Experienced Primary Care Doctors Deliver High-Quality Care to Patients in Iron Mountain

Blues Perspectives

| 4 min read

For Dr. Beth Schroeder, a primary care doctor at Michigan Wisconsin Family Practice Associates in Iron Mountain, every day is different. And that’s the way she likes it.
For nearly 20 years, she has served the small, rural community on the Wisconsin border in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Here, she helps patients with health concerns that range from managing their diabetes and heart conditions to visiting patients who are in the hospital.
“I’m proud of being a provider in the U.P. because this is rural. This is not big city where you have a lot of extra help,” Schroeder said. “Being a provider here of primary care, you have to be a jack of all trades. You have to know a little bit of everything. And you have to get pretty good at it to be able to take care of your patients. I think patients coming to a provider here can feel comfortable knowing that there’s a lot of knowledge and experience, and that we’re going get taken care of what needs to get taken care of.”
At Michigan Wisconsin Family Practice Associates where Schroeder works, the practice has made huge investments in staff and processes during the past two decades to bring the quality of care to national standards. They are designated as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and as a Total Care practice by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. 
“Being a Patient-Centered Medical Home is good for the patient. It’s good for the provider as well. It allows us to have more of a team approach to take care of that patient, with everyone in the office being involved in making sure that they get their needs met,” Schroeder said. “We’re available 24/7 if someone needs something outside of the normal business hours.”
The Blue Cross Total Care designation is awarded to providers who have met national criteria for the quality and value of care they are delivering to patients. These doctors go above and beyond to enhance the overall health of their patients, providing preventive services and wellness coaching, as well as working with patients with chronic conditions to better meet their care needs. Primary care practices across Michigan and the U.P. that have received this designation are acknowledged for their commitment to safety, high quality of care and patient outcomes. In the Iron Mountain area, there are over 20 doctors that have received this designation.
“Total Care PCMH in our practice looks like screening. We screen all of our patients for depression anxiety, we screen them for social needs, can you afford your heating in the winter – do you have electricity? Do you have transportation? All of those things factor into a patient’s care – not only their diabetes and their diabetes and their hypertension and their heart failure – but all of these things can affect how those medical goals that we have for patients are met,” Schroeder said. 
For Schroeder and the care team at Michigan Wisconsin Family Practice Associates, their goal is to help patients meet all of their needs: not only medical needs, but also social needs, financial needs, and psychological needs.
“There are a lot of needs that patients have that you wouldn’t necessarily think would be provided in a medical office, but that’s what we’re doing,” Schroeder said. “We’re trying to make sure that we’re focusing on the patient in all of the global needs of that patient in an efficient and cost-effective way.”
The quality of the primary care delivered at Michigan Wisconsin Family Practice Associates offers local expertise in the U.P. and connection with the peace of mind that it meets national standards for quality, safety and patient outcomes.
Schroeder sees the community approach to health care as the practice’s biggest asset.
“If you’re getting people that you know and that know you – I feel like the quality is better for that reason,” Schroeder said. “There’s no reason to go elsewhere for quality medical care. It’s here.”
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association