By Paul J. Watkins
One of the best strategies to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of a person’s healthcare resources is to have all of their physicians within one network of providers. This is one of the reasons that patients enjoy using the Baptist Medical Network for their health needs.
Baptist Medical Network is an organization of healthcare providers serving patients in San Antonio and surrounding communities through a network of over 100 clinics. Steve Lara, CEO of Baptist Medical Network, says that when a patient has all of his or her physicians within a single network, one of the biggest benefits is improved communication among those physicians. “All providers within Baptist Medical Network share an electronic medical records [EMR] system so a patient’s charts can be shared seamlessly with other Baptist Medical Network providers on the patient’s care team.”
According to Steve, “If the patient requests an appointment with a provider who is unable to see the patient soon, we will work within our network to get that patient seen at another office quickly. For example, if a patient is unable to get an appointment with a cardiologist in Alamo Heights in the next two weeks, we can check the schedules of other nearby cardiology providers in our network to potentially get that patient in sooner. We employ over 220 providers in twelve specialties all over the greater San Antonio area, aim to remove barriers to healthcare, and provide access and opportunity to the communities we serve.”
Steve adds that having all providers in one network improves a patient’s access to care. He says that patients may not seek routine healthcare due to time constraints or the belief that their health status may improve. With a network of providers offering various specialties across San Antonio, Baptist Medical Network hopes to remove some of those barriers to healthcare.
For patients living with chronic illnesses, having all physicians within the same network can improve continuity of care and makes it easier for each physician to know what services the other members of the patient’s care team have provided. “This is another area in which patients will benefit from our providers sharing an EMR,” says Steve. “All our patients’ notes from all visits will live in one system for easy referencing, instead of having to rely on the patient to relay information from his or her PCP or specialists.”
When all a patient’s providers are in the same network, they also enjoy an easier, less confusing experience when dealing with copays and insurance billing. “Patients will receive billing from one company if they see providers within Baptist Medical Network,” relates Steve. “Copays are still paid per office per their insurance, but a benefit of seeing a Baptist Medical Network provider is that if the patient needs additional tests, some of our offices offer in-clinic testing. Providing testing in the clinic provides cost savings to our patients because they only pay one copay for the visit.”
If you would like to switch your healthcare team to providers within the Baptist Medical Network, please call the Physician Finder line at 210-606-9071, or visit BaptistMedicalNework.com.