Nassawadox – Eastern Shore Physicians & Surgeons, Inc. (ESPS), the Eastern Shore’s largest and oldest team of multi-specialty physicians and other healthcare providers, has agreed to become part of Riverside Medical Group effective mid-September of this year.  After months of thorough analysis and evaluation, the leadership of ESPS announced the final decision to employees earlier this week.
“This decision will ensure that our clinical team, and the staff of Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital, continues the mutually-beneficial bond we have forged over the past decades,” noted James L. McDaniel, MD, the President of ESPS.  “Our historical cooperation has benefited our patients and the community, and this relationship will ensure that care quality, service, and efficiencies across many sites of care continue to expand.  Our choice of RMG is exciting as we have compatible clinical styles and common goals.”

Riverside Medical Group (RMG) is a multi-specialty practice of more than 330 physicians and 110 mid-level clinical providers. As part of the same health system that operates Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital, RMG includes physicians in more than 110 locations across Eastern Virginia from Tappahannock to Smithfield, Williamsburg, and now the Eastern Shore.  The addition of ESPS will contribute another six physicians and four mid-level providers to the group.

James Lesnick, MD, Medical Director of RMG and Vice President, Riverside Health System, noted, “Physicians are among the scarcest resource in healthcare today.  Few people any longer question the fact that there is a national shortage of providers, or that the on-going presence of doctors in an area is essential to the physical, emotional, and economic health of that community.  For the past six years Riverside has invested significantly in the development of our group, including a literal re-organization of the health system to integrate physician input and direction.  On the Eastern Shore, ESPS was clearly a group who would enthusiastically further this concept.”

Under the agreement the twenty-six employees of ESPS will also become part of RMG.  The group will remain in their current locations as Riverside continues an on-going evaluation of the distribution of healthcare services between the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and the Maryland state line.
“We will continue to practice medicine, and care for our patients, in much the same fashion as before.  Our patients are not required to make any changes to stay with us – no special phone calls to make or transfer-of-records forms to fill out due to this agreement,” continued Dr. McDaniel. “There will be some changes in billing and other business practices, efficiencies that we sought as part of this change.  We will appreciate your patience and understanding as we move through this transition.”

ESPS and RMG are already working together to attract more physicians to the Shore.  “When recruiting today, we find that many physicians are comforted by the presence and strength of a group the size and reach of ours,” said Dr. Lesnick.  “At the same time, new physicians appreciate the presence of long-established physicians to help them build a practice.  ESPS offers a team of respected physicians, with a reputation of clinical excellence, into which we will recruit newcomers.”

Among the other changes in ESPS’s future will be integration of the ESPS electronic medical records with Riverside’s long-established electronic medical chart.  For more than twelve years, many of the physicians of Riverside have communicated and transferred patient records electronically.  This integration has been recognized at the national level as an essential component of both quality and safety and has become part of future requirements under healthcare reform legislation.


Published: August 5, 2010