Covenant Medical Group is headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the site of the Southwest's preeminent medical center between the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex and Phoenix. With a county population of 250,000 and serving an area of 1.2 million people in the total region, Lubbock has most of the amenities of a large metropolitan area, such as a large airport, great shopping and restaurants, and excellent public and private schools, yet retaining a wonderful "small-town" atmosphere.
It is blessed with a major university, Texas Tech, which adds much to our quality of life with Big 12 Conference sporting events, and a variety of cultural, and academic activities. Texas Tech University School of Medicine adds high quality continuing medical education and research to our region. Covenant Medical Group has no formal residency training programs of its own, but several of our physicians volunteer their time for medical student and resident training via a Texas Tech association.
Our Health System's regional clinics are located in 15 smaller communities and contain approximately 45 physicians who serve the rural areas of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. These clinics are located in a variety of geographic areas; from rolling ranchland, to high plateau farmland, to desert oil fields, to river valleys with nearby Rocky Mountains. This area of regional clinics extends 100 to 175 miles from Lubbock and covers a 63,000 square mile area, which is larger than 30 of the States in the US. There are two beautiful National Parks (Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains), a scenic ski resort community (Ruidoso, New Mexico), and Texas's largest State Park (Palo Duro) within our regional clinic service area. Our regional clinic network contains several operational different models. Some are directly owned and operated by CMG, some are Rural Health Clinics in which CMG supplies its employed physicians to work for a rural hospital-owned facility, some are Rural Health Clinics in which the physicians are independent contractors, and some are satellite clinic sites to which CMG Subspecialists travel a few times per month. These regional clinics are integral to the provision of primary care services to their local communities, and also send substantial numbers of patients to Lubbock for tertiary care that is not available locally.
Our area's true strength is its people. They are spiritual, caring, proud, independent, and exhibit a strong work ethic. Our unemployment rate is typically in the 2 to 3% range. Our economy is diverse, with elements associated with mechanized agriculture, the petroleum industry, distribution centers, high tech entities, as well as strong elements based on higher education and healthcare. Its diversity and provincial nature typically allows it to remain somewhat insulated from the wide swinging cycles of the national economy. Our area's cost of living is significantly below the national average, usually running in the 89% range. Our home real estate market is also very good from an initial purchase and resale standpoint.
Our weather features only 18 inches of precipitation annually, low humidity, and plenty of sunshine which encourages our population to engage in outdoor activities. Our 3,500 foot elevation tends to make for cool mornings and evenings even during a hot summer, and rarely do we experience persistent snow or ice. For those who enjoy winter and mountain sports, we are convenient to the Rocky Mountain resorts of Ruidoso and Santa Fe, New Mexico. For those that enjoy big city weekend activities and professional sports, we are 50 minutes from Dallas and 90 minutes from Houston by air.
Our physicians are respected by their patients, and it is not an accident that we have some of the lowest medical liability insurance premiums in the Southwest. In general we find that west Texas and southeastern New Mexico are great places to live and work, to raise a family, and to practice medicine.
Our Health System:
Covenant Health System is the parent organization for Covenant Medical Group. It is the largest and most sophisticated Health System in this region of the US, is the fifth largest in Texas, and is the largest in the western half of the state. It is composed of a large tertiary hospital system in Lubbock that is the result of a merger that occurred in 1998 between Lubbock Methodist Hospital and St. Mary Hospital. The Lubbock campus has more than 850 staffed beds, as well as Psychiatry, Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Units. It experiences over 41,000 admissions and 79,000 Emergency room visits annually. It has over 5,600 employees, and has been able to keep pace with its nursing needs, partially due to its own on-campus RN school. Our excellent patient care is appreciated, as evidenced by our patient satisfaction surveys from the Press Ganey company that rank us in the top 10% in the nation.
