Mercy Health Physicians began four years ago as a separately incorporated group practice within Mercy Health, with a separate management and governance structure. Roth says Mercy Health Physicians is a “cog in an overall network of care,” and the two companies “make each other better.” This inaugural list of Healthcare's Hottest provides evidence for that assertion, as Mercy Health is also on the Hottest list.
“The fact that both Mercy Health and Mercy Health Physicians appear on this list is a great example of the synergy that occurs when physicians and physician groups get together with hospitals and hospital systems to deliver excellent, integrated care to the communities they serve,” Roth says.
At the outset, Mercy Health Physicians consisted solely of primary-care doctors, but the group has been strategically adding specialty physician group practices since. According to Roth, the company's leadership and structure make acquiring new physicians easy. “Much of our growth can be attributed to the consistent, physician-friendly and efficient process we have in place for working with physicians from contract to contract … We have a team that works hard to help make this as smooth as possible,” he says.
In July, Mercy Health Physicians was accepted by the CMS as an accountable care organization in the Medicare shared-savings program, making it the only one in the region. That new status is part of Mercy Health Physicians' plan for continued growth.
“We will (continue to) innovate and support our primary-care practices as we use our patient-centered medical homes and ACO status to leverage true clinical integration to improve care in the communities we serve,” Roth says. “We're working to become better than the sum of our parts and the measure will be achieving the triple aim of improved care and improved outcomes delivered at lower cost.”