A Major Step Forward for Our Practice, Advanced Pediatrics
All of us at Advanced Pediatrics are very pleased to share news of some important developments that will enhance how we help all the families who entrust their children to our care.
In many ways, all is going quite well at Advanced Pediatrics, and from that perspective, there is no need to make any changes. But even though the practice is thriving, the landscape of the practice of medicine around us is changing dramatically enough that it is important to secure our ability to provide our brand of care well into the future.
Those changes include the dramatic rise of the retail health care clinics. Provision of procedure-oriented care at places such as urgent care centers and minute clinics is right now expanding dramatically, and is set to only accelerate. Simply consider the experience of COVID vaccination, which took place largely in pharmacy chains, not doctors’ offices. Combine this with the compelling trends towards medical centers consolidating medical care in our region, and the place of the small, independent pediatric practice becomes only more tenuous over time.
Finding a Partner Who Supports the Relationship-Based Foundations of Care at Advanced Pediatrics
Given these trends, Advanced Pediatrics embarked on asking a simple question- what entities exist in our region that could offer long-term security for our style of pediatric practice? Who could work as a reliable partner that would see the special nature of pediatric practice organized around responding to the specific needs of each child and their family?
Such an organization would need to demonstrate a solid record of:
- Prioritizing the medical care of children.
- Placing the primary care pediatric office at the center of how they organize the medical care of children.
- Empower the practicing pediatrician to seek the best working relationship with each family and support their ability to provide the broadest range of what each child needs.
With these values in mind, we have decided to join forces with the organization that owns a robust network of primary care pediatric offices in Ohio, a medical center whose sole function is to provide the most outstanding medical care possible to infants, children, and adolescents, and only infants, children, and adolescents.
Many medical centers in our region feature truly outstanding pediatric care, but their centers’ medical care is mainly oriented towards the procedures that adults require. Only one in our region is solely devoted to the care and needs of young people.
Announcing Advanced Pediatrics to Join Akron Children’s Hospital
Why Akron Children’s Hospital? As noted above, this medical center is the only major medical center in our region 100% devoted to the care of children. It has convincingly demonstrated that its entire organization is devoted to making sure children get the care they need. It’s careful expansion into pediatric primary care places the family’s general pediatrician at the center of their organization. Pediatric practices at Akron Children’s Hospital are not a means to an end, they are its key purpose.
As a result, pediatric offices that are part of Akron Children’s Hospital enjoy the security going forward of being part of a very well-established, large organization, and the support to continue to provide the high level of care they have always pursued.
Our process of considering Akron Children’s Hospital took place over a year of visits, discussions with pediatricians in the system andconversations with leadership. It is quite clear that the way we care for families at Advanced Pediatrics will continue as we become part of Akron Children’s. One point will illustrate- our agreement makes explicit that we will be able to continue to refer families to the best specialist for their child’s needs, wherever that specialist practices. Few medical centers offer practices that join them this freedom to continue to choose the best.
When Will This Change Occur?
Advanced Pediatrics will fully join forces with Akron Children’s Hospital sometime in this coming November, we will be announcing the exact date.
What Will Not Change?
The doctors and staff will remain the same. What we do will not change very much at all.
Akron Children’s Hospital accepts most insurance plans, including Medicaid. (see section below for more guidance on insurance)
The level of attention we give, our responsiveness to your needs, our ability to listen will not change.
The nature of your appointments with us will be very much the same. We will continue to offer conference, health supervision, and sick visits as we always have. Our use of time will remain unchanged, we will continue to feature our approach of providing the time needed to address your concerns, all the while respecting the value of your time by meeting at our agreed appointment time, not keeping you waiting.
Our ability to refer to the best specialists, no matter which medical center they are at will not change. This will include specialists at Akron Children’s, Rainbow, the Cleveland Clinic, as well as the best possible doctors from around the nation.
Our office will largely look the same, too.
Our phone number, 216-591-1515 will likely remain the same. If it changes, we will let you know.
Drs. Hertzer and Lavin will continue to greatly enjoy caring for newborns when we round at local hospitals.
What Will Change?
The main change will be our name. On the date of the change, our new name will Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics, Beachwood.
Appointment processes will change. All appointments will be made through Akron Children’s central appointment desk, or by you online.