Our ICU's and CCU are the area's finest, and care for a huge volume of patients. For example, Covenant Health System's CCU cares for more acute MI patients than any hospital in Texas or New Mexico. We perform over 7,000 cardiac catherizations and 700 coronary artery bypass procedures annually. We rank 15th in the US in volume of coronary stent and pacemaker placements. Recently, HealthGrades's Healthcare Quality Reports gave Covenant its highest score of five stars in Cardiac, Orthopedic, stroke, vascular, and Obstetrical services. We ranked #1 in Texas in quality of cardiac care as measured by objective outcomes, and in the top 5% in the nation in Cardiac Surgery.
Our cancer center rivals any in the Southwest with cutting edge equipment, 23,000 annual patient visits, and its linkage to a large number of national clinical trials.
Our Children's Hospital is the only separately licensed hospital serving the children of our part of the US, and is the area's largest Pediatric trauma center and Cardiac surgery center. Covenant's annual deliveries total about 3,500. Our Orthopedic unit is ranked third in volume of joint replacements in the nation.
There is also an eight OR Ambulatory Surgery Center and a large imaging center operation, including four MRI's, multiple CT's and ultrasounds, a PET scanner, and an EBT scanner on the Lubbock campus. Two 64-slice CT's are being installed this year. 545 physicians representing essentially all specialties serve on the Covenant Health System Medical Staff in Lubbock. Covenant recently received an award for being in the top 100 regional hospitals in the US.
Covenant leases or manages ten rural hospitals in west Texas and three in southeastern New Mexico, and is affiliated with several more. Covenant also has the region's largest home health agency and hospice.
Its air ambulance program is second to none, and has earned several national awards. Aerocare has four modern helicopters, which hold two patients each, that are licensed and staffed as flying ICU's. There is also a large fixed wing aircraft that is used for longer transports. Aerocare provides over 200 emergency air transports monthly, and has had no safety problems in its 14 years of operation. It recently became the first air ambulance service in the US to reach 20,000 accident free flight hours. In a 60,000 square mile service area such as ours, having one of the nations top five air ambulance services is essential to providing timely acute tertiary care for our rural patients who compose 55% of our admissions.
Covenant owns the area's most successful HMO, First Care, which has about 80,000 enrollees. Covenant Medical Group holds the majority of the physician seats on its Board, which tends to make it a more physician-friendly managed care organization than the usual. The addition of First Care has allowed Covenant to function as a classic Integrated Delivery System. However, managed care is not a dominant feature in our area. Less than 10% of the population has HMO coverage, and there are no capitated contracts with physicians.
Covenant Health System is very financially strong with net revenues of over $900 million and a healthy annual net margin. It is the Texas / New Mexico branch of the St. Joseph Health System of Orange, California which is one of the premier Catholic systems in that state. Its tax-exempt bonds are Aa rated. Covenant is half Catholic and half Methodist from a religious sponsorship standpoint, as a result of the 1998 merger.
In summary Covenant Health System is our region's, most respected and finest integrated delivery system. Its 75% market share for hospital in-patient services in our primary service area speaks for itself.
General Aspects of Covenant Medical Group:
Covenant Medical Group is a non-profit, tax-exempt medical foundation that is certified under Texas law to employ physicians and practice medicine. It is owned by Covenant Health System, but is self-governing in most aspects, other than fiscal matters. There is a Board of 13 physicians who provide the oversight of the group's strategic planning, policy development, recruitment and credentialling, quality improvement tasks, research, and medical education activities. All of the Board members are actively practicing within CMG, except for the President, who is a retired Internist. This self-governing aspect of CMG tends to make it quite physician-friendly in its policy development and planning in that the Board members are immediately personally impacted in their own practice by their Board decisions.
Our Administration includes: Jim Burrell M.D. (President and Chief Medical Officer), Kristen Kothmann (Chief Operating Officer), seven Directors, and several managers. CMG is by far the area's largest medical group with more than 200 physician-members in approximately 26 specialties, and 20 mid-level practitioners.
We do an excellent job of recruiting new physicians, retaining them in our service area, and integrating them into our overall group practice. In our eight years of operation we have recruited over 100 new physicians to our area. In summary, we are the largest, most geographically dispersed, highest quality, and most prestigious medical group to ever exist in our region of the US. – less–ZoomInfo