Community rep: Why get referred here when you can just go here in the first place? And every doc is a specialist!
Medical rep: Lots of departments backed by a behemoth system, but the referral process bottlenecks unpredictably.
Inside scoop: A decade-old merger with former Physicians Plus doctors has indeed expanded the volume of primary-care services. UW Health continues to shine with innovative wellness and partnering programs, such as a recent call for a statewide coalition on alcohol-risk education. Twenty-plus primary care and specialty clinics in Madison, with dozens of others in the suburbs.
Primary Madison hospital: UW Hospital and Clinics.
HMO: Unity Health Insurance. uwhealth.org
Community rep: Mainstream medicine and family doctors, but isn’t it hard to get a referral outside the plan?
Medical rep: Nurses do more face time than docs, which can double production, i.e., the number of patients seen in a day. No wonder it’s called the Dean Machine.
Inside scoop: Doctor-owned, for-profit and currently expanding with plans to open a new fifty-bed hospital in Janesville next year. As for referrals, Dean Health calculates it paid some $6 million for patients it referred to UW Health in the first half of last year. Thirty-two integrated-care clinics in southern Wisconsin.
Primary Madison hospital: St. Mary’s Hospital.
HMO: Dean Health Plan. deancare.com
Community rep: Pediatrics for east-side tots; acupuncture and medical marijuana for their hipster parents.
Medical rep: Family practice, general internists, no specialists. Still, being salaried instead of depending on grants or production promises stability.
Inside scoop: Small, patient-owned and not-for-profit, yet ranked as the top managed-care plan in Wisconsin—and one of the top ten nationwide. GHC provides mainly family practice/primary care services and refers mainly to UW Health for specialty and tertiary care. Six clinics in the Madison area; a partnership with UW Health offers care at an additional six.
Primary Madison hospital: depends on which clinic members use.
HMO: GHC-SCW. ghcscw.org
Community rep: The Emerald City of hospitals—confusing to navigate and featuring stretchy stints in the waiting room, but somewhere, supposedly, there’s a Wizard.
Medical rep: We do ninety percent of what they do. Faster, too, and without as much bragging. But that other ten percent? That’s why we’re really glad they’re here.
Inside scoop: At least 1,100 physicians, bushels of national awards, a Level One-certified Trauma Center, the UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, a world-famous organ transplant program and the new American Family Children’s Hospital. uwhealth.org
Community rep: Heart specialists, right? And Midwestern-values medicine without new-agey holistic treatments or a phalanx of medical students flanking every bed.
Medical rep: A solid regional hospital, which by definition means it’s not a great national hospital.
Inside scoop: Mainstream, community-based care with, yes, the Meriter Heart Hospital—a new-in-2007, innovative, hospital-within-a-hospital just for heart care. Meriter also offers children’s inpatient psychiatric services and a women’s health center. meriter.com
Community rep: Babies, lots of cute babies. And the hospital has God on its side … or at least on its website.
Medical rep: A chain hospital with great community outreach and a snazzy new expansion.
Inside scoop: Madison-level health care expanding in a variety of directions. St. Mary’s is a certified stroke center, runs a specialized heart care program and delivers 3,000 babies a year through its Family Birth Center program. stmarysmadison.com
Community rep: A big, government-run warehouse for chronically ill veterans that is hopefully not as bad as those we’ve seen on television.
Medical rep: Ah, the VAH-Spa. It’s a government facility, so everything runs in slo-mo. Patients stay awhile, play cards, rest up, make friends.
Inside scoop: State-of-the-art electronic medical records system rivals Epic’s best products. The hospital is affiliated with UW staff and services and offers everything from heart and lung transplants to inpatient substance-abuse rehab. madison.va.gov