Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 15

Changes in Health Care
in Berks County
by D. Michael Baxter, MD

P

erhaps Bob Dylan did say it best "The Times They Are A-Changin'." When Dylan released his
classic song and album of the same title in January 1964, few could have imagined the changes
that were indeed underway. As we soon head into the third decade of the 21st Century we are
faced with another time of rapid change and Berks County health care institutions, physicians and
patients will certainly feel the impact.
In this edition of the Medical Record, we focus on these changes involving the health care
institutions that have been the mainstay of health care here for 150 years. While change is
paradoxically one of the "constants" of life and has steadily impacted our community, the extent of
such change in our health care environment has never been more pronounced. The incorporation
of St. Joseph's Hospital into the Penn State Health Network, the creation of the Tower Health
System with Reading Hospital's purchase of five regional hospitals as well as the creation of the
four-year Drexel/Tower Medical School and the renaming of Health South's facility as Encompass
Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Reading pointedly showcase how dramatic this change has been.
In addition, the impact on physician practice patterns has also been dramatic as the number of
independent practices has rapidly declined, first among our primary care colleagues and more recently
as many of our specialty practices are now owned/managed by our health care systems.
So what does this all mean for our physicians and all health care providers, our patients, and
indeed our community? In this issue we have asked representatives from Tower Health, Penn State
St. Joseph's and Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Reading to respond to our specific
questions regarding the impact of these changes on their role of providing care to all patients in our
community. In addition, Louis LaLuna, MD, of the Digestive Disease Association group, reflects on
the question of whether there still exists a role for independent medical practices. While one might
say that the institutional responses are tinged with the expected elements of public relations, each
response reflects a public commitment to high quality accessible patient care.
Physician and Patient Advocacy is one of the four key points of the Berks County Medical Society
"Compass" (Advocacy, Education, Collegiality and Professionalism) that guides us in our mission to
promote the highest standards and quality of care for everyone in Berks County. Regardless of the
degree of change, we remain steadfast in support of these goals.
continued next page >

WINTER 2019

|

15



Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 5
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 6
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 7
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 8
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 9
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 10
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 11
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 12
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 13
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 14
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 15
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 16
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 17
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 18
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 19
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 20
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 21
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 22
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 23
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 24
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 25
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 26
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 27
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 28
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 29
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 30
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 31
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 32
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 33
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 34
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 35
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 36
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 37
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 38
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 39
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2019 - 40
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BCMS_MedicalRecord_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalSocietyHealthWellnessDirectory
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2018b
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2017-18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_Physician_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/MedicalRecordSpring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com