8510 Balboa Blvd
Northridge, CA 91325
(818) 654-3400
(866) 654-3471
44469 N. 10th Street W
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 945-9411
275 N. El Cielo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(800) 500-5215
(760) 969-6526
4580 California Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93309
(661) 327-4411
1305 Marsh St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(661) 327-4411
43839 N. 15th St. W
Lancaster, CA 93534
(800) 266-4364
(661) 945-5984
12370 Hesperia Road Ste. 3
Victorville, CA 92395
(760) 245-4747
191 S. Buena Vista St., Suite 200
Burbank, CA 91505-4542
(818) 637-2000
600 City Parkway West, Suite 400
Orange, CA 92868
(800) 747-2362

Regal Medical Group (RMG)

With a network spanning more than 5,000 square miles and thousands of health care providers, Regal Medical Group is part of one of Southern California's largest managed health networks. That size works to your advantage, allowing us to be there to coordinate all of your health care, when and where you need us. In spite of our size, we remain rooted in close community and operate upon the simple, traditional principles of knowing our customer, and providing respectful, personal, quality care.

At Regal, we know that navigating the healthcare system can be complicated for patients and for physicians. We also believe that during a visit to your doctor, the focus should be on health and wellness. You should be discussing things like prevention, diagnosis, treatment and healing, not coverage, networks, claims, regulations and billing. That's where an IPA, like Regal Medical Group, is able to serve both patients and physicians, by managing the business of managed care so that you don't have to.

Regal Medical Group works together with your healthcare plan and your PCP to keep things running smoothly. We collaborate with our physicians to provide quality care, while focusing on minimizing your out of pocket expenses. One way that we keep your overall health care costs low is by emphasizing preventative care in order to keep you healthy.

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Sierra Medical Group (SMG)

Sierra Medical Group represents the future of medicine. Throughout our twenty five year history serving Antelope Valley, we have diligently invested our time and resources in the development of programs and services responsive to the healthcare needs of today's patient, while adapting to the increasingly diverse needs of tomorrow's health care agenda.

At SMG your health is our priority. An excellent team of specialty physicians who are either board certified or board eligible supports our primary care physicians providing you with a comprehensive healthcare network that is fully committed to your individual needs.

At SMG, we work hard to ensure that our patients receive quality medical care. This is why you will find easy access to your doctor, minimal waiting time for referrals, and staff members that genuinely care for your well-being.

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Desert Oasis Health Care (DOHC)

DOHC is a team of highly skilled primary care physicians and ancillary providers, servicing the community with all their health care needs from newborn to senior care. We have convenient locations throughout the Coachella Valley, Morongo Basin and Yucca Valley areas.

DOHC’s services include access to 6 Immediate and Urgent Care Centers - Bermuda Dunes, Indio, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Yucca Valley. Our programs include Living and Aging Well, Home Health Services and Medication Management Services which are committed to improving your health proactively.

We are affiliated with every hospital in the Coachella Valley, which includes Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, Desert Regional Medical Center, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and Hi-Desert Medical Center.

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Bakersfield Family Medical Center (BFMC)

Bakersfield Family Medical Center provides excellence in health care to our patients in professional settings that promote wellness and preventive medicine in Kern County.  Throughout the twenty year history of our medical group, we have diligently invested our resources in the development of programs and services responsive to the healthcare needs of today’s patient while adapting to the increasingly diverse needs of tomorrow’s healthcare agenda.

Our facilities offer superior patient convenience by providing Urgent Care, Pharmacy, Lab, Radiology, Pediatrics and a variety of specialty services at one convenient site.  In addition, the Heritage Physician Network is a group of physicians located throughout Kern County who have joined together to form an Independent Physicians Association (IPA).  These IPA physicians remain affiliated with BFMC although they maintain their own individual offices.  Members who choose physicians in Heritage Physician Network will see their selected doctors in their conveniently located private offices.  All members of Heritage Physician Network can access the full range of services, programs and specialists offered by BFMC.

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Coastal Communities Physician Network (CCPN)

CCPN is an Independent Practice Association (IPA) formed in 2006, consisting of a network of contracted physicians located throughout the San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties. These IPA physicians are affiliated with BFMC/CCPN for the coordination of care rendered to members who have selected CCPN as their primary medical group.  Members who choose physicians of CCPN will see their doctors in their conveniently located private offices and also have access to a whole network of out-of-area specialists.  All members of CCPN can access a full range of services, programs and specialists through these contracted providers.

