Taos County was designated a medically underserved area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2014. And despite the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and insurance coverage for patients, it is still often difficult to recruit and retain physicians and other clinicians to practice in Taos.
Those factors and others have prompted native Taoseño Lucas Schreiber to separate from Family Practice Associates of Taos and start his own practice: Schreiber Family Medicine.
Family Practice Associates (FPA) was founded by his father, the late Dr. Larry Schreiber, in 1979. Ellen Warren joined FPA in 1982 and the two ran the clinic as partners. Lucas Schreiber became a partner in the practice in 2014.
Schreiber said he has been struggling with the realities of primary care medicine for several years. As previously reported in The Taos News – “Shortage of primary care doctors squeezes physicians, patients in Taos” — primary care doctors are working longer and harder days with less reimbursement and are spending more of their time on administrative duties rather than patient care.
“I had already been yearning to find a way to rediscover my passion for medicine and to improve the work flow of my day to allow me to strike a better work-home balance,” said Schreiber. “And then my dad died unexpectedly and it really opened my eyes. I just realized how precious, fragile and transient it can all be, and I decided I needed to make a big change.”
Schreiber will remain in the same building as FPA, located at 630 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, but the space has been divided — the back quarter has been renovated with a new entry just south of Nusenda Credit Union.
Schreiber Family Medicine (SFM) is scheduled to open Feb. 21. Alana Benjamin, Olan Bassett, Abe Balsamo and Gina Torres Balsamo will be joining Schreiber at the new practice. The clinic — offering a full range of primary care services — will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Patients who currently see any of these clinicians will be transferred seamlessly to the new clinic,” said Schreiber. “Existing appointments will be honored, though the appointment time may be changed by 10 or 15 minutes to accommodate a different scheduling template.”
Schreiber said SFM will offer a daily walk-in clinic, open to any patient without an appointment for urgent care needs, such as injuries, acute illness and lacerations.
SFM will also have Ryan Murphy on staff, a general surgeon who specializes in endoscopy: colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy. “He will perform his procedures at Holy Cross Hospital two days a week and will be seeing patients at SFM for preoperative consultations as well as minor clinic-based, outpatient surgical procedures, such as skin cancer resections,” Schreiber said.
Schreiber will still offer a full range of primary care services as well as colonoscopy services. He will also continue to serve as the hospice medical director for Mountain Home Health Care, he said.
“Dr. Warren and I have made this split very amicably and with no interruption in patient care. I know she will continue to run a successful primary care clinic, as she has done for decades,” said Schreiber. “I think this transformation puts me in a good position to successfully navigate the changing landscape of health care reform and will, most importantly, allow me to spend more time with my family.”
Call SFM at (575) 751-7430 to make or confirm appointments.