Insights and Perspectives From Our Providers

Trusted and Accessible Leadership

During a time of uncertainty, THPG leadership quickly created and distributed a COVID-19 workflow and hosted weekly webinars that provided the latest updates on the virus, safety guidelines and best practices in providing care to patients.

“What I loved the most is they’ve been very transparent. We’ve been having weekly webinars where all the THPG physicians join and they give good insight into everything going on, from what’s new medically, to the latest research in terms of testing and what medications seem to be working. They’ve been giving us all those updates and that was beautiful. They would even go over the rules and regulations so whatever is coming down from the state government, the federal government, whatever new restrictions we have to follow, they updated every physician on that.”

Uzma Jalal, M.D.
THPG member since 2017

“Texas Health and Texas Health Physicians Group took all the stress out of running a practice. They maintained our income and kept our staff whole and healthy. Even apart from COVID, we are treated as if we’re extremely valuable, important. When I was running my own practice, there weren’t options like this. I would have thought I’d died and gone to heaven to have a group that protected me, helped me and paid me. Since I’ve gone with THR, I have less stress and I make more money than I’ve ever before.”

Paul Anthony, M.D.
THPG member since 2012

“THPG did a wonderful job on helping me understand how to protect my patients and my office staff. They helped me understand the disease and the processes required to provide the optimal, safest care for my patients. And with all the help they provided administratively regarding the business aspects of the office, they freed me up to be the clinician that I needed to be. I’m really pleased to be part of an organization that puts so much emphasis on quality – quality for patient care but also quality of life for employees and their physical and mental health.”

Robert Stahlman, D.O.
THPG member since 2012

“Having that COVID-19 workflow so quickly in an easy-to-understand flow sheet gave us the ability to quickly manage patients both in-clinic, over the phone and eventually through virtual visits in a timely, efficient and safe manner. We had something to go off. We weren’t fishing for; how do I treat this person or how do I treat that person? It was right there for us, well laid out and easy to follow and it was because of the work of the THPG leadership.”

John Zarosky, M.D.
THPG member since 2013

“If you’re in private practice, you have to worry about all {of the guidelines and protocols} yourself. You have to do your own research and figure out what the recommendations are. But here, THPG handed it to us. Like with Telemedicine, they said, ‘Here is how we do it. Let us train you on it. This is what we’re doing.’ We didn’t have find a platform, figure out how to do it on our own and determine if insurance would pay for it. After being in private practice a long time - 26 years - I appreciate things like that.”

Linda Parker, M.D.
THPG member since 2014

“I really do feel that THPG was on top of the ball. I do find the communication is a lot better here in terms of guidance and getting feedback from the physicians. You feel more involved here.”

Krishnan Nair, M.D.
THPG member since January 2020

“We appreciated knowing someone was there doing the research about COVID-19. We didn’t have to hit the books and the journal articles because Dr. Myers would do that and then would filter all the information down to us in a usable way.”

Suthee Thumasathit, M.D.
THPG member since 2012

“It’s been a pleasure working for Texas Health with THPG. They don’t micromanage here. Like the webinar, you’re there with everybody else, listening to the information that they have, but as far as demanding or having recommendations that are absolute, that you must follow to the T, I don’t have anyone here telling me to do that.”

Kenneth Bernal, D.O.
THPG member since November 2019

“There were so many different voices out there, so many different resources. People were putting out policies and their recommendations and it was very convoluted, sometime contradictory and very difficult to navigate because it’s such a new thing. So for us to have a centralized resource - a team of doctors in our leadership that we know are researching the latest research and who practice just like we do – that are helping us make these decisions and giving us advice on how to roll it out in our practices, it relieved a heavy load from us of having to try to do all that ourselves. I felt like we had reliable leadership who were very, very upfront and hands on. They were available for our phone calls. They emailed us daily. We had weekly meetings and encouragement. They were giving the latest and the greatest every week to all the providers. We had a solid source to look for this guidance. It was very palpable, very felt.”

Antonio Barksdale, M.D.
THPG member since 2016

“All the leaders are also practicing physicians. I think that’s always a big thing because they face the same things that we face so they are more aware of the practical aspects of what the physicians go through and what happens in the clinics or at the hospitals so obviously they can help us better.”

Uzma Jalal, M.D.
THPG member since 2017

24-Hour Clinician Hotline

When questions arose or clarification was needed, THPG providers had access to a 24-hour clinician hotline staffed by physicians, including THPG’s own Chief Medical and Quality Officer, Dr. Lynn Myers.

“Having the ability to call Dr. Myers with questions and the way that she, with so much patience, knowledge and skill, helped to navigate these patients to get the best outcomes, was invaluable for us. Compared to other organizations where you might not know who your leadership is or who to contact, here’s our chief quality control officer providing her number to help us out as physicians and clinicians to give our patients good care.”