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High Desert Medical Group (HDMG)

HDMG has a long-standing promise to provide residents of the Antelope Valley with the highest quality health care possible. Living up to our promise is an on-going commitment, which necessitates our growth as a multi-specialty medical group providing a wide range of health care services for our patients. For more than 25 years, we've been fortunate to have an impressive team of health care professionals, administrators, support personnel and dedicated volunteers who work in unison to help us deliver on our promise.

Together, we partner with local hospitals, medical experts and business leaders, and we actively support numerous organizations, educational, cultural and recreational events. Our team of healthcare professionals is available and ready to help you with all of your medical needs. We accept over 85 different health plans, including HMO, PPO, POS, EPO, Private and Medicare plans. Our Lancaster facility offers the convenience of having your Primary Care Physician, Lab, X-Ray, Urgent Care, Pharmacy, a Health Education Department, Infusion Center, and a multitude of subspecialties all under the same roof. In addition, our Urgent Care is now open 24 hours a day 7 days a week including holidays. We also have a full service Occupational Medicine Center on-site.

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Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group (HVVMG)

Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group has exceeded our members’ expectations since its inception in 2003 through personalized care by a staff of skilled professionals, a speedy referral system, and a panel of specialists to serve all your medical needs.

We believe the most important aspect of healthcare is tending to the personal needs of our patients. Our facilities are equipped with some of the finest diagnostic equipment and technicians available. We have the resources and commitment to always bring the best to meet the new challenges and ever-changing health care needs of the Victor Valley region.

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Lakeside Medical Group (LMG)

Lakeside Medical Group is a comprehensive healthcare provider with a network of physicians and services throughout the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita Valleys, as well as parts of Ventura and San Bernardino Counties. We aim to deliver quality, affordable healthcare to the communities we serve.

We bring more than 20 years of innovation in healthcare delivery and management systems to our integrated network of services, which include hundreds of primary care physicians and over a thousand specialists; ancillary services, such as an outpatient surgery center, urgent care centers and physical therapy; and affiliations with premier hospitals, labs and other support services.

Our commitment to complete patient care includes developing new and better ways of delivering healthcare. From our approach to prevention and disease management to our hospitalist program and more, your care is coordinated so that you have the best possible outcomes.

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ADOC Medical Group (ADOC)

ADOC Medical Group (ADOC) is an independent practice association, a medical group of over 275 private physicians and 600 specialty physicians who are dedicated to providing affordable, quality healthcare for individuals of all ages. We are affiliated with most major health plans, including many HMOs.

With offices throughout the greater Orange County area, chances are board-certified primary care physician and board certified specialists you need are in your own neighborhood.

Our goal is to help you make better care decisions for yourself and your family.

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Modern Healthcare looks to Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO, Heritage Provider Network for insights on healthcare innovation in featured interview

September 15, 2018


Q&A with Heritage Provider Network's Dr. Richard Merkin on healthcare innovation

By Erica Teichert  | September 15, 2018

Managed-care organization Heritage Provider Network, based in Marina del Rey, Calif., has focused on accountable care and value-based care since its inception in 1979. Now, its network of more than 3,700 primary-care physicians and 12,000 specialists serves more than 1 million patients in Arizona, California, Missouri and New York. Dr. Richard Merkin has led the network from the beginning and continues to look for cutting-edge treatment and innovative solutions to improve care. Modern Healthcare News Editor ?Erica Teichert recently talked with Merkin. The following is an edited transcript.

MH: What do you feel has helped Heritage be so successful in the ACO program?

Merkin: What has helped Heritage, generally, is not embracing the status quo, but embracing change. Our charter has always been to do things that have never been done before. I think taking that approach, taking a less traveled path, has helped us become what we are today.

MH: Can you give me any examples of what you've done that you feel has never been done before? 

Merkin: When we first started, everybody was sort of doing the same thing. We looked at value-based healthcare as a blank slate. For example, in 1979 we started what is today a hospitalist program, with dedicated positions in
?the hospital and in the post-acute settings. I think it was 1996 when it became a specialty. But we invented that. 

We were the first physician-owned organization in the country that managed the entire care of the patient, which, is considered global risk today, for a fixed dollar amount. 

We use machine learning; we use artificial intelligence. Part of our team includes professors of computer science, people who would normally not be part of a medical group. We have relationships with public-private partnerships with Harvard, MIT, Cal Tech. More recently, we started the Institute for Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, which more formalized things we've done for many years. 

