Category Archives: Health care

Via Christi Health delays bills following records conversion

WICHITA — Most people don’t complain too much if bills come late – or perhaps not at all – but some Via Christi Health patients have been wondering about their lack of bills this summer.

On June 1, Via Christi converted financial and medical records for 22 clinics and all its hospitals to a new system.

Part of this process included the laborious task of making sure all the statements that followed would be accurate before they went out.

“We pretty much planned to have a delay in our statements going out,” says Lisa Carruthers, senior administrator for revenue cycle.

“We thought that it might be … eight to 12 weeks.”

Turns out, that’s about what it will be. The first statements should be mailed in about two weeks.

“None of this delay is being counted against any of our patients,” Carruthers says. “Most of them, it gives them that much more time to pay their portion.”

She says there have been a few questions, mostly out of curiosity. Also, a few patients wanted to make sure they hadn’t somehow missed the bills, Carruthers says.

“I can’t say I’ve heard of anybody who was overly concerned about it.”

Riordan Clinic plans affiliate clinics among other changes

brianWICHITA — After a three-year period of diminished involvement with the Riordan Clinic, CEO Brian Riordan is back.

“A lot of people are … leaving traditional medicine and moving over to what we do,” Riordan says. “That kind of excited me to the possibilities.”

That’s leading to some changes at the clinic, which Riordan’s late father, Hugh, founded in 1975.

“In those 39 years, it’s been more or less the same type of operation,” Riordan says.

That’s meant one campus at 3100 N. Hillside.

“We feel it’s our obligation to our legacy to kind of step up our presence a bit – or quite a bit,” Riordan says.

He’ll do that through affiliate clinics, the first of which will open by Sept. 1 at 1010 E. 17th St. in Hays.

“That will be our first non Wichita location,” Riordan says. “We can imagine a time when there’s … more than 100.”

The immediate goal is four affiliates by next year and 20 within four years. Riordan Clinic, which once was known as the Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning International, has 40 employees. Riordan anticipates needing 80 by 2018.

The clinic is known for its high-dose vitamin C treatments. Riordan says those types of treatments have “immense potential” and are getting more notice in the media.

“We kind of arrived in terms of acceptance,” Riordan says. “Our way of thinking and our treatment modalities have gone from fringe to mainstream.”

The first step the clinic takes with patients, or “co-learners” as Riordan calls them, is to test their blood “to understand where they might be deficient or have too much of something, and we try to balance those things first.”

“We try to understand each person’s biochemical individuality.”

Riordan says the clinic is still learning about vitamin C treatments.

“We’re kind of tuning it for each different malady.”

For instance, he says cancer treatments work better with doses given every other day while treatments for bacteria and viruses work better every day.

Riordan says the clinic has three missions: research, education and co-learning, or the treatment of patients. He says the research and education will remain in Wichita.

“We’ll be growing that over time,” he says.

“Affiliates will be able to help us to be able to see more patients,” Riordan says. “We think it’s incumbent upon us to be able to offer that at a wider base.”

He says he plans to tackle another longtime mission of the clinic, and that’s to give people seeking treatment a place to stay.

“We’d like to start putting one or two up per year,” Riordan says of small living spaces.

He hopes to accommodate 20 temporary residents by 2018.

Riordan also is exploring the idea of vitamin C manufacturing on the clinic’s 92 acres, only about 15 of which are currently in use.

“Sometimes it’s very easy to get, sometimes it’s very difficult to get,” he says of vitamin C.

Riordan says the clinic may use some acreage to produce non-corn-related organic vitamin C.

Part of the clinic’s acreage is a nature preserve that will remain.

Part of it is farmed by a local farmer, and Riordan says the clinic is talking with the Land Institute in Salina for help with it.

Since Riordan’s April return, the clinic began offering nutritional supplements, which it calls nutrients. There are 18 branded products so far.

Other smaller changes are coming to the clinic as well. Its first solar panel will be installed in September for alternative energy.

“Our electric bill’s way, way higher than we’d like it to be,” Riordan says. He says he wants it cut in half by 2018.

Also, he’s working with Gallery XII to increase art on the campus.

“I’m trying to make our (campus) more beautiful and help with the healing process through art,” he says.

Riordan doesn’t see a full-service restaurant returning to the campus because he thinks it’s too remote to attract enough regular diners.

“Down the road, we would like to have the organic garden supply a juicing corner.”

Also, Riordan says one day there could be some light, grab-and-go type of food.

The Riordan Clinic is going through a lot of changes at once, but Riordan doesn’t think it’s too much.

“It’s very realistic.”

He says there’s “a talented staff and a supportive board” to make it happen.

“What we have to offer is synching all of a sudden with what society wants. I personally don’t think it’s too much. It’s what we have to provide.”

TankHouse Float & Massage opens at Experience Wellness Chiropractic

UPDATED — Chiropractor Matt Goltl is sharing some of his new Experience Wellness Chiropractic space at 133 N. Glendale with his brother, Alan, and his new TankHouse Float & Massage.

“This is a new venture for me,” Alan Goltl says.

Goltl says he was attracted to “the idea of a more holistic career.”

“Having had body work from some really good practitioners has inspired me to go into massage school,” he says.

Then he learned about flotation tanks.

“It’s been around for a while, but it sort of fell out in the ’80s . . . but now it’s coming back,” Goltl says.

The idea is to give someone sensory deprivation in an enclosed tank that blocks light and is as noise free as possible.

“Basically research shows if you put yourself into a chamber without lights and noise, basically masking as much stimulus as you can, your mind will go into this theta state,” Goltl says.

