Bluegrass Clinic to merge with Bates, Miller and Sims

Published 9:23 pm Monday, June 26, 2017

Dix River Family Medicine and Women’s Healthcare acquires Stanford, Liberty clinics

STANFORD – Plans are underway for the merger of two local family medical practices – a partnership that both parties say will combine strengths while adding new providers and services for patients. 

According to Dr. James Miller, of Bates, Miller and Sims, Dix River Family Medicine and Women’s Healthcare (DRFMWH) is currently in the process of acquiring Bluegrass Clinic (Stanford and Liberty) from Stanford Family Medicine and Obstetrics (SFMO). 

The acquisition is expected to be completed within the next month, Miller said earlier this week, and it’s one that both he and Dr. Naren James are excited to announce. 

The partnership is a familiar one for Miller and James, who worked together two decades ago to start DRFMWH. 

“Dr. James was with me 20 years ago when we first started that organization,” Miller said. “He was with me for about a year-and-a-half and then ventured out to start his own practice.”

As James left to start SFMO, which operates the Bluegrass Clinics in Stanford and Liberty, Miller was joined by Dr. Chris Sims and Dr. Rod Bates and together they provide services in family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and GYN care in Stanford, as well as at the Waynesburg Clinic. 

When James began a recent search for new partnership, Miller said Bates, Miller and Sims seemed like a natural choice since it is the only other family medical clinic in town. 

“He’s a strong, independent practitioner, as we are, and we just both thought it would be better to partner together somehow than to let Ephraim McDowell swallow one more practice,” Miller said. “We appreciate Ephraim McDowell Health but think it’s better for the community if patients have choices (in) healthcare.”

While Bluegrass Clinic will merge under the umbrella of DRFMWH, the name and location of the Stanford and Liberty clinics will not change, Miller said. 

“What we’re trying to do is keep the flow of patients at the Bluegrass Clinic like it is – the patients who love going there and like that being their healthcare providers, we want to maintain that,” he said. “We’re looking at trying to keep what’s good there and yet give them a little more support.”

By support, Miller means adding more providers to the Bluegrass Clinic, as well as additional services in the future. 

“We hope to have a couple new faces up there soon to help take care of the patient needs,” he said. 

Miller said the medical group is particularly interested in adding prenatal care services to the Bluegrass Clinics, especially in Liberty. 

“Because that’s a little more isolated, we hope to be able to include getting some prenatal care down in Liberty so that people don’t have to travel so far for their weekly visits,” he said. “I haven’t seen the location of it or the facilities of it but I understand they’re not the best and we would hope to, in the long-term, make commitment to have a nicer place to practice and for the patients, as well.” 

Miller said the group hopes to add three new providers to the mix over the next two-to-three months and wants current patients, and anyone seeking family medical care, to know that all four clinics are open for business and are accepting new patients. 

“We’re wanting to get the message out that ‘Yes, they’re open for business and adding some new, good providers there soon that will be a benefit to everyone,’” he said. Several existing staff and familiar faces to patients will still be found at the Bluegrass Clinics, he added. 

Being able to assimilate James’ practice under the DRFMWH umbrella will allow the group to share strengths and save money in terms of billing and other costs that would otherwise be duplicated, Miller said. 

Like Miller, James welcomes the merger and improved care for patients that it will eventually provide for the area. 

“I welcome the merger with Bates, Miller and Sims and Bluegrass Clinic,” James said in a June 14 statement. “It will only serve to improve access to care as well as care for patients in our service area.”