A Week In Business

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New AGH Physician

BERLINFamily physician Nawid Najafi, M.D., will join the Townsend Medical Center on Sept. 8 to provide primary care services for the residents and visitors of Ocean City.

He will see walk-in and scheduled patients alongside family physician Jason Clem, M.D., and Dr. Stephen Waters, who has scaled back office hours in recent years to concentrate on his post as medical director of Atlantic General Hospital.

Najafi is a graduate of American University of the Caribbean’s School of Medicine and recently completed his residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, N.J. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Both Clem and Najafi are currently accepting new patients. To make an appointment with Najafi or any provider within Atlantic General Health System, call the Physicians Appointment Line at 410-641-1082, toll free 877-641-1082 for residents of Delaware.

Summer’s Top Producers

WILLARDS – Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley has announced Gary Waldych as top producer for the month of August and Nichol Brushmiller as top producer for July.

Waldych has been a resident of the Ocean City area since 1980 and has worked for ASC&D for the last 23 years. He specializes in condominium, transportation and commercial property insurance.

Brushmiller, a property and casualty account executive, specializes in commercial and transportation insurance. She is a native and current resident of Salisbury.

PRMC Earns Designation

SALISBURY – Peninsula Regional Medical Center has been designated by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery®. Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care. Blue Distinction Center designations provide consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, and transplants.

“At Peninsula Regional we believe that our designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery will serve as a catalyst, driving strong programs like ours to become even better,” stated Peggy Naleppa, Peninsula Regional Medical Center President.  “We have done our part by creating a bariatric surgical program that safely treats an average of approximately 25 patients per month with outcomes that rival the best programs in the nation.”

Obesity is widely recognized as a contributor to serious health risks. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the total number of bariatric surgeries increased 400 percent from 1998 to 2004. Bariatric surgery may help some individuals reduce extreme obesity and its associated health risks, and Blue Distinction provides objective information to help them make informed decisions when choosing a provider.

“Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery demonstrate a commitment to high-quality care,” said Jon P. Shematek, MD, CareFirst Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “CareFirst commends the efforts of providers in our network, such as Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s bariatric program, that show particular interest in patient outcomes and in earning this distinction.”

Same-Day MRI Offered

BERLIN Atlantic General Hospital patients needing an MRI can now schedule an appointment the same day the test is ordered by their physician. While immediate scheduling may be impeded by a wait for authorization from a patient’s private insurance carrier, individuals do have the option to follow through with testing the same day.

“We hate to offer that caveat,” said Kim Justice, vice president of planning and operations at Atlantic General Hospital. “Patients can certainly waive insurance pre-authorization. But, we’re in the process of educating the referring physicians in the community about the importance of contacting insurance companies for authorization immediately to get the ball rolling. Our facility is set up to handle requests for appointments as soon as providers make them.”

Once the test has been completed, referring physicians will have their patients’ results within 24 hours either via the web-based PACS system, which stores electronic images and radiologists’ reports, or on a CD.

“This initiative will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes for a physician who has ordered an MRI to diagnose and treat a patient,” said Justice. “And it will, hopefully, reduce the anxiety of patients who no longer face a wait for their testing and then for their results to be delivered.”

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