The West Texas Physicians Alliance (WTPA) was established as a corporate entity on November 9, 1994. It is a typical “non-risk bearing” Independent Physicians Alliance (IPA). This is in contrast to “risk-bearing” organizations, which often coordinate most of their activities, including billing, through a central location. The physician (and ancillary) provider members of this IPA maintain complete autonomy over their practices, have their own offices and staff and billing and other activities as they choose. The WTPA maintains a small office and a staff of only four; an administrator and three assistants. This staff efficiently performs the credentialing/recredentialing process on behalf of WTPA members, its financial operations which only involve dues collections and payment of bills and, securing and over-seeing contracts with managed care entities. The contract negotiations with the managed care organizations are accomplished through a “messenger model” i.e.: The group uses an intermediary to work out details of each contract.
The idea for forming this group was conceived and much of the early efforts in forming the group were done by Sylvan Bartlett, M.D. The governing body has nine directors, two of whom are faculty members of Texas Tech Regional Health Sciences Center. The total membership of WTPA now stands at 151, roughly half of whom are from Midland and the other half from Odessa. Most of the medical and surgical specialties and their sub-specialties are represented in WTPA. After going through a difficult transition from a partial risk-bearing operation to its current structure, the group has enjoyed a slow but steady growth in its membership. Some of our members practice in peripheral townships in West Texas. All members of Texas Tech University’s regional physician faculty are members of WTPA.
WTPA’s website (mywtpa.com) was constructed as a resource for the public, as well as for the members, to stay informed of our activities. You will find photographs, names and addresses of the Board of Directors and our employees in the appropriate section. All the relevant information about our members can be found in the appropriate section(s). A section has been devoted to educational and otherwise informational articles by the members. We anticipate the educational material as well as day-to-day operational activities to flow through this website. We strive to constantly update and enhance this website by adding noteworthy activities of our members, both in their chosen medical fields and in other activities of interest. Also, we are securing articles from different specialties to enhance the website.
Semi-annual office managers’ meetings are arranged, with a view to help members’ offices with any questions or problems they may have. At such meetings, an effort is made to have a guest speaker from a major managed care entity to address important topics. The Board of Directors meet on a monthly basis, alternating between Odessa and Midland; this occasion is also utilized for the meeting of the Credentialing Committee to review and approve new applicants and the biennial re-credentialing of our members. The WTPA’s office (unlike any other local group) helps its members in filling out periodic recredentialing forms for the members when requested by managed care entities. Our staff is always willing to help with any other relevant matter of importance to our members.
By bringing together healthcare providers of all persuasions into one large group, we can assure easy access and choice to the employers, the managed care entities and their beneficiaries. As the whole faculty team of Texas Tech Regional Health Sciences Center in Odessa-Midland partner in this goal, we bring to the consumers the best of both worlds. By offering reasonable discounts to managed care entities, our group fulfills our main mission... that of affordable healthcare delivery. The very structure of this entity assures the physician members a flexibility of practicing medicine in their own clinic or office environment, while also freeing them from some of the constraints imposed by the current “Managed Care” system. Thus, we envision this to be a “win-win” situation for all.