Three South Central Kansas Medical Center physicians are relocating their clinic practices from the medical center campus to Winfield Medical Arts.

South Central Kansas Medical Center

Photo by Jeni McGee

Dr. Tyson Blatchford, general surgeon; Dr. Perry Lin, obstetrics and gynecology; and Dr. Willie Posey II, internal medicine and cardiology, will begin seeing patients at their new clinic, located at 3625 Quail Ridge Drive in Winfield, beginning Dec. 4.

Winfield Medical Arts and SCKMC merged in October, with the clinic practice coming under the hospital’s umbrella. This combining of efforts allowed both organizations to capture higher reimbursements for patient care through the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

“Up until now, no one wanted to increase their Medicare and Medicaid patient base, because the programs paid so poorly,” said Virgil Watson, SCKMC’s chief executive officer. “This takes care of that. Medicare is saying, ‘We want you to give these patients better access and we will pay you more to do that.’ Because in the long run, it makes them healthier patients and keeps the access to care more available.”

The merger with Winfield Medical Arts provided an opportunity for SCKMC’s full-time physician specialists to begin seeing patients under the new clinic reimbursement model.

“We are moving our physicians from a hospital-based clinic to a hospital-based Rural Health Clinic. It is all terminology,” said Holly Harper, SCKMC’s chief financial officer.

“Dr. Posey, Dr. Blatchford and Dr. Lin are in a hospital-based clinic (on the hospital’s campus), but it’s not a Rural Health Clinic. We are not able to convert it to a Rural Health Clinic, so we are moving them to Winfield Medical Arts, which already is a hospital-based Rural Health Clinic and will provide them greater reimbursement for being affiliated directly with the hospital.”

Moving the specialists to a Rural Health Clinic has been considered in the past by hospital administrators. Lin has been seeing patients at the hospital’s other Rural Health Clinic, South Central Kansas Clinic in downtown Arkansas City, since May. However, that building’s design does not accommodate moving all three physicians there on a full-time basis.

“Our downtown clinic is basically full,” Watson said. “We have three providers in there now and the way that clinic was designed, it just does not lend itself to adding additional providers. At Winfield Medical Arts, we are only using three of five pods, so we have room to grow and expand.”

Watson thinks the move will create better coordination of patient care between the primary care physicians and specialists, as well as a better experience for the patient.

“In today’s environment, the specialists and surgeons have to be where the patients are,” Watson said.

“A specialist who is right next door to the primary care physician, and the registration area is in the same building so that process can be more seamless for the patient — it saves the doctor time. It saves the patient time. Hopefully, the end result is a much improved quality and continuity of care.”

Patients for all three providers will receive letters further explaining the move and providing instructions for scheduling future appointments. For more information, including scheduling, call Winfield Medical Arts at (620) 221-6100.

This information was provided by South Central Kansas Medical Center Marketing Director Clayton Pappan.