MGMA awards spotlight excellence in medical practice management

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 22, 2012—During the MGMA 2012 Annual Conference, MGMA presented its annual national awards to medical practice professionals who made outstanding contributions to the profession. The awards and their recipients were:

Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by The Hartford
Sara M. Larch, MSHA, FACMPE, specialist leader, Deloitte Consulting, LLP, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands
The Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest recognition bestowed by MGMA. It goes to an individual who has made nationally recognized contributions to healthcare administration, delivery and/or education in his/her career, advancing the field of medical practice management.

For more than 30 years, Larch has served as a medical group practice administrator and executive in large group practices, academic medical centers and hospital systems. She has held a number of leadership positions in the field, including board chair of Medical Group Management Association (2001-02), ACMPE board member (2001-02), MGMA board member (1994-03), president of the MGMA Academic Practice Assembly (1994-95) and president of the Association of Managers of Obstetrics and Gynecology (1986-87). Larch became a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives in 1995.

Larch is a popular speaker at national conferences and is co-author of the book, The Physician Billing Process: 12 Potholes to Avoid in the Road to Getting Paid.

Medical Practice Executive of the Year Award
Richard Bodager, CMPE, executive director and chief executive officer, Southern Oregon Cardiology, LLC, Medford
This award recognizes a medical group practice executive who has demonstrated a noteworthy achievement of exceptional leadership and management proficiency to enhance strategic and operational effectiveness of healthcare delivery in his or her practice and community within the last three years.

In 2008, Bodager, serving as executive director of Cardiology Consultants, recognized impending changes in the market that could affect independent cardiologists and approached a local cardiology group, The Heart Clinic, to start merger discussions. A merger between the two groups was formalized in January 2010 and required Bodager to address many issues in a short period of time, including the implementation of an EHR and oversight of a number of management and professional service agreements related to the sale of outpatient services.

The merger has been a success financially and culturally. The practice has reported an increase in physician productivity, and revenue is up 18 percent while overhead is down by 30 percent. Staff morale and physician satisfaction are also at an all-time high.

Physician Executive of the Year Award
Peter Valenzuela, MD, MBA, Medical director, PeaceHealth Medical Group, Bellingham, Wash.
This award recognizes a physician executive in a medical group practice who has exhibited outstanding leadership to achieve exceptional medical group performance in the delivery of healthcare in his or her practice and community through personal example and collaborative team management.
Dr. Valenzuela currently oversees 120 multispecialty providers and 325 caregivers at PeaceHealth Medical Group.  He is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the medical group including: business operations, financial management, patient care systems, quality, and provider performance.  Peter has been instrumental in helping reduce costs and improve quality of care for PHMG patients. He has worked with his leadership team and all PHMG caregivers to address workflow redundancies, enhance access in the primary care clinics, and improve the revenue cycle.

Legislative Liaison of the Year Award
Ramona Osborne, executive director, Ohio Valley Surgical Specialists, MGMA Legislative Liaison for Kentucky MGMA (KMGMA)
This award recognizes a medical practice professional who has provided outstanding leadership in advocacy. Osborne’s efforts include educating KMGMA members on legislative and regulatory issues of importance to medical group practices and motivating members to participate in grassroots initiatives.

Osborne works closely with the MGMA Government Affairs Department on grassroots activities, including efforts to repeal the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. In addition, she sends out periodic and timely legislative updates, as needed, and edits and disseminates a weekly legislative report by working closely with her state medical society’s legislative staff. She also helped create the Legislative-Payer Conference, which has now been added to KMGMA's calendar as an annual fall meeting.

Fred Graham Award for Innovation in Improving Community Health
Piedmont Medical Care Corporation, Atlanta
MGMA bestows the Fred Graham Award on a healthcare organization that has developed activities and solutions to advance the effectiveness of healthcare delivery and improve community health.

Piedmont Medical Care Corporation is a not-for-profit organization developed by employers, physicians, health care services, researchers, and other industry experts. These experts developed a series of chronic care measurement programs to assess and reward primary care practices that can effectively demonstrate good processes and standards of care. The guidelines are based on national metrics and standards of care endorsed and used by the National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA).

In 2010, PMCC partnered with CIGNA in their Patient Centered Medical Home: Collaborative Accountable Care program. This partnership was designed to improve patient access and care while increasing care coordination and lowering medical costs. The program targets active patients who are 18 years or older – regardless of insurance coverage – who have diabetes, hypertension and/or coronary disease. This population was chosen with the belief that managing these conditions  can improve patients' health immediately and over the long term.

Edward B. Stevens Article of the Year Award
Joe Laden, president, Ohio River Valley Associates, LLC, Louisville, Ken.

This award recognizes a medical practice professional who has made a substantial contribution to the body of published literature to foster more effective and efficient healthcare delivery in the field of medical practice management.

This year’s winner authored “Now That I have Your Phone, I think I’ll Teach You a Lesson,” which was published in the March 2012 issue of MGMA Connexion magazine.

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