Access Physicians Gives Dr. Sina Haeri the Opportunity to Innovate in the Service of Better Care for Pregnant Women
A highly trained subspecialist and combat veteran with the U.S. Army, Dr. Sina Haeri thrives on activity and challenge. He joined Access Physicians in 2019 after a chance meeting with the company’s former chief clinical strategy officer that turned into a meeting of the minds and the opportunity to lead development of the physician-led company’s now-thriving maternal-fetal telemedicine program.
“I met Saurin [Patel, M.D.] for coffee one morning after we were introduced by chance,” said Haeri. “He was interested in learning more about my experience working for a large health system and how maternal-fetal telemedicine worked.” At the time of their meeting, Haeri was working as an MFM specialist in a large, urban setting for a national hospital system. “Our serendipitous meeting couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,” said Haeri. “Like many other physicians, I was under increasing pressure to see more patients in less time. I was frustrated that I couldn’t spend the time I wanted with my patients and that my ideas for innovation languished within a large bureaucracy.”
Shortly after the meeting, Haeri left the stability of his well-established, well-respected practice to join the country’s fastest growing high-acuity telemedicine company and build a new service line from the ground up – tele-maternal-fetal medicine.
“Ultimately, I knew I’d be happier personally and more satisfied professionally working with a team of like-minded colleagues and getting to prioritize the patient experience and clinical excellence,” said Haeri. “The Access Physicians team gave me the opportunity to do something about the professional frustrations I had witnessed and experienced in my career.”
Among those frustrations Haeri references are:
- More than 95 percent of MFM providers live in major metropolitan areas, which makes them inaccessible to a large portion of the population.
- Most existing tele-MFM programs are designed purposefully to drive NICU admissions at the mothership hospital, not allow local, community hospitals and providers to keep more of their patients.
- Local maternity providers want their patients to stay locally within their communities and value the consultative help and resources to make that possible.
- Patients do not want to travel long distances to see an MFM subspecialist, or they may not be able to arrange time off work, childcare, or transportation to make travel possible.
- Maternity providers increasingly rely on ultrasound revenue but often lack the training and expertise to read and interpret ultrasounds at the level needed.
Today, Haeri and his team of MFM specialists and advanced sonographers work with hospitals, birthing centers, independent imaging centers, community-based OB/GYNs, and outpatient clinics around the country to provide highly skilled diagnostics and treatment for women with high-risk pregnancies. Together, the collaboration of the tele-MFM team and local providers allows more patients to get the care they need within their own communities – reducing the need for travel, improving outcomes, and strengthening local health care resources.
“Today, my work is incredibly rewarding,” said Haeri. “I spend the time I want with my patients…and the time they need….all without leaving my home. And, I have the privilege of teaching and mentoring clinicians and sonographers so that they are more equipped to care for patients with complex needs. It’s all possible because of telemedicine and the visionaries at Access Physicians.”