BY MIKE GOODKIND
Joseph Hopkins, MD, has been appointed associate chief medical officer for primary care and prepaid health at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, retroactive to May 1. In his new role, Hopkins is responsible in the clinics for quality assurance and improvement, physician oversight, professional development and academic leadership. And along with clinics director Linda Cook, RN, MBA, Hopkins is responsible for seeing that Stanford's primary care clinics operate efficiently. Hopkins, a primary care physician in Stanford Family Practice Group, most recently also served as medical director for health plans at Stanford Hospital and Clinics.
Serving some 100,000 patients, Stanford's primary care clinics include Stanford Medical Group, Stanford Family Practice, Menlo Medical Clinic, Stanford-Coastside Clinic and the General Internal Medicine Clinic.
Nancy Morioka-Douglas, MD, a physician at Stanford Family Practice, will report to Hopkins as newly appointed medical director for prepaid health plans, a position formerly held by Hopkins. Morioka-Douglas will deal with most of the day-to-day review of authorization requests for the 52,000 capitated patients currently enrolled at Stanford's primary care clinics.
"Joe's long-time leadership in all aspects of primary care medicine patient care delivery, management, economics, professional oversight and academics makes him an ideal candidate for this position. His peers were enthusiastic about his taking on this newly created role, and I'm confident he'll complement my own subspecialty medical experience with the other large piece of the patient care delivery equation primary care," said Peter B. Gregory, MD, Stanford Hospital's chief medical officer.
Hopkins, who received his MD from Stanford in 1973, worked at the Midpeninsula Health Service for many years, serving as medical director and later as executive director. His recent appointments at Stanford, which acquired MHS in 1989, have included medical director of Stanford Home Care and medical director of the Stanford-Coastside Clinic. He served for seven years as director of prepaid health.
Hopkins will carry out for Stanford the role that Thomas McAfee, MD, filled for UCSF Stanford Health Care as vice president of primary care services.
"Seeing what Tom had started to accomplish in the short time he was in that position showed us that I needed an associate CMO to coordinate, provide oversight, and serve as a resource and sometime mentor to our primary care physicians and staff," Gregory said.
Hopkins said he looks forward to the responsibilities and challenges that come with his new post. He described some of the highlights:
n "Stanford has an opportunity to explore how to provide primary care services for patients who initially come here for tertiary services. While Stanford has no current strategy to expand primary care, we should find ways to offer such care for patients who request it. For example, a patient who comes here from a long distance for congestive heart failure specialty treatment might want a comprehensive physical work-up, or simply might need a mole removed. We can also look for opportunities to provide primary care in areas that aren't overextended in our area, such as women's or executive health.
n "We should expand our ability to measure quality of care and service not only because it is the right thing to do from a clinical care quality and efficiency standpoint, but also because it will help us to show outside employers that they and their employees are getting good value for their health care dollars here.
n "We currently require preauthorization for only about half of the services that required authorization [before the 'demerger.'] We're trying to reduce that further. For example, if the requested service is one we rarely deny and there isn't a lot of money involved we will likely skip the authorization process. It will save us money in the long run.
n "While it represents a small percentage of our total volume, I think we would want to continue to provide managed care and other forms of care, for that matter for the Stanford community. I think it makes sense to show the world we can do a great job of taking care of our own community.
n "One of the things that I feel
strongly about is helping other physician managers develop
professionally. I will be exploring ways to find educational and
mentoring opportunities, including executive MBA programs, distance
learning and possibly developing on-site programs."