It was 20 years ago, before the Affordable Care Act, before the war between UPMC and Highmark, a group of independent primary care physicians serving the North Hills came together to form Genesis Medical Associates, Inc.
Drs. Louis W. Heyl, Donald R. Shoenthal, Charles E. Cole, Stephen D. Baker, Lee C. Dobler, Robert H. Potter, Jr., Warren S. Smith, Eugene A. Lechmanick, William J. Bentz and Ira E. Baumgartel looked at the future for their six individual practices and decided to band together while maintaining their individual family practice offices.
Over the past 20 years, Genesis now has a dozen offices including a walk in clinic at the Allegheny Health Network Pine Complex, a chiropractic office in Ross Township, executive offices and a laboratory facility, also in Ross Township. The Genesis offices stretch north from Reserve Township near the city of Pittsburgh to Cranberry Township in Butler County.
Drs. Heyl, Shoenthal, Potter and Smith remain active in their practices along with a dozen other physicians, over two dozen physician assistants, nurse practitioners and laboratory staff.
“We could see the handwriting on the wall,” noted Dr. Potter. “We were getting offers to buy our practices, but wanted to maintain our independence and control our own destiny while continuing to provide quality care for our patients. We didn’t want to become someone’s employees.”
“We also recognized the high cost of the new technology needed like electronic medical records and the related hardware,” he added. “We spent a year meeting weekly to develop our plan. We selected the name Genesis to reflect this new beginning.
Agreeing that their focus should be on continued high quality, effective patient care; they also recognized the need for a chief administrator to focus on the business side of their effort and chose Mark Kissinger, who’s been with Genesis since the early days. Formerly with a large specialty practice group, Kissinger recognized the opportunity to quarterback the new group and the challenges Genesis would face with the Affordable Care Act and other industry norms.
“We continue to adjust with the times,” noted Dr. Potter, “realizing the changes ahead in the practice of medicine with the insurance industry switching to “payment for value” versus the former “payment for volume”.
“Among the many adjustments,” he added, “is the focus on patient follow-up with calls to each and every patient following visits, tests and/or hospitalization.”
Recognized as the largest independent primary care physicians practice group serving northern Allegheny County, Genesis earlier in the year joined with Preferred Primary Care Physicians, the largest independent primary care physicians group serving the South Hills, to form Keystone Clinical Partners, LLC., in order to become the first physician-owned primary care practices in Western Pennsylvania to achieve recognition by Medicare as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).
Additionally, several of the individual Genesis practice groups have achieved NCQA (National Committee on Quality Assurance) certification for their Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMC) program. The Genesis physicians recognized the role of the digital age and have invested heavily in electronic medical records and established “My Medical Records” HIPPA Secure Portal in which patients can schedule appointments, request a prescription refill, receive online test results, receive secure e-mail messages from the physician’s office and more.
A key message the physicians established in launching Genesis was an emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention, patient education and verifiable quality of treatment all geared to treatment of the whole person.
Genesis accepts all insurance.