With Its Long History and Pioneering Spirit, Urology of Virginia Faces a Changing Landscape

Tony Berberabe, MPH @OncBiz_Wiz
Published: Sunday, Jul 31, 2016
Michael Fabrizio, MD

Michael Fabrizio, MD

Urologic practices, both small and large, find themselves at a crossroads given the current healthcare landscape. Pressure from many sides, especially from regulatory and clinical challenges, places today’s urologic practice in a precarious position. The health reform landscape, which emphasizes the shift to a value-driven versus volume-driven model of care, poses unique challenges that urology practices have never faced before. The explosion of new therapeutics developed for the advanced prostate cancer setting can challenge urology practices to provide their patients with the latest and most optimal care. In addition, with hospital care hovering around 3 to 6 times the cost of outpatient care, many urology practices are finding that they cannot just sit back and merely practice medicine.

Founded in 1922 by Charles Devine, Sr, MD, the Urology of Virginia practice is instilled with a pioneering spirit demonstrated throughout its history. In 1952, his son, Charles Devine Jr, MD, joined the practice, followed by his other son, Patrick Devine, MD, in 1957. The elder Devine eventually became a world renowned specialist in male pelvic reconstructive surgery. By chance, the presence of a plastic surgeon during one of his surgeries sparked a collaborative effort that resulted in countless innovations in urologic procedures.

The Devines established a urological residency in 1965 at Norfolk General Hospital. They were also instrumental in the organization and establishment of Eastern Virginia Medical School where the current urology residency resides. OncLive spoke with Michael Fabrizio, MD, CEO of Urology of Virginia practice, as well as Dana Adams, COO, to gain their perspective on the challenges that urology practices face today.

OncLive: You opened the Paul F. Schellhammer Cancer Center in 2012?

Dana Adams: Yes, the cancer center was dedicated in 2012 to Paul F. Schellhammer, MD, senior partner at Urology of Virginia. Dr. Schellhammer has been a physician with the practice since 1974, and a faculty member of Eastern Virginia Medical School since 1978. He served as chair of the EVMS Department of Urology Healthcare Professionals Network http://bit.ly/28kxU5z from 1989-2000.

We now have 32 urologists as well as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nearly 300 employees.

What kind of services do you provide your patients?

Michael Fabrizio, MD: We offer an infusion center to administer immunotherapy. We offer a specialty pharmacy to provide patients with access to oral oncolytic medications. We now have a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center, which is opening up in June on the second floor. The ambulatory surgery center was created through a partnership with Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, a local hospital system, to provide convenient and easily accessible surgical care. On our first floor, patients will find cutting edge imaging services offered through a private company called MRI & CT Diagnostics. That company offers the newest 3T magnet 64-slice CT scanner and bone scan imaging for our patients. Because the services are not hospital-owned, they are the lowest cost option in Hampton Roads and in the entire geographic area.

Virginia is a Certificate of Need state. How does this affect your practice?


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