Integrated MCG under examination

Hospital, health system, physicians meeting weekly to devise plan

  • Follow Metro

As state leaders look at models for creating a new system that integrates Medical College of Georgia, its health system and physician groups under the incoming president of MCG, leaders from all three areas are meeting regularly to better coordinate what they do and look at sharing some services.

MCG President Ricardo Azziz would serve as chairman of the new board. 
  File/Staff
File/Staff
MCG President Ricardo Azziz would serve as chairman of the new board.

Becoming more integrated will better position them for health insurance reforms, said MCG School of Medicine Dean D. Douglas Miller.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents revealed preliminary plans to bring the boards of MCG Health Inc., which runs the school's clinical system, and of Physicians Practice Group under the authority of a new MCG Health System Inc. board chaired by new MCG President Ricardo Azziz. The two boards would continue, however, and retain assets and capital, as both have outstanding bonds issued.

Regent Felton Jenkins, who is chairing the ad hoc committee looking at the reorganization, cautioned it is a work in progress.

"We are maybe 40 percent down the road, maybe 50 percent," he said. The committee is working with a consultant, The Chartis Group, and is trying to meld two of the four options the group suggested.

The 10-year lease, by which MCG Health Inc. operated the clinical system through joint agreements with the school and PPG, is up in July and the regents want to get a new agreement in place before then. Almost from the very beginning, the parties have been at odds over what MCG Health Inc. would pay the school and PPG for various services, disputes that often dragged on for months.

"The system that was set up 10 years ago or so hasn't worked as smoothly as everyone had hoped," Jenkins said. "Maybe there were personality conflicts. The present system doesn't give the (MCG) president as much control as he needs."

The ad hoc committee has been working with Azziz on the new model "and he's comfortable with it," Jenkins said.

A five-member "Integrative Management Team" with leaders from all three segments went to work in late October and quickly resolved some of the outstanding issues, Miller said. It has been meeting almost weekly since then to bring things closer together, he said. Integration of services is being pushed by national groups such as the Association of American Medical Colleges as a way to respond to coming reforms, Miller said.

"Health care insurance and reimbursement will be significantly tied to efficiencies and delivery of care models that are integrated," he said. "Their advice at a national level has been to integrate leadership and to try to develop a strategic integration focus that would be a proper response to health care insurance reform."

New payments might be bundled, for instance, with a single payment that must be split between physician and hospital. The integrative team is also looking at what services could be shared among the three, Miller said. Other institutions share IT services, for instance, or purchasing.

"All of those things could be viewed as opportunities for a shared services agreement," he said. "We're certainly going to be looking very closely for efficiencies and additional efficacy so we can optimize our care model and provide better care to even more patients in this area."

Comments (15) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 04/23/10 - 03:11 am
0
0
Can someone please ask Mr.

Can someone please ask Mr. Jenkins (or Dr. Azziz) if he can assure everyone no funds from the PPG or MCG Health will be used in Athens under this new system? It makes no sense for the Athens school to receive funds that were generated by Augusta area physicians and MCG Health locally.

In addition, can gifts to the foundation be specifically given to MCG Augusta and not for use in Athens? Or, for that matter, can gifts be designated only for Athens?

Whyisit01
2
Points
Whyisit01 04/23/10 - 06:44 am
0
0
I hope they merge, splitting

I hope they merge, splitting them 10 years ago was NOT good.

ClaraBell
8
Points
ClaraBell 04/23/10 - 07:51 am
0
0
On the subject of

On the subject of integration: Will there be a reconciliation of the foundation divorce that is a big, fat cystic blemish on MCG's recent history? How the President's lieutenants allowed him to sever an arm from the MCG body remains a troubling question. If Doctor Azziz is sensible, he will undo this colossal presidential blunder and remove a huge roadblock from MCG's future, along with any and all staffers who supported this action, and antagonists from both sides of the conflict who poisoned the waters in the first place. MCG is long overdue for a spring cleaning.

