Nevada Regional Medical Center

Jason Anglin, CEO of NRMC, announces that after many months of discussions and planning that Nevada Medical Clinic is to become a part of Nevada Regional Medical Center.

At the August meeting, the Nevada Regional Medical Center board of directors voted to approve the Nevada Medical Clinic becoming a hospital clinic and to consolidate operations with the clinic and its physicians. The decision was made after months of research and detailed analysis.

In early 2022, Drs Jennifer Conley and Heather Russell, of the Nevada Medical Clinic approached hospital administration with their intent to change their business model. They explained that they had explored options for their future including: closing the clinic and finding new positions elsewhere, acquisition of the clinic by an outside health system, and acquisition by Nevada Regional Medical Center.

“The medical delivery system and financial structure have changed significantly over the years. Now, government payments are extremely unfavorable for independent physicians and dramatic increases in medical liability and health insurance premiums have made continued private ownership of Nevada Medical Clinic no longer financially viable,” said Dr. Conley.

Nationwide, the percentage of physician-owned practices has steadily declined as more doctors are seeking employment. “More than half of all physicians in the United States are now employed,” said Holly Bush, Chief Quality Officer at NRMC. “And that number continues to rise every year.”

“Those physicians who were recruited to Nevada Medical Clinic in the past fourteen years left after three to five years for employment models,” said Conley. “A large number of local physicians retired from their practices between 1999 and 2015. This has caused the workforce to decrease from as many as twelve physicians to the current five. There is no real prospect for adding more physicians without a change in structure.”

Presented with this dilemma, hospital administrators worked with outside consultants to research the risk associated with losing the neighboring clinic and to develop a financial analysis to determine the feasibility of saving the practice.

“What we found in our assessment was that the loss of the Nevada Medical Clinic and its physicians would be detrimental to healthcare in our community. Strategically, working together with Nevada Medical Clinic is critical to NRMC. We had to find a way to keep these services here,” said Anglin. “Acquisition by an outside health system would require the physicians maintain outpatient-only practices with cessation of obstetric services. Maintaining OB services is essential for NRMC to continue to qualify for the disproportionate share hospital program (DSH) and for the pharmacy 340B program. Together those programs provide over $5 million to NRMC every year. A loss of these programs jeopardizes NRMC survival. Working together with Nevada Medical Clinic physicians allows NRMC to continue to maintain these essential programs.

From a community service perspective, OB is vital to our community as all of the nearby hospitals have closed their units. Without OB in Nevada, our residents would have to travel a significant distance to deliver their babies. It is time to recruit new obstetric physicians for NRMC, but this process is lengthy, challenging, and very expensive. We cannot let the doctors we have here go, stated Anglin.” The clinic would also provide NRMC with added space for recruitment of other physicians.

Currently, the long-term care facilities in Nevada rely on the clinic physicians for medical care and medical directorships. Loss of this coverage could be detrimental to these, already struggling, entities.

The financial pro forma that was developed and presented to the board showed that addition of the clinic and employment of its physicians and staff is possible for NRMC, even under their current state of financial strain.

“We will be able to designate the Nevada Medical Clinic as a Hospital Based Rural Health Clinic like our other campuses,” said Dana White, Chief Financial Officer at Nevada Regional Medical Center. “That designation is what makes the payment system from Medicare and Medicaid more favorable for a clinic.”

“Despite our financial position, we are compelled to make this transition with the Nevada Medical Clinic as we believe it is vital for the future of both organizations,” said Bob Beaver, Chairman of the NRMC board of directors. “Given the state of today’s healthcare system, this should help sustain great doctors in our community for many more years and give us the space to recruit more.”

Anglin stated, “We intend to move forward with as little disruption to the patients as possible. We found that Nevada Medical Clinic was a lean organization that operates very efficiently, which is what made this possible. It is our intention to continue with what works.”

Nevada Regional Medical Center and Nevada Medical Clinic are targeting for the transition to occur soon.