The biggest problem in gastroenterology & how to fix it — Texas Digestive Disease Consultants CEO Dr. James Weber sheds insight

James J. Weber, MD, is the president and CEO of Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, the largest gastroenterology practice in the U.S.

Dr. Weber founded the practice in 1995, with the organization expanding rapidly and touting 150 providers and more than 40 locations throughout Texas today. Featuring 10 infusion centers and affiliated with 20 endoscopy centers in Texas, TDDC provides high level of care to its patients.

Dr. Weber additionally serves as the medical director of Lonestar Endoscopy with locations in Keller, Flower Mound and Southlake, all in Texas, coming in late 2017. He earned his medical degree from Dallas-based University of Texas Southwestern. He completed a residency at Dallas-based Parkland Memorial Hospital and a fellowship at Dallas-based Baylor University Medical Center. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of North Texas named Dr. Weber it's "Doctor of the Year" in 2015.

Question: What's the biggest problem in gastroenterology and how would you fix it?

Dr. James Weber: I believe the biggest issue facing gastroenterology centers is the ability to maintain profitability while providing high quality care in an ever changing healthcare environment.

[TDDC] works hard to recruit and retain the best physicians, nurses and staff but this takes a lot of effort and ever increasing expense. We must comply with all government and payer requirements to document quality and safety measures, which takes a great deal of time and money. We face rising costs of equipment and materials to meet or exceed all the regulatory requirements, the physician's needs and the patient's expectations. We continually deal with patients' frustration with insurance coverage which subsequently leads to frequent rescheduling and cancellation of procedures.

With these challenges to meet expectations, compliance, coverage, reimbursement and cost containment, the ability to maintain profitability does become our centers biggest issue.

To deal with these concerns, I think the following steps are important for continued success:
1. Keep the staff and physicians educated and engaged
2. Continually review, revise and standardize processes
3. Coordinate efforts between the office, schedulers and the center
4. Work diligently with the payers and vendors
5. Never forget that the patient is your top priority

For more information on Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, click here.

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