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Medical Society of Sedgwick County says affiliated programs grew in 2013

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at 5:46 p.m.

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Several programs affiliated with the Medical Society of Sedgwick County saw growth in 2013, officials say.

“The growth of these programs increases our ability to provide value for members of the medical society,” said Jon Rosell, executive director of the medical society. “They will continue to be our major focus for 2014.”

Karen Cox, chief operating officer of Providrs Care, a for-profit, physician-owned preferred provider organization that is affiliated with the medical society, says the company experienced 30 percent growth in membership in 2013.

Providrs Care was started in 1985 and has about 8,200 individual providers in its network, Cox said.

In 2013, the network expanded to include access to Wichita’s Via Christi Hospitals, the Kansas Heart Hospital, Kansas Spine Hospital and Kansas Medical Center. Wesley Medical Center and Galichia Heart Hospital were already in the network.

Providrs Care also worked with Sunflower State Health Plan – one of three managed care organizations chosen to administer part of the state’s Medicaid program called KanCare – to help Sunflower staff to develop its network of providers for the Medicaid population.

Recently, Providrs Care hired Medical Provider Resources, another offshoot of the medical society, to help it credential medical providers.

“Credentialing providers is critical to our network and is a scrutinizing process,” Cox said. “We want to be able to assure our membership that we have a quality network.”

Medical Provider Resources COO Vicki Bond said the credentialing business had a 20 percent increase in the number of contracts and a more than 70 percent increase in the number of providers in its database in 2013.

“We will do (credentialing) cheaper for providers than what they can hire to do it themselves, and it takes the administrative burden off of them and gives them more time to work on primary patient care,” Bond said.

There are 45 hospitals statewide that use MPR for credentialing, Bond said.

“We would like to see that increase in 2014,” she said.

Bond says MPR hopes to expand its hospital network, particularly in rural areas, and is in talks with rural health networks throughout the state.

Another offshoot of the medical society, Project Access, signed up 32 new physicians to participate in the program in 2013, said Anne Nelson, associate executive director of Central Plains Health Care Partnership, which runs Project Access.

The nonprofit program estimates that it served roughly 1,775 patients in 2013 and helped coordinate about $17.5 million in donated medical care for uninsured and low-income residents of Sedgwick County.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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