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 04/23/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
Gifts have always been

Gifts have always been restrict-able. You can stipulate anything you like. That being said, what you can't do is say "If I give you money to endow a professorship, you cannot use the money you would other use to pay that person to support Athens." The only money you can earmark is your own.

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 04/23/10 - 09:09 am
0
0
Pay, interesting. So when the

Pay, interesting. So when the MCG Foundation attempted to tell Rahn how to spend their donations, they were absolutely right. But what does he do? He becomes angry and starts another foundation.

DanK
779
Points
DanK 04/23/10 - 09:23 am
0
0
(sigh) The Athens program is

(sigh) The Athens program is funded out of a separate dispensation from the state. The relationship between MCG, Health Inc, and the PPG affects the Augusta campus only.

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 04/23/10 - 09:28 am
0
0
DanK, how's about read the

DanK, how's about read the previous posts from yesterday and today? Then you may understand what we are talking about.

RightWingNut
0
Points
RightWingNut 04/23/10 - 09:33 am
0
0
"The system that was set up

"The system that was set up 10 years ago or so hasn't worked as smoothly as everyone had hoped,"

Monumental understatement...

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 04/23/10 - 09:33 am
0
0
Heck, just read the articles.

Heck, just read the articles.

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 04/23/10 - 09:47 am
0
0
Dan may not be technically

Dan may not be technically correct but he is likely functionally correct. While there may be unknown leaks between the practice plan, the hospital, the Augusta campus and Athens, the vast bulk of the money is a targeted allocation from the state.

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 04/23/10 - 09:57 am
0
0
Pay, sure, the state says

Pay, sure, the state says where its money goes, but this is about the PPG, MCG Health and to a lesser extent the foundation. Right now each entity has control of where its contributions go and how much is given.

If control of these organizations comes under the umbrella of the incoming MCG president and the Board of Regents then there is no safeguard to prevent fundings generated locally being spent in Athens. There is not even a mechanism that says how much comes out of the PPG pot. The physicians were able to give what they wanted in the past. That's what these articles have been about in reality.

As I've said, if the funds will not be diverted to Athens now is the time to stipulate it before any type merger occurs. Easy enough.

jackrabbit5491
0
Points
jackrabbit5491 04/23/10 - 01:53 pm
0
0
It's certainly worth

It's certainly worth considering the Physicians Practice Group (PPG) & the MCG Foundation (+ the Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) Foundation) together. I believe there was, or would have been, an effort to use the MCG Foundation to pay for the Athens Medical Branch (=the parasitic stealth strategy). The new name for the Georgia Health Sciences Foundation is very meaningful and verifies the parasitic stealth strategy to support the Athens Medical Branch. The fear concerning the major reorganization of MCG, MCGHI, and the PPG is a brilliant deconstruction of the parasitic stealth strategy because the new MCG President also directs the other medical branches (Athens, Savannah, Albany). Certainly, there will be a flurry of new/modified memoranda of understanding/agreement by June 30. As has previously been stated, the PPG and other MCG-related foundations (the PPG was once the Medical College of Georgia Research Foundation) must be legally "firewalled" for their financial protection. Also, the GHSU Foundation name should be changed to the "MCG Health Sciences Foundation," or some similar name to alleviate distrust and suspend disbelief. If people only said what they meant and meant what they said.

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 04/23/10 - 07:48 pm
0
0
Jackrabbit, I see what you

Jackrabbit, I see what you mean with the name of the new foundation. It opens the door to send contributions to Athens.

FedupwithAUG
0
Points
FedupwithAUG 04/24/10 - 11:32 am
0
0
Seems to me MCG HI turned

Seems to me MCG HI turned things around and started generating big bucks now PPG wants a piece of the action. I often wonder if Don Snell was told "we created our company, we can take it back." and so it goes.

ClaraBell
8
Points
ClaraBell 04/25/10 - 12:25 am
0
0
Fedup, oh PLEASE. What don't

Fedup, oh PLEASE. What don't you get about this? There can be no hospital without doctors. All of us are "Fed up." But, as jaded as I am, even I know that a building can't be a hospital without docs. Either you are Don Snall's avatar, or your head is in the sand. Good grief.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs