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Doctors united

Written by James Combs

 Group medical practices provide a completeness of care by having a team of doctors, medical records, and services all in one location.


Years ago, treatment at Buchanan Health Center in Leesburg consisted primarily of gentle, quick adjustments of the lumbar and cervical spine.

Now, the chiropractic practice offers much more. Patients can be treated for common colds, receive steroid injections for joint pain, undergo treatment for hormone deficiencies, and enroll in weight-loss or rehabilitation programs.

That’s all possible thanks to a growing team of health-care providers who offer multiple services under one roof.

“For years, my patients have told me they want high-quality care in one location,” says Dr. Tige Buchanan, who opened his practice in 2000. “I think my practice has fulfilled a growing need in the area.”

Indeed, the winds of change have blown through the medical community in the past few years, turning medicine upside down. Physicians who previously were formidable competitors are now merging and becoming partners. There’s an upside to this model. When doctors of various medical backgrounds work together, share ideas, and discuss treatment options, patient outcomes are optimized.

The same can be said for patient convenience. When Dr. Buchanan expanded his practice to include a fully licensed and operational medical facility, patients who formerly came in for low back and neck pain began coming for flu treatment or annual blood tests. He also added a full-service rehabilitation department to treat injuries relating to bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles.

“Before, my patients had to go to the emergency room or urgent care when they needed medical treatment,” he says. “Spending half a day in the emergency room is just silly, and if they tried to get a primary care doctor, it could take three months for the first visit. Now, they can come here when they are sick and work with physicians and staff they are familiar and comfortable with. The same goes for patients who need rehabilitative services. It’s extremely difficult for patients who work to take a couple hours off work on different days to go to different health-care facilities. We eliminate that obstacle.”

Physicians who previously were formidable competitors are now merging and becoming partners. There’s an upside to this model. When doctors of various medical backgrounds work together, share ideas, and discuss treatment options, patient outcomes are optimized.

FHV Health in Leesburg also positioned itself to meet the evolving needs of patients in today’s health-care market. While the practice was once limited to offering cardiology services, its founder, Dr. David C. Lew, formed a multi-specialty group in 2006 that today boasts an ever-growing staff of cardiologists, endocrinologists, nephrologists, vascular surgeons, general practitioners, registered nurses, and physician’s assistants.

“Through our collaborative care, we offer leading-edge treatments for a variety of problems across a broad spectrum of health-care specialties,” Dr. Lew says. ”I’m very pleased with the results and success of our multi-specialty group. We operate on a foundation of proven quality and remain on the forefront of always trying to improve patient care.”

There are other benefits. Multi-specialty groups have greater purchasing power because physicians can share the expense of new technology and medical equipment. Moreover, physicians in a group setting have easier access to a patient’s medical records.

“Having their records at our fingertips reduces medical error,” Dr. Lew says. “For instance, if we are not sure what a doctor outside our practice prescribed, then we may give them medication that is in conflict with their current medication. Also, if a patient has physicians who are far away from us, it can be a daunting task to get all the information we need. In our practice, various specialists are sharing medical records under one umbrella. It’s a speedier and safer way to deliver health care.” And it allows physicians to focus on the totality of a patient’s health-care needs.

About the author

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County’s many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

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