NOVATO -- With continually rising healthcare costs, independent physician practices and groups are searching for more efficient, money-saving tools to help them manage their businesses and comply with government regulations.
Many are turning to medical back office technology solution providers to handle billing and collections, electronic health records (EHR), practice and revenue cycle management as well as to provide an integrated, widely-distributed and secure network to connect them with each other and hospitals.
To keep up with demand for these services, Marin Medical Practice Concepts (MMPC) moved to larger quarters in August at 100 Wood Hollow Dr., Suite 160, in the same Novato building as BioMarin’s corporate headquarters.
“We continue to grow our client base.” said Lynn Mitchell, president of MMPC. “MMPC has a contract to manage all of [Marin Healthcare District’s] new community clinics as they are added by the district.”
For over 17 months, MMPC has been offering practice management services to the Marin Healthcare District for their six 1206(b) clinics, including: North Marin Internal Medicine Specialists in Novato; the San Rafael Medical Center; Soluna Sausalito Health Center; West Marin Medical Clinic in Pt. Reyes as well as for Marin Internal Medicine, formerly the Marin Medical Group, in Greenbrae.
MMPC was founded in 1996 by a small group of physicians who wanted to provide advanced business services to physician practices in Marin County and the Bay Area. Now the firm serves clients throughout Northern California.
The company formerly occupied approximately 9,000 square feet of office space at 100 Rowland Way. The new office has 12,973 square feet, more than enough for the company’s 81 employees with room for more.
“We decided to make this move for several reasons,” Ms. Mitchell said.
“It was a natural response to growth. We want to add a call center and triage nurses, as well as have more space for our support staff working with our practices. Today we have from 300 to 400 physician clients and we’re expanding this customer base by 10 percent to 15 percent annually. We were able to obtain highly favorable terms.”
“We are next door to Quadrant Data Systems, our primary technology provider of Internet access, virtual servers and our proprietary physician network.”
It is this server farm that forms the backbone for MMPC’s integrated, physician practice network for clinical integration that enables online collaboration and data sharing -- whether each individual practice has one doctor or 35 or more in specialty or multiple specialty groups.
MMPC established the first fully operational, inter-practice shared EHR system in California. The company also has a secure backup data storage facility in Fairfield to ensure record survivability.
The benefits of EHR are many, including the streamlining of charting practices, adding information electronically to searchable database records that prevent potential hazards, improving patient safety and alerting providers to critical information in real time.
“When I open my computerized patient notes, another doctor on our private network can view them,” said Dr. Joel Sklar, chairman and a founder of MMPC and chief medical officer at Marin General. “But in order for another doctor to see these notes, the patient must be registered with both doctors and grant the necessary permissions to comply with privacy protection requirements.”
Dr. Sklar is also a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates of Marin and San Francisco.