Today we’d like to introduce you to Ameeta Chowdhary.
Ameeta, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I graduated from the University of Phoenix as an MSN, FNP-C in 2017 and started my career in a pediatric primary care practice in Maryvale, AZ. Being a provider with a nursing background and a mother of two boys, I am able to relate with my pediatric patients and their parents. I treat my patients and their families like my own and make every effort to connect with them on a personal level to understand their values and beliefs. This allows me to develop personalized, problem-focused health care plans that I use to educate my families and lead them to optimal health outcomes. Dr. Jaime Balderama is my mentor who provided me with the opportunity to learn, grow professionally, and to become a confident nurse practitioner.
While working in a typical primary care pediatric practice as a new graduate, I submitted to the cycle of generating more revenue, more productivity, and more patient volume. I constantly remained on the time crunch while caring for my patients and addressing parents’ concerns in the exam room. It made me realize that I was not serving my pediatric population with the best care and attention that they deserved. This led me to start my own pediatric practice, ‘Little Star Pediatrics’, with the goal of providing the best care for children and their families. I aim to break the chain of patients being another number in the office reception area as every child and family is important. I value all my families and their children’s health, parent concerns, and my ability to connect with them during each office visit.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth ride. Starting a medical practice is more than just obtaining office space, equipment, and staff. I faced multiple challenges from the basics of starting a business to understanding the economics of operating a business. Initially, I believed that my biggest challenge was going through architects, construction contractors, obtaining city permits, and getting the construction started. The overinflated cost of construction led to financial challenges which increased pressure of obtaining health insurance contracts to start building patient volume. I received multiple denials from health insurance payors, either due to my credential as a nurse practitioner, not having a supervising physician, or being a solo-provider practice. Finally, it took approximately 10 months to complete the credentialing and obtain contracts from health insurance companies. In Arizona, nurse practitioners are recognized as primary care providers with full prescriptive authority and independent of physician supervision. It was quite an experience as I learned about the disparity in the health insurance industry as each payor has its own policies to define the nurse practitioner role regardless of Arizona state definition of NP role and scope of practice.
The other challenges such as vendors, marketing, IT, creating clinic policies and procedures, billing, understanding insurance claims and denial of payments is an ongoing process that I am still learning and continue to improve with time.
Please tell us about Little Star Pediatrics.
My solo-provider practice Little Star Pediatrics offers personalized and holistic care for children, ranging from newborns to 20 years of age, following evidence-based guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics. During a well-child check, all children undergo a comprehensive examination which includes a thorough physical exam, age-appropriate immunizations, screening for behavioral and emotional health, psychosocial screening, developmental screening, and health education. This approach helps with early detection of an oncoming or current health condition and addressing it on time. All illness visits include thorough problem-focused examination, addressing all parent concerns, education on prevention and management of the treatment plan.
My greatest strength is my availability and accessibility for my patients. We triage all parent calls regarding their child’s health concerns and accommodate them to be seen in the office the same day. If they can not be seen the same day, we offer telemedicine visits or provide instructions for the interim. I answer all my parents’ calls after hours to prevent them from taking their child to urgent care or an emergency room to prevent potential exposure of communicable diseases acquired from a healthcare facility.
At Little Star Pediatrics, we provide a warm and positive environment for everyone. I truly believe that a positive environment motivates personal and professional growth as we treat all patients and their families, employees, and vendors with respect and care. I take pride in providing concierge-level care and attention to all my patients regardless of their socio-economic status, health insurance plan, or if they are uninsured.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I was born in Penang, Malaysia and grew up in India. One childhood memory that I am very fond of was when I was 5 years old and flying in an airplane for the first time to Malaysia from India. I was in awe of all the flight attendants as they travelled internationally for a living, them smiling with polite demeanors, and their elegant appearances. Another childhood memory that I cherish is the arrival of my family’s U.S. visa in the mail. I was content thinking about living in a country where I would have limitless opportunities to pursue my dreams and here I am today – a Family Nurse Practitioner and the owner of Little Star Pediatrics.
- Address: Little Star Pediatrics
10575 West Indian School Rd, St. E-103
Avondale, Az 85392
- Website: www.littlestarpeds.com
- Phone: 4807470045
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: @littlestarpediatrics