Family history, love of sciences lead to career in urology

The field of medicine is in Dr. Robert McBeath’s blood.

McBeath’s grandfather became one of Henderson’s first pharmacists in 1946, and his father, Jo Kent McBeath, practiced family medicine in the Las Vegas Valley for nearly half a century. McBeath’s fascination with the sciences combined with family influences to seal the deal.

So McBeath, who was born in Virginia while his dad was in training there, headed to the University of Nevada, Reno for undergraduate and medical school. He opened Urology Specialists of Nevada in Las Vegas in 1996 as a sole practitioner. McBeath built the practice into a group of 13 providers and 75 employees. Along the way, he struck a deal with Health Plan of Nevada to serve as the exclusive urology provider for the insurer’s Southwest Medical Associates practice.

McBeath still practices urology one day a week, but a year ago, Health Plan of Nevada parent UnitedHealthcare named him CEO of Southwest Medical Associates. He now manages the practice’s 265 physicians and nine local health centers, three convenient-care clinics and surgery center.

Question: What drew you to urology?

Answer: When you’re a medical student, you start off really not knowing what kind of doctor you’re going to be. I initially thought I was going to be in internal medicine or family practice, but I’ve always liked doing things with my hands. I’m very mechanically inclined. As I got into the surgical fields (in school), I became intrigued by them. Urologists specialize from both a medical and a surgical standpoint. And it was a single-organ system. I could be an expert at one organ system and do both medicine and surgery. That fit all of what I liked.

Question: Who were your professional role models?

Answer: The biggest role model in terms of work ethic came from my father. I was exposed to many of his colleagues and friends through the years, and got a lot of input from the medical field in that way. I actually trained with some of his colleagues during medical school.

Question: Why did you want your own practice?

Answer: We don’t have a broad number of residency programs here locally, so I had to leave the state to get my urologic training. But I always knew I wanted to come back and practice in Las Vegas. This is where my family and friends are. I wanted to make a contribution here.

Question: Now, you’re leading UnitedHealthcare’s medical practice. Why take that direction?

Answer: Urology Specialists has had an exclusive-provider contract with Health Plan of Nevada since the mid-1990s, and I’ve worked closely with Health Plan administrators and the physicians and executive leadership team at Southwest Medical Associates for 15 years. When I was approached by the Southwest Medical Associates leadership to consider a physician-CEO position, I thought it was a good opportunity for me to move into what I considered a larger role. Rather than managing a single specialty group, I would manage the oldest and one of the largest multispecialty groups in the city.

I considered it a great challenge and also an enormous opportunity to have an additional impact on care in this community. Southwest Medical Associates proactively manages patients’ health care with a strong emphasis on wellness and disease prevention. I believe this is the way medicine has to go in order to face the challenges coming down the road, including the shortage of physicians in our community.

Question: How has health insurance reform affected you and your practice?

Answer: We’re in our infancy as far as the actual impact of the Affordable Care Act. In broad terms, we anticipate a significantly larger number of people who will have insurance and will be accessing the system. So our goal has been to try to maximize that access.

That means proactively managing patients, or identifying people with specific conditions or diseases, and reaching out to them with health education. It also means following up with them, and increasing access so their physicians can prevent problems. We make sure patients remain compliant (with treatments) by screening their lab tests, and we reach out to them before they get sick. We believe that will be the model going into the future, and we’re striving every day to improve and perfect it.

We’ve also been leaders in innovation and technology. Southwest Medical Associates instituted its first electronic medical records in 2004. We have a fairly large footprint across the valley, but wherever our patients access us, the provider has immediate access to the patient’s entire medical record. We think these improvements will drive efficiencies and quality of care, as well as better outcomes for patients.

We also introduced on Jan. 1 a large-scale telemedicine program. You can log on through your smartphone, (tablet) or computer and talk face-to-face with a provider who can assess a problem and determine whether you should go to your doctor, an urgent-care center or the emergency room.

Question: What’s Southern Nevada’s most pressing health-industry issue, and how do we solve it?

Answer: I believe our greatest challenge is the lack of providers across all disciplines, but especially among physicians. While I’m an alumnus of the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno, I see great utility in having a medical school in Southern Nevada. I believe it would go a long way toward addressing manpower issues, and it would hopefully have a significant positive economic impact on our community.

Question: We would need more residencies, too. How would a medical school affect the number of residencies?

Answer: A medical school would be incredibly important. A residency program is started and run by medical academicians, or physicians and surgeons who are academically oriented and inclined. Part of that academic inclination is your ability to do research. All of those pieces are integral to a medical school and research complex. To grow your residency programs and attract good medical academicians who share their programs and teach residents, you need a strong foundation with a medical school.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like