health care providers in Kentucky to offer:
- Oxford knee replacement
- Double balloon enteroscopy system to evaluate and potentially treat the entire small bowel
- The only Gamma Knife® radiosurgery program in Kentucky
- One of a handful of Joint Commission-certified primary stroke centers
- Ultrafiltration machine for cardiac patients
- Statewide women's health registry
- Robotic surgery center
- Advanced care for thyroid cancer, including expertise in high-dose treatment
Is a multispecialty group for you?
When is choosing a multispecialty group practice, such as the physician group at UK HealthCare, appropriate?
- If you have multiple medical problems.
- If your medical problem could benefit from specialists in more than one discipline.
- If you have been told that you need major surgery.
- If you have been told that you have a rare or atypical disease.
- If your problem has not been diagnosed.
- If you need to be transferred from another hospital.
- If you have complicated problems such as heart disease, cancer or stroke.
- If you have an implanted medical device such as a pacemaker.
- If you need a second opinion.
Why choose UK HealthCare physicians?
- UK HealthCare is Kentucky's largest not-for-profit multispecialty group practice, meeting the special needs of patients by offering easy access to more than 600 physicians in more than 100 specialties and subspecialties. It also means easy access to its own UK Albert B. Chandler and UK Good Samaritan hospitals. In addition to the main campus, physicians located in satellite facilities provide convenient care for patients with general medical problems.
- Also, UK HealthCare physicians see patients at many hospitals throughout Eastern and Central Kentucky. If necessary, they coordinate care with other UK specialists. Because UK HealthCare's physicians are part of a major research and teaching center, they have access to and can offer the latest, most promising treatments and technologies before they are widely available.
- UK HealthCare physicians are paid a salary. They do not rely on a fee for each service they provide to generate their income. Therefore, their economic incentive to perform or order unnecessary medical tests or procedures or to withhold necessary care is minimized and their incentive to help one another is encouraged.
- UK HealthCare has the doctors and support teams who know how to use these advanced treatments and technologies to their fullest extent, thereby increasing the likelihood of correct identification of a patient's medical problem(s) and successful treatment.
- UK HealthCare physicians are part of UK HealthCare and are supported by more than 8,000 talented health care workers at UK Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital, Kentucky Clinic, and the health professional colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Public Health and Health Sciences.
- All UK HealthCare physicians are board certified or board eligible. This means the physician has undergone (or is undergoing) a voluntary process of certification in which he or she has been judged by a group of certified physicians in a particular specialty of medicine and has been deemed worthy of certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Board certification is recognition of exceptional expertise and experience.
UK HealthCare recognized among the best:
- Many of America's top physicians practice at UK. In 2007, 106 UK physicians were recognized by other physicians across the country as among the best in America.
- In 2008, U.S. News & World Report ranked UK Chandler Hospital among the top in the United States in two specialties: gynecology and otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat).
- UK Chandler Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital have received the highest honor possible for nursing excellence: Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Choosing a group practice
A 'yes' answer to each of the questions below indicates an exceptional multispecialty group practice. UK HealthCare physicians in the University Medical Group meet these criteria.
- Is the doctor's quality of care monitored on an ongoing basis?
- Does the practice have a set of qualifications for identifying and hiring high-quality physicians?
- Is there a credentialing process to verify that doctors and hospitals meet certain standards in health care delivery?
- Does the practice measure the satisfaction of each physicians' patients?
- Are the physicians board-certified?
- Is the practice closely associated with a teaching hospital and research institute so that the physicians remain aware of the latest medical treatment innovations?
Many of the specialists at UK work together to see and treat patients at the same time to provide even more convenience for patients.
Examples of multispecialty clinics at UK include:
- Comprehensive Breast Center (medical oncologist, surgeons, surgical oncologists radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists).
- Deep Brain Stimulation Program (neurologist, neurosurgeons, physiatrist).
- Gastrointestinal/Genitourinary Program (surgeons, medical oncologist, chemotherapy tech, radiation oncologist, oncology nursing).
- Head and Neck Cancer Program (surgeons, medical oncologist, chemotherapy tech, radiation oncologist, oncology nursing).
- Heartburn Clinic (gastroenterology, dietitian, general surgery).
- Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) Clinic (gastroenterologists, dietitian, surgeons).
- Lung Cancer Center (medical oncologist, cardiothoracic surgeons/surgical oncologist, pulmonologists, diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologist, certified oncology nurses).
- Stroke Center (neurologists, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, diagnostic radiologists).
- Transplant Center (nephrologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, surgeons).
- Thyroid Program (surgeons, medical oncologist, chemotherapy tech, radiation oncologist, oncology nursing).