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5 questions with Barry Reynolds

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, at 6:43 a.m.

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Barry Reynolds thinks there’s no reason Wichita can’t be a leader in the health care industry.

“We need to constantly keep an eye on technology and look beyond what’s going on in our own market. We need to look at technology and innovation throughout the world,” said Reynolds, who became the CEO for Heartland Cardiology in January. “Logistically, that may be a challenge ... but let’s do whatever it takes to get it here sooner rather than later.

“We can get lost in competitive business nature, with one practice competing with another or one hospital competing with another, and proprietary issues. At the end of the day, we want the business model to do well, but collectively, we’re in the business of improving human life.”

Reynolds received his undergraduate degrees in economics and speech from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla., where he grew up.

After working in banking, he was in marketing at Associates in Health Care. He began as business development director at New Medical Health Care in late 2004 and the next year was hired as the administrator for the clinic.

When he’s not working, Reynolds collects presidential autographs and documents, including items signed by Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“Literally, you hold in your hands a piece of history,” he said.

He also enjoys landscaping and going on cruises with his wife and kids.

Q. 1 What made you want to join Heartland?

A. When I learned of the potential opportunity at Heartland, I thought it was a perfect fit. Heartland had met that point of critical mass where they needed to change the type of leadership for a broader focus and growth-oriented CEO. I was not actively looking for a opportunity, by any means.

I knew of Heartland because it was a preferred practice for our cardiology referrals (at New Medical). The quality of the physicians and the practice were known to me already, so once I learned of the opportunity to help it grow, I couldn’t turn it down.

Q. 2 Even though you’ve only been there since January, what’s your favorite part of the job?

A. I’m a people-oriented person, and the best part is getting to know the physicians individually and their personalities and being a leader of a team that still has individuality.

Q. 3 What are some of the biggest challenges for private practices?

A. We live in an environment where it’s become harder not to be affiliated or outright purchased by hospital networks. Individual physicians are attached more or made part of large medical organizations – largely hospital-based – and we’ve seen that locally with the acquisition of the Wichita Clinic.

There are a lot of local physician owners, including those at Heartland Cardiology, who are fiercely independent physicians, and they want to do whatever possible to remain independent. Not every manager or administrator is well suited, and day to day operations can pose many challenges, like payor reimbursement, professional liability and government regulations, which are literally changing under your feet all the time. That’s why a lot of provider practices give up if they don’t have enough resources. They need to have a strong business model, and they don’t want to find themselves in a position considering affiliation with a hospital.

Q. 4 What sort of changes are happening in the field of cardiology?

A. People who were traditionally beyond the scope of care – the population that nothing could be done for – can now receive the benefit of new procedures and longer, healthier, happier lives as a result of technology.

Physicians have to blend the rapid onset of technology with your patients and their needs. It requires physicians to be active partners with device manufacturers and not just reading about new procedures in New York or Chicago, but reach out to manufacturers, take additional training so you can be certified and prepared to perform the procedures with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

Q. 5 What are some of your goals at Heartland?

A. We have a real commitment from physicians not just to wait for but to seek out new innovative devices and procedures. There’s not a medical organization out there that won’t say those words, but we’re being proactive in bringing innovation to patients and not waiting for the market to come to us.

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

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