We use the term "integrated urology practice" quite a bit on our website and blog. But we realized that not everyone understands what it means—or the benefits it offers patients. Below is a brief overview.
[Editor's note: This article was reviewed and updated on 11/3/21.]
What is an integrated urology practice?
An integrated urology practice is typically a practice that covers a large geographical area and has multiple physicians. The physicians used to be in different group practices, but they've now joined into one group practice.
Greater Boston Urology is an example of an integrated urology practice. At the writing of this article, we currently have eighteen urologists across nine locations in eastern Massachusetts.
Why did Greater Boston Urology choose this model?
We believe that it is important to have proper integrated care for the urology patient at the community level. The academic centers in the area are wonderful, but they have multiple responsibilities in addition to patient care: educational responsibilities, research responsibilities, teaching responsibilities, and publishing responsibilities. Our job in the community is to take care of patients—period. We're very committed to that.
In 2010, we founded GBU with a vision of bringing together many of the most sought-after urology physicians and specialists in the nation to provide extraordinary urology care with the highest level of patient service.
What benefits does an integrated urology practice offer patients?
An integrated urology practice allows us to pool resources in a way that we never could have done before, which leads to more—and better—options for patients, such as 3D MRI/ultrasound fusion biopsy and high-intensity focused ultrasound (regarding HIFU, we're currently the only practice in New England that offers this treatment). Those are just two examples.
Another example is this: In 2012, Greater Boston Urology built a state-of-the-art urologic-specific laboratory featuring both anatomic and molecular testing. Our in-house pathologists and staff are among the most highly trained in the region, focusing solely on urology specimens. (Read more about our lab here.)
The pooling of resources also allows us to offer these high-quality services in a cost-effective manner as well. In addition, patients also benefit from the collaborative nature of an integrated practice. Our physicians come together on a regular basis to collaborate and ensure that our patients are receiving the highest quality care and services available nationwide.
Is there a national association geared towards integrated urology practices?
Yes. In 2008, the Large Urology Group Practice Association (LUGPA) was established with "the purpose of enhancing communication among large groups, allowing for benchmarking of operations, promoting quality clinical outcomes, developing new opportunities, and improving advocacy in the legislative and regulatory arenas." Greater Boston Urology is currently an active member.
To sum up the benefits of an integrated urology practice:
✓ High-quality medicine
✓ Cost-effective for patient
✓ Plenty of options for patients regarding physicians/locations
✓ Because an integrated practice is focused on treating patients, removes some of the burden from academic centers
✓ Collaborative nature among physicians means patients benefit from the deep "bench" of talent and expertise
Are you looking for urological services in the greater Boston area? Would you like to experience the many benefits our integrated urology practice has to offer? Schedule an appointment today.