Independently owned medical practices: A winning strategy for the patient and provider

By: Dr. David A. Russian, CEO, Western Washington Medical Group

As our economy grows, so does the healthcare economy. The growth we have experienced in our region from Boeing, Fluke, Microsoft and Amazon has pushed consolidation closer to the forefront of healthcare. However, even as large medical groups are acquiring medical practices in our community, and throughout the country, bigger may not always be better.

Twenty years ago, there were many independent medical groups in our region. Today, Western Washington Medical Group (WWMG) is the only independent practice in Snohomish County. Nationally, independent practices represent about 30 percent of the healthcare market, according to the American Society of Independent Doctors.

WWMG was founded by a local, independent group of providers in the early 1990s. It has expanded to more than 100 providers, who live and work in Snohomish County. We launched the “Genuinely Local” advertising campaign, to underscore our continued independence, showcasing several of our WWMG providers, in their workwear, going about everyday activities in our local community such as bowling or fishing.

Independent medical groups have big benefits for patients like lowering costs. The difference can be more than 50 percent less than a hospital. Without a large entity like a hospital or corporation to subsidize losses, we’re able to keep costs down. Insurance companies understand this and recognize that we generally incur lower costs as a result of minimized care and testing in the hospital.

Our model works because we can create an environment that allows our providers the freedom to build their practice the way that works best for them as well as the needs of their patients. We do not follow a cookie-cutter approach, because our mission is to do what is right for the patient. Sometimes, when appropriate, that may even mean that we may refer to a specialist or procedure outside our group, if in fact that is what is right for the patient.

With our patient-centered approach, whether it is a routine checkup or a more specialized process, our patients can be assured that they are getting care tailored to their needs. Our providers recognize how fortunate we are in being able to help people live healthier lives. It is a privilege to serve our community.

Dr. David A. Russian is CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, a provider-owned and provider-run, multi-specialty medical practice. Dr. Russian specializes in Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders and practices in Everett. He received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his residency at NYU Medical center in New York. After fellowship training at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Russian moved to Everett to join WWMG.

More in Marketplace

Independently owned medical practices: A winning strategy for the patient and provider

By: Dr. David A. Russian, CEO, Western Washington Medical Group As our… Continue reading

Public awareness can change minds on the opioid crisis

Skagit County in the middle of efforts to get community talking, expand treatment options

Auto shop takes time-honored customer service digital

Customers love the easy communication at Fast Eddie’s

Big cash discounts remain for wood stove replacement

Marysville fireplace dealers helping extend Clean Air program in Snohomish County

Self-care takes many forms in Snohomish County

Many area residents turn to cannabis products for help with anxiety, stress

Tough stance on drug-related crime could boost tax base, help addicts: Everett property owner

Snohomish County Council election Nov. 5, candidate advocates for consequence-based solutions

5 reasons to put YOU at the top of your to-do list

Caring for ourselves is key this time of year

Anna Rohrbough (centre), the Republican candidate for the District 2 position on Snohomish County Council, poses for a photo with supporters Anita Azariah, left, and Barbara Coleman. The election happens Nov. 4.
More effective ways to help people through life challenges: Snohomish County Council candidate

Tightening up social programs can move people out of complacency, advocate says

Fall storm proves preventive tree care is key

Sally Trocano was at work when she received a call no one… Continue reading

Police ride-along an eye-opener for Snohomish County Council candidate

District 2 candidate Anna Rohrbough offers firsthand report from her experience

Follow the birdies to Bellevue … and Mukilteo and Renton!

Bellevue Badminton Club proud of champion juniors, welcomes new members at all levels

Recent quake a reminder to prepare in Snohomish County

Great ShakeOut, other programs can help get your family ready for a major earthquake