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1 Wellness is the new healthcare.2 Akron General’s Wellcare model as the way to shape up a sick-care industry.3

  

                 

Q & A

 

The following questions were excerpted from an Akron Roundtable presentation, "Can we afford to stay healthy?" which was given by Akron General CEO Dr. Thomas "Tim" Stover Oct. 18, 2012.

Q: Since health care is a huge national issue in our presidential campaign – we have federal legislation in place that was enacted a couple of years ago – if it was up to you, if you could identify how federal legislation could assist in the advancement of this wellness program, what are the characteristics that such federal legislation would have in your view?

A: I'd kind of like them to get the hell out of the way. I do believe that there are people who are really sincere who are trying to help this problem and so if you're asking me if there’s any legislation, I would certainly want to make sure the docs are at the table and docs are actually working when those decisions are made. I also think that there is something that needs to be done about incentivization and how health care is reimbursed. PCPs (primary care physician), and especially family practitioners, they are trained to sit down and talk to you.

 

I'll give this example – a well woman visit. I did them all day, every day. There is no well man visit. You can't go in as a guy and sit down with your PCP and say, "I don’t have anything wrong with me. I just want to talk. I want to talk about my family history, the aunt that died with heart disease, this genomic thing. Do you know anything about this?" And the doc has to say, "No, I can't talk to you about that because I’ve got 30 people to see with snotty noses in the waiting room waiting to get taken care of, and that’s how I get paid." So something has got to change. There's got to be an incentivization for people to talk about the things that need to be talked about.

Q: Doctor, in your remarks you made several mentions to the fact that the way to go in the future is the wellness model as opposed to the sick patient model. One member of our audience would like to know how you would forecast the expanded role of nurses in that type of environment going forward.

A: We don't have enough docs, folks. I heard the other day that pediatric endocrinologists, which is going to be the largest need for the kids that are obese and have diabetes, that there are no pediatric endocrinologists out there. Trying to find them is going to be impossible. We know we're going to have to depend more on mid-levels, which are nurses, nurse practitioners, PAs (physician's assistant), and this whole idea around population health, which we honestly were doing in the 1970s. That's taking one or two providers to a whole community and talking to them about some issues related to their health or their sick care. That has to be done because the reality is there just aren’t enough of us with MD or DO behind our name.

                   
  
 

About Thomas "Tim" L. Stover, MD

     

Dr. Stover’s passion is to provide health care on a local and an outpatient basis with wellness and prevention as the cornerstone of “well care” rather than the "sick care model."

 

In addition to his duties as President of Outpatient Services, Dr. Stover was, until January 2010, the medical director of Akron General’s award-winning 200,000 square foot Health & Wellness Center in west Akron that opened its doors in 1996. In 2006 under his leadership, another 98,000 square foot Health & Wellness Center was opened on the east side of Akron, both of which include LifeStyles, a medical fitness facility along with other outpatient services and a free-standing, full-service 24-hour, Emergency Department and an ambulatory surgery center. A new Health & Wellness Center opened in Green this year.

 

He also served as the medical director for the Care Management Program at Akron General Medical Center, which coordinates quality care with the revenue cycle from 2001 through 2006. Dr. Stover was appointed President and Chief Medical Officer of Partners Physician Group in 2006. This is a system-owned physician employment model built around a “franchise” concept with more than 100 physicians and growing.

 

Starting in 2005 through 2008, Dr. Stover was the host of a weekly radio show called the Akron General Good Health Hour where he discussed timely healthcare topics.

  

Dr. Stover received his Bachelor of Science and MD from West Virginia University and completed his internship and residency in Ob/Gyn in 1976 at Akron City Hospital. He was a major in the USAF on active duty for two years. He completed an infertility surgery fellowship at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1980.

  

While in full-time practice, he received many awards as outstanding Resident Teacher at both Akron City and Akron General.

  

Dr. Stover attended The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where he completed the Professional Fellows Program in Business in 1995. He continued business training at the Wharton School of Management where he concentrated in management development for physician executives in 1996. Dr. Stover graduated with an MBA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2001, under the Physician Executive MBA Program where he was recognized as Outstanding Physician Leader of the Year of his graduating class.

   

  

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