MH: That's interesting that you've brought in people into your network that you wouldn't necessarily think of as healthcare providers.

Merkin: Their goal is not to do what has previously been done. They want to do something that will have an effect on healthcare at a very broad base. Now, mind you, what I normally see is we get lots of people from Silicon Valley who come to us and say, “I have this great solution. You have a problem that it fits?” And we didn't think that worked. So what we did is we've taken these very talented, smart and educated computer scientists and brought them in to different departments and had them educated on the nuances and the issues that practicing physicians have every day. And the different regulations, etc.

MH: How has the healthcare industry changed during the last several decades and where do you see it going forward?

Merkin: Change is accelerating exponentially. It used to take a longer period of time between something being invented and it being implemented. Today, the time is truncated.

MH: The CMS recently announced that it's going to retire zero- and low-risk ACO tracks. How do you think that's going to affect the industry's move to value-based care?

Merkin: Physicians have to take on more responsibility. I think we're going too slow. Physicians have to work together; they have to collaborate. I think culture unlocks value. I don't think we would have been able to achieve what we have unless our teams were unified, worked together as a team, and worked hard to serve our members. I think a lot of these programs evolve. Our goal was to go from horse and buggy to electric cars, but other organizations were just trying to make a faster horse.

MH: You've mentioned how innovations are developing faster than ever now. And then you juxtapose that versus the ACO program and the move to value-based care. And from your perspective how slow it seems to be going.

Merkin: Our organization went from fee-for-service to global risk immediately. And we built systems for global risk. So, we were responsible for the totality of care. At least initially, we were responsible for pharmaceutical cost, also. The health plans, over time, found that there were many groups that couldn't manage that. And part of it was lack of data. Generally, medical groups are not held accountable for pharmaceutical costs. But now we are doing this incrementally. And I'm uncertain if that's the best way to do it.

MH: Was changing from fee-for-service to global risk a challenge for Heritage?

Merkin: It was exciting. Necessity is the mother of invention. When we started we were challenged by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, who said, “This is impossible.” And yet, that was what caused us to find it exciting. The crazy ideas of one day, like putting a doctor in the hospital full time, was a breakthrough the next. Having a team of doctors evaluate a patient for best outcomes was a crazy idea. Doctors, historically, didn't work in teams. Today, that's pretty routine. We found it stimulating.

I would suggest that all of the people who were the creators, none of them had any experience. So they did not know what could not be done. What we tried to choose were people of talent, grit and resilience. In fact, the first person that I hired, I only asked him one question. He was a chemistry professor. And I asked him, “If you hear no, no, no, no, no, no all day long. By the end of the week, do you get depressed?” And he said, “No, I'm pretty resilient.” And the reason that I asked him that is he was doing something that's different from what other people were doing. And people don't like change. So you're going to hear no a lot. But you only have to hear one yes. And I believe very strongly that one person can change the world. 

More recently, people with experience applied for positions and they say, “Oh, you can't do that.” And we point out that we've been doing it for 20, 30 or 40 years. But they don't believe something can be done because they “already have experience” in other organizations. 

The other thing that I see frequently is people who say, “Well, I've had 20 years of experience.” And I find out that frequently they've had one year of experience 20 times. And they learn a job in the first few months or first six months. And they had been doing the exact same thing their entire career without evolving, changing. The environment is constantly changing, and you need creativity, curiosity. Why can't it be done differently? Why can't something be done just because you're the first on the block to do it?

MH: More insurers, including Oscar Health recently, are diving into the Medicare Advantage space or harnessing narrow networks. How could that benefit providers and patients?

Merkin: They are certainly looking at healthcare differently than it has been looked at historically. It will be interesting to see how they approach the senior market, which is a different market than commercial. I'm certain that their experience with what they've done now, they will be able to build on. And take into consideration the differences, and hopefully they will be successful and help make the MA program even more successful than it has been.

MH: How do you define value when it comes to healthcare? 

Merkin: We believe value is giving people the access to care they need to prevent unnecessary and avoidable health events. And to do so in an environment that is characterized by very high quality, and importantly, excellent patient experience. Just by definition, that would lower the cost and make healthcare more affordable.

MH: Do you think the incentives are properly aligned for providers to really add value to care?

Merkin: Unfortunately not all incentives are properly aligned. But I see that there has been great progress and a much clearer understanding across the country of the direction in which we need to head. It's a continuing mission, but it's getting better.

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