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Podcast 129: Successfully Growing an Independent Physician Practice, with Dr. Kyle Guyton

Apr 02, 2021


This week’s episode of Health Care Rounds features Dr. Kyle Guyton, who co-founded SouthernMED Pediatrics in 2008 and has helped the practice grow to 10 locations. He and John talk about some of the challenges involved in starting and running a medical practice, and Dr. Guyton shares why he believes customer service should be more of a focus in medicine. They also discuss how COVID-19 has changed the landscape for independent practices, and what the implications and opportunities might be going forward.   

In this episode

Kyle Guyton, MD, FAAP

Dr. Kyle Guyton is a pediatrician, CFO and co-founder of SouthernMED Pediatrics, a multi-site pediatric and counseling practice with 10 locations throughout South Carolina. In addition to caring for his patients, he serves his local community as a member of the Lexington County School District One School Board. Dr. Guyton attended the Medical University of South Carolina, where he earned his medical degree, and furthered his training at the University of South Carolina in pediatric residency. Dr. Guyton has a passion to see that regions with a need for accessible, exceptional pediatric care are provided for. 

John Marchica

John Marchica is a veteran health care strategist and CEO of Darwin Research Group, a health care market intelligence firm specializing in health care delivery systems. He’s a two-time health care entrepreneur, and his first company, FaxWatch, was listed twice on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing American companies. John is the author of The Accountable Organization and has advised senior management on strategy and organizational change for more than a decade.

John did his undergraduate work in economics at Knox College, has an MBA and M.A. in public policy from the University of Chicago, and completed his Ph.D. coursework at The Dartmouth Institute. He is a faculty associate in the W.P. Carey School of Business and the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University, and is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

6:34 – 6:44 John: “Those kinds of things that you learn in finance or accounting or marketing, any of that, just does not relate to smaller companies, in my opinion.”

7:31 – 7:46 Dr. Guyton: “So, we kind of came up with this idea that we’re going to start our own practice. You would have thought that we were reinventing the wheel because it’s like, you realize nobody does this coming out of residency.”

11:58 – 12:07 John: “In the clinic, or the medical setting, what is good customer service, and how is it that you’re emphasizing it as you’re growing?”

12:20 – 12:43 Dr. Guyton: “It’s, in fact, the patients coming to you who are paying your bills. … We are not doing patients a favor by being open. The patients are doing us a favor by coming to see us, because they have options.”

13:35 – 13:44 Dr. Guyton: “We really try to listen to our target audience and try to meet them where they are, instead of expecting them just to come to us.”

14:30 – 14:40 Dr. Guyton: “In the medical world, we’re not very early adopters. Now, we can do surgery on somebody seven states away with a robotic machine, but we still want to get fax.”

15:23 – 15:34 Dr. Guyton: “We need to leverage technology better than what we are, because it results in a better product to give to our potential clients and our current clients.”

17:22 – 17:26 Dr. Guyton: “So, you have to create your way of doing business.”

17:32 – 18:00 Dr. Guyton: “I think naturally providers are problem-solvers. … That’s what’s allowed us to continually grow year-over-year for the past 12 years now. 

19:50 – 19:55 Dr. Guyton: “Counseling, we know, will be a huge part of it as we come out of COVID. We’re already seeing the effects.”

21:31 – 21:39 Dr. Guyton: “We immediately saw a 20% reduction in no-shows just by simply having the ability to do telehealth.”

21:51 – 21:55 Dr. Guyton: “When [telehealth is] used properly, it can be incredibly impactful.”

23:02 – 23:14 Dr. Guyton: “”There’s probably some more fine-tuning that needs to occur there from a reimbursement perspective, but we were prepared for a reduction in reimbursement associated with telehealth.”

About Darwin Research Group

Darwin Research Group Inc. provides advanced market intelligence and in-depth customer insights to health care executives, with a strategic focus on health care delivery systems and the global shift toward value-based care. Darwin’s client list includes forward-thinking biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, as well as health care providers, private equity, and venture capital firms. The company was founded in 2010 as Darwin Advisory Partners, LLC and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. with a satellite office in Princeton, N.J.


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