For many years, DFW independent physicians have had a weekly dialogue and briefing point with Buddy Miers. The first message was the “Monday Morning FAX” which greeted the JVE physicians in 1987 as managed care arrived in Dallas. 1,000 physicians waited every Monday for an update on what was up in the developing managed care world.
After eight years, the message moved to Southwest Physician Associates (SPA). The audience also evolved as SPA was focused on “risk-reward” contracting. It was the 1990s and the time of HMO contracting. It was also the period of physicians being purchased and PCPs beginning to drive the bottom line of medicine. The message then moved to a broader southwestern scope as a new podium was created with an exciting Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant start-up company. That message also embraced the long-term care continuum, from PCP-led home care, assisted living, skilled nursing, to LTACs. After an acquisition, the message then moved to a cutting-edge “hospitalist” venture. But, the Monday morning messages remained a dependable resource that was followed by many practitioners across the state and beyond. Often the message had to be physician-penned, but the communication was never stilled.
In 2004, after an incredible year of hospitalist development and chronic disease clinic operation, Buddy Miers returned home with a mission to build a healthcare ecosystem. The founding team was a corporate benefits marketer, two CPAs (one corporate, the other in public practice), three wonderful physicians who had the grit to obtain their benefits consulting and general insurance licenses, a hospital-ancillary executive with public company experience, and a business generalist. Another key ecosystem piece was needed, so a general IPA was identified and placed into the ecosystem structure. Since then, the brands Flagship Network, The Miers Group Benefits, Physician Ventures, PDA of Texas, IPA, etc. have been secured and linked to the LLC’s managing unit.
Now, with the shock of Obamacare somewhat processed, merging of delivery systems and insurers, the ecosystem prospers and has no outside debt. It is just beginning to listen to investment requests for growth capital.
The dark days are passing. Federalizing healthcare and concentration of managed care bargaining power is becoming accepted and understood. The Ecosystem is optimistic and sure that there will always be independent practitioners to serve. And, the ecosystem will be ready to serve their needs with integrity, grit and hard work.