Executives of two national trade organizations for physician group practices, Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association and Alexandria, Va.-based American Group Practice Association, said last week that they're moving forward with merger plans.
Both organizations confirmed information learned by MODERN HEALTHCARE concerning decisions reached last week by the boards of both organizations to explore "the concept of a merger."
Under a tentative timetable set by the joint "working group" studying the merger, a letter of intent agreeing to the consolidation is scheduled to be signed in February. The agreement then would require the approval of the memberships of both organizations, which are scheduled to meet separately in fall conferences, said Donald W. Fisher, AGPA's executive vice president and chief executive officer.
A merger would bring together the lobbying force and medical prestige of the AGPA's membership, which includes large academic systems such as New Orleans-based Oschner Clinic and Detroit-based Henry Ford Medical Group, with the group-practice consulting and formation expertise of the MGMA.
Frederick J. Wenzel, the MGMA's interim executive director and chief executive officer, said the groups have been involved in discussions since last December to consider alternatives, including "working together on certain legislative projects or sharing various services or merging the two associations."
AGPA has 250 group practices, composed of 27,000 administrators/managers and physicians. MGMA's membership consists of 5,900 group practices with 14,400 administrators/managers and 112,000 physicians.