The Urology Group has a motto: “Better. Faster. Cheaper.”

It’s a trifecta that’s held strong over two decades, as The Urology Group turned 20 in 2016. And its status as an independent? That’s also become quite the adage. There’s no acquisition offers. They’re not even approached, President Gary Kirsh says, by hospitals/health systems even though that trend has swept the country.

“No disrespect intended, but hospitals have acquired a lot of physician practices, but they haven’t really done anything other than acquire them,” Kirsh says.

“What we’ve been able to achieve as an independent group, you would not get if our doctors were fragmented,” he adds. “We’ve become a community asset, and as a single-specialty center, we’re able to implement programs much more efficiently and quickly because we don’t deal with a big bureaucracy.”

The Urology Group—the bulk provider of urology care in Greater Cincinnati—treats more than 30,000 patients annually, per a 2016 report, and doctors perform roughly 15,000 outpatient procedures each year, the most of any urology-only center in the country. Care runs the gamut, from men and women’s health, to cancer treatment, urinary conditions, kidney stones and more.

“The more you do of something, the better you are at it,” Kirsh says. “Everything we do is oriented toward the urologic patient. It’s all specialized.”

With 40 MDs—they are actively recruiting to fill voids in 2018 left by retirement—The Urology Group ranks among the largest practices in Greater Cincinnati. With 12 offices, it has a presence across the entire region. The Norwood headquarters, which opened in 2012, is considered home base. The $20 million, 55,000-square-foot facility is a “one-stop shop” that includes a surgery center, pharmacy, clinical research department, pathology lab, imaging, CyberKnife system and more. Used initially to treat brain tumors, the CyberKnife delivers more specific and accurate doses of radiation in prostate cancer cases. It’s the only one in use in the Tristate. The Urology Group is one the largest volume prostate CyberKnife centers in the world.

And there’s always room for improvement. The Urology Group is upgrading its internal EMR this year, adding new services in female health and implementing a new outsourced call center for more streamlined—and better—customer service.

“We have a very entrepreneurial spirit,” says Earl Walz, CEO.

In 2015, Walz and others founded the Independent Physicians Collaborative, a locally driven effort aimed at fostering that spirit and making the community aware of its value. Today, the IPC includes 600 specialists across 21 groups in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Southeast Indiana and Dayton, which makes it the largest collaborative of its kind in the country, Walz says. He serves as president.

“It’s about awareness,” Walz adds. “A lot of people make an assumption that we’re owned by a hospital or hospital system, and we have to remind them, ‘No, we’re not.’ We value that freedom. Patients seem to value that. There’s a different culture in a physician-led company [like ours].”

And neither Kirsh nor Walz see that model changing—at least not for them. Not in the next 20 years. Not ever.

“We believe we are ideally positioned,” Kirsh says.

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