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The Future of Healthcare: “We need to place more value on the Primary Care Physician” with Dr Josh Adams

As a society we need to place more value on the Primary Care Physician. This sector of medicine is the lowest paid position in medicine, is the first point of contact for the majority of patients, and drives the entire healthcare system. Excessive documentation requirements and high patient volume requires these offices to absorb massive […]

As a society we need to place more value on the Primary Care Physician. This sector of medicine is the lowest paid position in medicine, is the first point of contact for the majority of patients, and drives the entire healthcare system. Excessive documentation requirements and high patient volume requires these offices to absorb massive staffing costs. 93% of physicians would not recommend their job to their children. I believe the answer is in providing higher E&M reimbursement for PCP physicians and allow government grants and aid to help absorb staffing costs. I believe improving physician pay and reducing insurance documentation guidelines will help by allowing physicians more time with patients, improving diagnosis accuracy and decreasing healthcare costs by reducing excessive labs, imaging and prescriptions. Medical schools need to add more training on business and nutrition. This will empower more physicians to have the confidence to open their own practices and decrease dependence on pharmaceutical intervention.


Asa part of my interview series with leaders in healthcare, I had the pleasure to interview Josh Adams, CEO of Arizona Medical and Sports Rehab. He oversees the largest Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy Clinics in Phoenix Arizona. Dr. Adams has been a business consultant for some of the most respected Surgeons, Primary Care and Pain Management Physicians. He is a highly sought out public speaker and his business insights have been published in numerous media outlets.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I got into the medical field because of my father Josh Adams Sr. He passed away when I was 17 due to a staph infection from a gastric bypass surgery. He was denied back surgery over 30 times due to his weight and when he passed away I promised myself I would dedicate my life to improving the medical system.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

The first time I was asked to consult for a Primary Care office, I was shocked to learn that the average time face to face with a primary care doctor was 6 minutes. I also learned that due to declining insurance reimbursements, the physician had to find a way to create $60,000.00 in additional services just to make the same revenues as the previous year. The challenge was extremely difficult, but by adding physical therapy and sports medicine services to their practice we were able to add $800,000.00 in net revenue to their practice. The most rewarding experience of my life was watching that added revenue allow the physician to spend more time patients, bonus his staff and improve clinical outcomes.

Can you tell our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the healthcare field?

I have endured the roller coaster of challenges of building medical multiple clinics from the ground up. Hiring many physicians from all different areas of medicine has allowed me to learn the unique challenges each has faced over their careers. It really wasn’t until I started consulting and seeing all the difficulties primary care and family medicine doctors have to face that inspired me to want to educate doctors on business.

What makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Arizona Medical and Sports Rehab along with my consulting business Integrative Medicare Solutions have been very successful because we have extremely high standards for results. My Staff and I can empathize with the physicians and understand how to motivate employees. Physicians go to school to learn medicine, not to run a business. Owners tend to pass off the task of running a multi-million dollar operation to an office manager with no business experience and no formal business training. These offices are usually so overwhelmed, that they do not incentivize employees, strategize business operations, develop marketing plans or train employees. Once these practices start to implement proven business strategies and procedures, it is amazing to see how fast these companies can turn around.

Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to and/or see in the healthcare industry? How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo? Which “pain point” is this trying to address?

Arizona Medical and Sports Rehab has become one of the fastest growing companies in Arizona because of the exceptional convenience and improved clinical outcomes by having multiple doctors and physical therapists in one location. Instead of having to make separate appointments at a primary care, physical therapy, imaging center and a orthopedic physician, patients are excited to be able to go to one office, work with doctors and therapists who communicate and work towards a common goal. Our company mission is to exceed all customer expectations with wait times less than 3 minutes and customer service similar to a 5 star hotel.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Take an online business class before opening your own business. Understanding cashflow and managing employees is something brand new for doctors. When your only approved for a loan enough to float the company for 2 months because of student debt you have to learn fast.
  2. Your ultimate success will come down to your ability to hire amazing staff
  3. Take care of your health, grinding for 70 hours a week every week may be necessary but it’s a lot harder if you don’t have energy
  4. It takes a lot longer to get credentialed with insurance companies than you think
  5. Hire physicians off a percentage not salary. Motivation is key for every doctor.

Let’s jump to the main focus of our interview. According to this studycited by Newsweek, the US healthcare system is ranked as the worst among high income nations. This seems shocking. Can you share with us 3–5 reasons why you think the US is ranked so poorly?

1)Declining insurance reimbursements for E&M coding and stricter regulation on documentation has caused physicians have to see more patients. The average face to face time a physician has with a patient in the United States is 6 minutes. With so little time, Physicians end up writing prescriptions, ordering expensive tests or referring to specialists. According to a study by John’s Hopkins University the 3rd leading cause of death is Medical errors. Without physicians having time to properly diagnose conditions, overprescription of medications can occur and situations such as the opiod crisis can occur.

2) Medical School education is geared around sick care and not prevention. Physicians take 1 class in 4 years on nutrition. Considering 80% of disease comes from lifestyle choices, this should be priority.

3) We are the only country in the world that allows pharmaceutical companies to market directly to the patient. Patients are walking into their doctors office asking for specific drugs that they have no idea what the side effects or clinical studies have shown

You are a “healthcare insider”. If you had the power to make a change, can you share 5 changes that need to be made to improve the overall US healthcare system? Please share a story or example for each.

As a society we need to place more value on the Primary Care Physician. This sector of medicine is the lowest paid position in medicine, is the first point of contact for the majority of patients, and drives the entire healthcare system. Excessive documentation requirements and high patient volume requires these offices to absorb massive staffing costs. 93% of physicians would not recommend their job to their children. I believe the answer is in providing higher E&M reimbursement for PCP physicians and allow government grants and aid to help absorb staffing costs. I believe improving physician pay and reducing insurance documentation guidelines will help by allowing physicians more time with patients, improving diagnosis accuracy and decreasing healthcare costs by reducing excessive labs, imaging and prescriptions. Medical schools need to add more training on business and nutrition. This will empower more physicians to have the confidence to open their own practices and decrease dependence on pharmaceutical intervention.

Thank you! It’s great to suggest changes, but what specific steps would need to be taken to implement your ideas? What can individuals, corporations, communities and leaders do to help?

  • Improve funding to Medical Schools for developing business and Nutritional education
  • Improve medicare reimbursement for E&M coding for PCP practices
  • Implement mandates on medicare guidelines to ease physician documentation requirements
  • Allow for government aid for student loan reimbursement for Physicians who choose to practice primary care, internal medicine or family medicine to make this option more desirable for Medical School Students.
  • To reduce impact on insurance companies, allow insurance companies to conduct health assessments on individuals just like life insurance companies. The minority of people who have non-lifestyle ailments such as type 1 diabetes should get a federal insurance to cover their expenses.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better healthcare leader? Can you explain why you like them?

I highly recommend the 4 hour work we by Tim Ferris. That book encourages better time management and finding a better work life balance. Physician burnout is a huge problem in the United States. Finding more balance, focusing on your health and reducing stress is essential for doctors to have the energy to change the world.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@Dr.joshadams on instagram

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-josh-adams-d-c-1700a2b2/

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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