Newswise — MAYWOOD, Il. - Loyola University Health System is forming a new type of partnership with referring physicians, and patients are the big winners.
Loyola subspecialists, including pediatric cardiologists, heart failure specialists, hepatologists, pediatric oncologists and neurologists are now renting space in referring physicians' offices ranging from Chicago's Chinatown to downstate Moline.
Rather than the patient traveling to Loyola's main campus or to an ambulatory location, Loyola physicians are going to the patient's doctor's office. For a day or so each month, the Loyola specialist sees patients in what effectively is an office-within-an-office.
"This is a new version of house calls," said Robert Cherry, MD, Loyola's Chief Medical Officer.
Pediatric cardiologist Joel Hardin, MD, partners with primary care physicians at several locations, including Elk Grove Village, Elgin and Kankakee.
"We are consultants to primary-care physicians at all times," Dr. Hardin said. "We never assume primary care of patients, and we never divert patients from the primary care physician's practice."
Dr. Hardin added that the partnerships provide significant benefits to patients. "And when you please the patient, you please the primary-care physician."
Other Loyola subspecialists who are partnering with primary care practices include:
Scott Cotler, MD, hepatology: Moline, Rockford, Peoria, Chinatown and the Dearborn Station in downtown Chicago. (The Rockford and Peoria hepatology sites are in outpatient centers attached to local hospitals.)
Charles Hemenway, MD, pediatric hematology/oncology: Hoffman Estates.
Alain Heroux, MD, heart failure: Rockford, Elgin.
Marc Levine, MD, pediatric cardiology: Hoffman Estates.
Jose Biller, MD, neurology: Elk Grove Village.
Loyola's partnership with referring physicians has been developing since the mid-1990s. Loyola began by opening suburban offices, which evolved into multi-specialty centers. Among the most recent examples is the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge, which provides specialty care in orthopaedics, neurology/neurological surgery and more than 30 other specialties.
Daniel Post, Loyola's Senior Vice President for Clinical Programs and Practice Development said Loyola values its relationships with referring physicians, and is reaching out to establish additional partnerships in creative new ways.
"Providing convenient access to our physicians and collaborating with our referring physicians is critical to our future," Mr. Post said.