“They’re calling it like a reset for your body and your brain,” he says. “It’s a meditative quality of rest that your brain goes into.”

Goltl says there is 10 inches of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt in his tank. He says the briny solution allows someone to float with no effort for an hour or two.

“It’s more briny than the Dead Sea, which most people can float in without too much effort,” he says. “You’re allowing your body to just shut down.”

Goltl says the tank helps with pain management, creativity, stress reduction and what he calls “super learning.”

“The research goes on and on and on.”

Goltl says massage will be a complementary component of what he offers.

“I’m guessing that the float will be the bigger part,” he says. “I don’t think there’s anything in Wichita like it right now.”

Heartland Cardiology to move and expand its west-side space

WICHITA — Heartland Cardiology is closing on a new building Monday that will almost double its capacity on the west side.

“We saw an opportunity out west,” says CEO Barry Reynolds.

The practice, which began in 1994, has three sites across Wichita, all of which it leases.

“The first departure from leasing will be this facility,” Reynolds says. “Who knows, that may be the beginning of a trend. We’ll see.”

Heartland currently lease 4,950 square feet at 8710 W. 13th St. and has sites on Hillside across from Wesley Medical Center and in the Cypress Medical Park.

Its new west-side space will be in 8,756 square feet at 9000 W. Central, which is just west of Central and Tyler.

“It’s been medical forever,” Reynolds says of the building.

It previously was Via Christi Health space and the Wichita Clinic before that.

Reynolds says Heartland’s 13th Street lease expires on Sept. 2, so the new space will be fully functional by then.

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Michael Williams to move dental practice from 21st and Oliver to Remington Park

WICHITA — The space at the northeast corner of 21st and Oliver has sold, but for a while you’ll still see the same man out there mowing the lawn.

He’s not the gardener. He’s dentist Michael Williams, whose self-named practice has been at the property for three decades.

Last week, Williams closed on a deal to sell two lots he owns at the corner.

“We’re leasing our own space,” says his wife, Tracy, who also is the practice administrator.

The dental office, which offers full family services including orthodontia, is moving to a former chiropractic space in Remington Park on east 21st Street between Webb Road and Greenwich.

“Oh, we’re still on 21st Street,” Tracy Williams says she’s been assuring customers.

Once their concerns are allayed, she says, “They’re excited for us.”

Currently, the practice is in 1,900 square feet.

“We’re squeezed to the … max,” Tracy Williams says.

Still, she and her husband weren’t necessarily looking to move.

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Two new businesses to open at Clifton Square in College Hill

UPDATED — A couple of new businesses are going to open next month at Clifton Square at 3700 E. Douglas in College Hill.

Nina Winter, who makes women’s accessories through her Nina Winter Design, is opening Tissu Sewing Studio by June 15.

“I really want to kind of bring back traditional arts and crafts,” Winter says. “For example … classes like how to make a prom dress or basic sewing and bringing back quilting.”

She’s not a strictly traditional designer, though.

“I’m trying to do, like, a modern twist on it,” Winter says. “It won’t be traditional quilting, for example.”

She might use recycled denim, she says.

Classes will be for all ages.

Winter used to teach sewing and textile classes at CityArts. She says she has a master’s degree in fashion design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

“I’m hoping to bring everything I’ve learned back to Wichita.”

Around the same time midmonth, Erin Buhrer will be opening Erin Marie Acne Solutions at Clifton Square.

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Terry Merrifield to close her Health and Healing practice

terryWICHITA — Family physician Terry Merrifield is retiring after May 30, but it’s not entirely by choice.

“I had hoped to go on a few more years,” says the 66-year-old, who owns Health and Healing at 9415 E. Harry.

“Everything about health care has become more and more complex,” Merrifield says.

Whether it’s the government, insurance companies or large employers, everyone seems to need more and more assurances that they’re getting what they need out of her office.

Merrifield says there’s “so much complicated paperwork and computer programming that doesn’t always work right.”

“It has taken more and more time away from my practice,” she says. “It’s just worn me out.”

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You don’t say

“Wade looked at his options, then asked: A or B, B or C? Which one is closer? Tell me when they’re next to each other.”

– A tweet from Mike Rishell, a longtime patient of retiring optometrist Wade Dulin

You don’t say

 

This cookie plea worked for a pharmaceutical rep who was hoping to visit with physician assistant Kathryn Welch, who says she would have visited with the rep anyway.

This cookie plea worked for a pharmaceutical rep who was hoping to visit with physician assistant Kathryn Welch, who says she would have visited with the rep anyway.

“I just need 2 minutes.”

– What a pharmaceutical rep had written in icing on an oversized cookie in an attempt to get in to see Neurology Center of Wichita physician assistant Kathryn Welch

Wen Health and Wellness moving near 13th and Zoo Boulevard

WICHITA — Chih-Chen Wen must move his Wen Health and Wellness because his landlord has sold the building where his business is located, but he doesn’t mind.

“We’re going to have a better location … for patients,” he says.

The clinic offers acupuncture and massage therapy and likely will add yoga and wraps at the new space.

Currently, the clinic is near 13th and Maize Road. By the end of the month, it will be in its new 1,400-square-foot space at 4415 W. Zoo Blvd. That’s just south of 13th and Zoo, which Wen says is easier access than where he is now.

The space is also bigger, which Wen says will allow for larger treatment rooms and will be “more comfy.”

The additional space also means the clinic can now serve wedding parties and others who want to have group events.

“We’re going to make it a little more upscale so that the patients have a better experience,” Wen says.

Look for news about an open house soon.