Q&A with an Independent Valley Preferred Member: William Ofrichter, DPM
“Valley Preferred helps you feel like you’re part of a community.”
How long have you been a member of Valley Preferred? For 10-15 years. I know my staff was completely different when I joined, so it was quite some time ago.
Why did you join? I thought being a member would be helpful to me as an independent physician. It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re in a private practice, without having a connection to what else is going on at the hospital and elsewhere. For example, LVPHO introduces us to things we otherwise wouldn’t know about, like the EHR. You learn, “This is what we’re dealing with, and will be dealing with in the future.” I can find out if I’m completely off track or in an altogether different boat. I can learn about these things, take them back to my practice manager so we can stay informed.
Are meetings helpful? Incredibly helpful. You learn things you wouldn’t learn anywhere else, and you don’t have to hunt for the information. I attend as many meetings as possible. For example, information about insurance coverage and who is moving into the region are critical to practice. These topics represent problems everyone is facing. By being part of the organization and attending meetings, you don’t feel so on your own, you feel part of a community.
How about QI projects: I’ve done two projects and presentations. These experiences were fantastic. It’s so worthwhile for the independent physician. I loved the fact that those in attendance asked questions such as, “What’s your line of thought here?” That challenges me to ask myself why I think the way I do. It shows that everyone there is on your side, and they’re not just asking questions because they’re there; they actually want to know what you’re thinking.
What else have you found to be helpful? When the crisis with COVID-19 started, there was so much to think about. Valley Preferred came along and offered PPE supplies, and resources for getting what was essential. We couldn’t have asked for more: that was the help we needed desperately and there it was!
In general, Valley Preferred has helped me personally and in my practice. It’s a feeling that whatever you need, they seem to be able to help you get it. The organization is very attentive. They make me feel like I’m important; like they’re concerned about my practice and want it to do well. The incentive payments are just icing on the cake.