John Zarosky, M.D.
THPG member since 2013

Virtual Visits

While THPG had been exploring virtual visit capabilities, COVID-19 quickly put those plans on the front-burner to ensure THPG practices could remain open to care for patients. Within days, the technology was in place and more than a thousand THPG physicians and their staffs had been trained on how to perform virtual visits.

“We were always open, and we saw patients, but making sure that everybody was well trained and well equipped so that we could do virtual visits, that was commendable because everything was done so quick. Patients were really happy because they didn’t have to come in. They were scared to come to the offices, and we were able to still serve them with these virtual visits.”

Uzma Jalal, M.D.
THPG member since 2017

“My staff and I valued the way that THPG responded with starting telemedicine in a very rapid way so we could utilize virtual visits.”

Suthee Thumasathit, M.D.
THPG member since 2012

“We were able to continue to practice as usual in our office. We were seeing patients in the morning and then virtual patients in the afternoon, which was one of the things THPG was able to facilitate quickly. We were just seeing fairly the same number of patients with very little change and of, course, we were provided with all the protective equipment we needed and information to know what we should be looking for and be able test our patients.”

Kenneth Bernal, D.O.
THPG member since November 2019

Dr. John Zarosky, a THPG member since 2013, limited his Bedford practice to virtual visits from the end of March until after Memorial Day and is now using a mixture of in-person and virtual visits depending on the preference of his patients.

“For a large organization to be able to roll something out that massive and that quickly and for it to work as well as it did, was super impressive. As a provider, it gave me the ability to stay safe and continue to deliver care for our patient. And it wasn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to patient care with THPG. They were able to take my personal situation and allow me to kind of mold how I wanted my practice to run with the virtual visits while in the COVID crisis. I was so appreciative of that – to not feel pressure from an organization to go back to seeing patients before I was comfortable. I was only able to do that and still be relatively productive because of the virtual visits and all the work that was put in behind the scenes. The patients love it and I don’t think that working anywhere else other than THPG would give me that flexibility to make that schedule change and modification.”

John Zarosky, M.D.
THPG member since 2013

Financial Security

While some private practices and other health care systems have had to furlough or lay-off employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Health has been able to avoid such measures and is working to prevent or minimize the financial impact to THPG physicians and their staffs.

“Some of my friends and other physicians who have been in private practice have had to close down their practices or they were having a great deal of financial issues keeping their practice open. As Texas Health physicians, we haven’t had to deal with that. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay the next salary or the electric bill or the utility bills because Texas Health has been taking care of that.”

Linda Parker, M.D.
THPG member since 2014

“Because of the compensation protection during the time of COVID-19, we didn’t have to worry about whether or not we were going to go negative financially.”

Suthee Thumasathit, M.D.
THPG member since 2012

“Financially, they totally took over our overhead, which I really appreciate because I had my own office for many years and ran my own finances and it’s extremely stressful to go through a time when your income goes down and then you have to pay your overhead. For doctors in private practice, what you pay yourself is what’s left after you pay all your overhead. If I was back in private practice during all this, I would have been losing a significant amount of money. You almost certainly would have had to do something with your staff, such as cutbacks or furloughs, and that would create a tremendous amount of stress and distress among your office. But THPG continued to pay all our personnel regardless of what was going on externally or income coming in so that was a tremendous stress reliever.”

Paul Anthony, M.D.
THPG member since 2012

Dr. Antonio Barksdale, who previously worked in a private practice before joining THPG, says he can’t imagine weathering the pandemic without THPG.

“I think we probably would have ended up closing our doors because it was so uncertain. We would have probably stopped seeing patients and in that setting, to try to come up with a good virtual platform, I probably could have seen patients virtually but not billed for it. That would have been a nightmare trying to work through those decision points as a solo doctor in private practice. I would have definitely lost lots of sleep from that.”

“By far one of the major benefits to being with THPG is I didn’t have the fear of my practice shutting down. They’re doctors out there who obviously had to close their doors, which is just heartbreaking to think about. But we never had the fear of closing our doors. We did have a month or so of a very slow pace, but we never did shut our doors. . They stepped up and did that for us which was major. Major.”

Antonio Barksdale, M.D.
THPG member since 2016

Specimen Collection Sites

The COVID-19 pandemic created a great deal of uncertainty – and a strong desire for testing – for both patients and health care providers. THPG quickly realized the need for testing in North Texas and opened four COVID-19 specimen collection centers for THPG patients in Flower Mound, Plano, Fort Worth and north Dallas.

“We would love to be there for our patients in any way but keeping my staff safe is a priority. The specimen collection sites were a big blessing for us. They gave us a solid place where our patients could go to be tested without having to expose ourselves. I think that was the ideal solution.”

Antonio Barksdale, M.D.
THPG member since 2016

“We were able to give our patients clear, concise directions – go here at this time, this place, take this paperwork and we’ll get you tested. It wasn’t a ‘Well, you need to get tested but good luck finding your own lab right now’ or ‘you need to be tested so go to the emergency room.’ That would have clogged up the emergency room and been a waste of time.”

John Zarosky, M.D.
THPG member since 2013