Billing processes will change. All billing management will be taken over by Akron Children’s and questions about billing will go through them. There will be a transition period of some months, while charges incurred prior to the date we become Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics will continue to be managed in our office. But all charges incurred after that date this November will be managed by Akron Children’s.
A new answering service will begin on the day we transition. The access to care after hours will remain the same, just call our same number, 216-591-1515, but a different process for taking your message and getting it to us will take place. All calls will first be managed by an Akron Children’s nurse-on-call. Dr. Hertzer or Dr. Lavin will remain on call every night, and available as needed, just let the nurse know if you need to speak to one of us.
For the first time, families in our practice will have access to weekend hours. Drs. Hertzer and Lavin will be part of a rotation that will always have pediatric appointments available on Saturdays at the new Akron Children’s building in Boston Heights on East Hines Hill Road. Quick Care Online virtual visits, available at quickcareonline.akronchildrens.org, connect you to a provider who can care for your child’s minor illnesses and injuries seven days a week.
The Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics Advantages
The main advantage to this change is that special quality of pediatric care your families have come to value is now secured for many years to come. Akron Children’s also features one of the region’s top groups of pediatric subspecialists. Many in our practice have been pleased for many years with the Akron Children’s Cardiology group which has an office in Beachwood. Just a few years ago, Akron Children’s opened a magnificent subspecialty center in our office’s building. So now we can look forward to the convenience of outstanding pediatric subspecialty care for many specialties right here in our office.
And close by our office, in Boston Heights, is a magnificent, major new pediatric specialty and rehab service center. Drs. Hertzer and Lavin have toured this facility and found it to be one of the most impressive approaches to pediatric care we have ever seen. One point of distinction is that nearly half the building is devoted to rehab services, this includes truly state-of-the-art pediatric physical therapy, speech therapy (with excellent audiology services for children), and occupational therapy. The site also includes a truly exceptional sports rehab center where any child can go to prepare for challenging team sports. One example is seeing someone there to study the mechanics of your child’s throwing arm before they start pitching, and learning the right exercises to minimize injury to the arm.
It is at this center in Boston Heights that weekend hours will now be available every weekend to our families.
Finally, it is worth emphasizing once more how after a year of discussions, which follows many, many years of consideration of all options in the region, now very much at home Drs. Hertzer and Lavin felt with the Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics team. Those who know us know that we care profoundly about how the function of an office must reflect the only purpose it really serves, to help families care for their children. At every level, from the form of the offices they have built, to the approach to practice the Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics demonstrate, to our observations of their physicians and staff, to our extensive and in-depth conversations with their leadership, we have seen and experienced the same level of commitment to organizing care around the needs of the family and their children that we have worked to reach all these years. It is hard to think of a better fit. I know they feel the same way about us too.
Tips on Managing Your Insurance During the Transition
Your child’s health insurance coverage is defined by the agreement with your employer. That will remain true once care is through Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics. We recommend that you call your health insurance company to see if Akron Children’s hospital is in network.
We anticipate for the great majority of families in the practice there will be no significant change in coverage level. Should you find there are issues or questions, there are great resources available at Akron Children’s to help answer questions.
We here in this office are of course very eager to make sure any transitions around insurance are managed as well as possible.
- We know so many families deeply appreciate the personal level of high-level expertise care offered at Advanced Pediatrics. We greatly enjoy offering this care at this level, and are working now to ensure we can continue to do so long into the future.
- It is prudent to secure our ability to sustain our approach to care by allying with the best possible partner in the region.
- After many months of deliberation, we have been profoundly pleased with the commitment to care of children demonstrated over many, many years, by Akron Children’s Hospital. There are outstanding departments of pediatrics in our region, all of us are so lucky to have them so close. But Akron Children’s is unique in having its entire organization devoted entirely to the care of infants, children, and adolescents. This approach is dramatically demonstrated by the great value they place in the primary care pediatric office, they have a large network of such offices in Ohio. And so, this November, Advanced Pediatrics will become Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics, Beachwood. The people you know, and how we care for your children, will not change. Our name will change, but not us.
We hope you will be as pleased as we are at the new opportunities this exciting alliance of major resources for children provides to our office and through our office to all of you who have placed something of the highest value to us – your trust.
As details get set, we will be sure to let you know more, including the exact date of the big day.
To your health,
Dr. Julie Hertzer
Dr. Arthur Lavin