July 23, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
Staten Island, NY—While right-wing think tanks and pundits continue to whine over ObamaCare, the president of a physicians-led health care organization said that because of the Affordable Care Act more residents in the nearby community are seeking treatment at his facility.
Working folk, we toured the AdvantageCare Physicians health facility at 1050 Clove Road on Staten Island on Monday morning. Leading the tour was the CEO of AdvantageCare, William A. Gillespie, who is a pediatrician by training, who told us in a video interview some of the critical healthcare services the facility, and the company, provide.
“We are the largest physician practice in New York City. We have 450 physicians in 20 specialties that take care of 450,000 patients at 38 locations from Staten Island to eastern Long Island, said Gillespie.
Just a few of the primary and secondary services AdvantageCare provides include family medicine, radiology, pharmacy, surgery and internal medicine.
Now working folk you might be wondering why can’t I just go to the hospital to get treatment. According to Dr. Gillespie, technology has improved so much over the years that physicians can now team up together and offer multiple services under one roof, rather than opening up individual practices on their own.
“We are a multispecialty group practice. Technology has gotten so good that you can do things now in a doctor’s office that used to have to be done in a hospital. But now for convenient’s sake and even safety’s sake, it’s possible to do things in a medical office. This is better for patients and for quality of care,” Gillespie said.
The other question you might also have working folk is how is the facility and the company able to earn revenue and be compensated for the services they provide. Dr. Gillespie said that the company relies on different contracts with a lot of different health plans where they are responsible for making sure they manage each member’s care within a certain price point.
“We also have fee-for-service contracts where we turn in bills for the things that we do for the health plans and they pay us back. But what sets us apart is that we provide care in the right setting at the right time for the right reasons,” said Gillespie said.
The opportunity to work in a physicians-led facility provides different options for aspiring doctors and nurses graduating from medical and nursing school. Dr. Gillespie said that such a facility allows them to work for themselves.
“In a free-standing practice like this it’s really the physicians owning and running the practice, and that can be comforting to new clinicians coming in. In a hospital-based system, you really work for the hospital; in this type of practice you work for yourself.”
And on the question of how ObamaCare has had a positive impact on his practice and business, Dr. Gillespie said that residents in the nearby community have been neglecting their health for years because they couldn’t afford it, but now they can.
“What the Affordable Care Act has done is that it has allowed people to be insured who weren’t before. As of January, we’ve got patients coming in who hadn’t been seen for five or 10 years. We as physicians [believe] having coverage is an important concept,” said Gillespie.