Aquidneck Medical Associates to Merge With University Medicine Foundation; New Medical Group Expands Care for Rhode Island Residents

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The merger of Aquidneck Medical Associates and University Medicine Foundation on Jan. 1 2014 will bring high quality specialty care closer to Newport and Portsmouth residents and help both groups thrive under healthcare reform.

Aquidneck Medical Associates and University Medicine Foundation today announced that their two physician groups will merge operations effective January 1, 2014. The new medical group will include 185 physicians and 200 staff who will serve more than 100,000 patients throughout most of Rhode Island. Both groups are leaders in health care reform.

Keivan Ettefagh, M.D., president of Aquidneck Medical Associates, says, “We expect that in the near future this merger will bring high quality specialty care closer to the residents of Newport and Portsmouth. It will allow us to expand on our 50-year tradition of great service, and soon patients will no longer have to cross two bridges and drive 30 miles to reach many specialists.”

University Medicine has 15 locations throughout the state that offer primary care and 10 different medical specialties. University Medicine is an independent group that is affiliated with Brown University and Lifespan Health System. Lou Rice, M.D., president of University Medicine Foundation, says, “The combined operations will allow us to expand services to more patients, participate in new programs with insurers, enhance our technology and improve administrative services.”

Aquidneck Medical Associates is comprised of 11 primary care physicians and 38 support staff. The group has been a leader in Rhode Island in patient centered care and the development of electronic patient medical records. Dr. Ettefagh noted, “A significant factor in our decision to join University Medicine is that our patients will see little if any change and our physicians and staff will be able to continue to provide personalized care for our patients. We will continue to provide care to our patients as Aquidenck Medical Associates Affiliated with University Medicine.”

Joining University Medicine will enable Aquidneck to offer innovative clinical care such as their patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs); and will enhance its ability to participate in new healthcare models under the Affordable Care Act, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs).

University Medicine also has made it a priority to add more primary care physicians, which is critical given the current and projected shortage of access to primary care providers. Dr. Rice said, “The opportunity to affiliate with a high quality group like Aquidneck comes at the right time. We’ll be better able to participate in new models of care that will give patients better service and access to care while keeping healthcare costs under control.”

University Medicine is also in discussions with other physician groups in Rhode Island. Dr. Rice commented, “Our flexible approach makes us attractive to medical groups who want the administrative and support services we can provide, but who also want to maintain some autonomy in their operations, staffing, and clinical care delivery.”

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Linda Harder

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