Leading with Integrity
NOMS Healthcare provides an ideal environment for clinicians and patients
In the final days of the 20th century, it became clear to a small group of forward-thinking Ohioans that the healthcare industry was in dire need of change. These doctors and business leaders understood that such sweeping change couldn’t arise overnight, and that it would require a 180-degree shift in thinking about what both patients and physicians need.
At the dawn of the 21st century, that handful of well-known and respected doctors and execs founded an independent private practice called Northern Ohio Medical Specialists (NOMS) Healthcare. NOMS adhered to three foundational principles: to enhance the quality of care and overall experience for patients, to improve the health of the population, and to reduce the cost of care.
As the organization grew, its leadership recognized that by creating an operating environment that removed the headaches of practice management, physicians participating in the NOMS organization could do the work they signed up for when taking the Hippocratic oath instead of splitting their attention between the practice of medicine and the obligations of running a business.
Today, that core group of 30 physicians, steered by the business execs behind this new model, is a continually evolving consortium of 250 Northern Ohio clinicians. Company CEO Joshua Frederick points to rising patient costs and an ever-changing funding and reimbursement landscape as fundamental drivers behind the novel NOMS approach to practice management, noting that the organization is in the midst of a period of anticipated, healthy growth.
“Starting five years ago – and laser-focused on the last 30 months -- we prepared to really meet the challenges of this market,” he told BOSS. “We beefed up our infrastructure, we increased our focus on building outpatient facilities and being able to have additional human and technological resources in-house. That way we could bring many providers onto our platform that just can't do it on their own anymore.
“Doctors are doctors, and they got into healthcare for the right reason, caring for people. They enjoy the challenge of improving the health of the population,” he continued. “The big difference with us is that we as non-physicians know the best way to do this is to take all the business away from the doctors and let them practice medicine, while providing data to them that can help improve outcomes and lower cost by providing care in the appropriate settings.”
From electronic medical record systems to data and analytics, NOMS invests heavily in cutting edge technologies to support their philosophy of care.
A 360 Degree View of Healthcare
While many large multi-specialty practices are associated with hospital or university systems, NOMS is freestanding. “When you're employed by the hospital, more than likely all of your studies, all your testing, all your outpatient procedures are going to be done on hospital campuses. So, we have the luxury that we're not affiliated with a single hospital or facility. In fact, we have privileges now in over 15 different hospitals, and we collaborate well with our inpatient partners. Our only preference is confirming their facilities are of the highest quality and cost competitive,” Frederick maintained.
“We consider ourselves hospital agnostic,” he added. “We're not tied to a system, whereas hospital- based physicians groups typically refer only to their own system. In our mind that's a barrier to care.” According to medical economics experts, independent practices can provide care at the same level of quality as a hospital-employed practice at a much lower cost.
The NOMS vision is based on the Patient Centered Medical Home model, which was developed to transform the way primary care medicine is applied through coordinated, comprehensive, accessible, and safe patient-centered care.
“Ours is a patient-centered mindset and a team-based approach to caregiving. We risk score our patients that have chronic conditions or that may be candidates for rising risk from multiple diagnoses, which may lead to higher complication rates or higher costs down the road, and we wrap our team around those patients,” Frederick stated.
“Ten percent of the patient population represents the majority of the cost of healthcare,” he said. “We wrap our entire team around the patient: clinical, social work, and the clerical side of things, all to make it easy for the patient to receive high quality care.” That full spectrum methodology is branded as the NOMS 360-degree view of care.
“We branded our services as a 360 View because that's how we treat our patients. We want to make sure we have all of our bases covered with the goal of improved outcomes, increased satisfaction, and decreased cost.”
360 Chronic Care provides a team approach to chronic disease management with the aim of keeping patients as healthy as possible while avoiding costly ER visits. Ortho 360 gives patients the benefit of a full-service orthopedic practice while relieving orthopedists from the burden of scheduling and managing imaging studies, pre-surgery testing, and post-acute care. Plans for rolling out a 360 program for women’s health are underway, with the program set to debut in Q1 of 2019.
With their valuable intellectual property and approach to central administration services, NOMS plans to roll out its own management company next year. “Select Healthcare Management” will be a wholly-owned NOMS subsidiary, helping the organization to expand nationally.
“This management company, and the infrastructure that we have in place, allow us to take the craziness of the healthcare business away from the physicians and allow the physicians to focus on the patients,” Frederick concluded.
“We strongly, strongly, strongly believe that a patient-provider relationship, backed by a robust amount of infrastructure and analytics, takes NOMS to the next level. The relationship with the patient — not with a hospital, not with an institution, not with an insurance company — should be with the physician. There are studies which prove the huge, positive impact on the health of the patient when the focus is on that patient-physician relationship, surrounded by a team-based approach. That’s what's going to change healthcare.”
Northern Ohio Medical Specialists (NOMS) Healthcare is a multi-specialty physician group with over 230 providers, 31 specialties, 42 cities in Northern Ohio and growing.
NOMS Healthcare is committed to superior patient satisfaction. Their goal is to continually improve their scope and depth of service based on the ever-changing needs of their patients. NOMS is also committed to taking an active role in the betterment of their community, particularly related to healthcare matters affecting their fellow citizens. They develop and support health care practices recognized for exceeding patient expectations, thereby setting the standard for excellence in Northern Ohio.