Friday, April 29, 2016

Bill Martin (left), operations manager for Community Occupational Medicine, talks with Welch Packaging employee Courtney Miller about work safety on the floor of the Elkhart facility in this undated photo. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)
Elkhart General buying Community Occupational Medicine

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

ELKHART — Elkhart General Hospital, already a shareholder in Community Occupational Medicine, has bought 100 percent of the company, the hospital has announced.

The hospital bought into the physician-owned company in 2003 and had owned 23 percent of its stock before recently buying the rest, said Bill Martin, COM's operations manager.

The ability to leverage more of EGH's resources should allow COM to lower some out-of-pocket costs for patients who have increasingly seen higher deductibles in their employer-sponsored health plans over the past five years, Martin said.

For example, COM patients needing urgent care on weekends will now be able to access MedPoint, run by EGH's parent company, Beacon Health System, since COM is only open on weekdays, he said. COM should also lower costs by buying supplies and lab services in larger quantities with EGH.

COM provides 850 local employers with traditional occupational medicine services, such as minor surgeries, employment physicals, drug and alcohol screening and physical therapy, and has quadrupled in size over the past five years, Martin said. 

COM has two Elkhart locations and one in Goshen, and plans to open a fourth on Monday, March 17, in Middlebury at 801 Wayne St., in a former doctor's office that has been vacant for two years.