Summit Medical Group to Participate in AMGF Health Care Collaborative

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Learning collaborative to focus on best practices for managing patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Summit Medical Group, New Jersey’s largest multispecialty medical group, was selected by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) to participate in a national collaborative dedicated to finding best practices in managing patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Earlier this year, SMG received a $10,000 grant from AMGF and AbbVie to support their quality improvement efforts through participation in the collaborative. Working together with 17 other medical groups across the nation, SMG will facilitate the adoption, discovery, and spread of care processes that will improve the way in which RA patients experience the healthcare system.

A chronic disease with high morbidity, mortality and costs, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. In 2014, both the direct and indirect costs associated with RA were estimated to be $40 billion dollars, and could reach as high as $54 billion by 2030. The economic impact of RA is similar to, if not greater than, costs associated with more prevalent, chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Designed for organizations striving to improve the care of their RA patients, the collaborative is intended to leverage key learning and facilitate a “how-to” approach. Supported by an Advisory Committee of physicians and quality improvement experts, participants will gain mission-critical experience in engaging specialty departments such as rheumatology in performance measurement and improvement.

Medical Director for Population Health at SMG, Jamie Reedy, M.D., MPH, notes that the Group’s initiatives will focus on improving quality outcomes, access to timely care, and adherence to evidence-based guidelines. “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to collaborate with other medical groups to improve the quality of care for RA patients. We look forward to engaging our RA patients in these improvements and partnering with them for better health outcomes,” she adds.

Through a yearlong series of activities, participating organizations will have the opportunity to test approaches and design care processes that are relevant to their clinical and operational models. As a result, best practices will be developed and shared around the work of the collaborative groups. The collaborative ends in August 2015.

ABOUT SUMMIT MEDICAL GROUP

Summit Medical Group (SMG) is the largest privately held multispecialty medical practice in New Jersey. SMG maintains a 42-acre healthcare campus in Berkeley Heights and more than 50 additional practice locations in central and northern New Jersey. As an East Coast premier multispecialty group, SMG has provided exceptional primary and specialty care since 1929. For more, visit http://www.summitmedicalgroup.com.

ABOUT AMGF

The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the American Medical Group Association and it supports and disseminates research on better ways to deliver health care that is scientifically sound and value-based. AMGF also develops and supports educational programs to enable all stakeholders-providers, payers, policymakers and patients to translate the evidence of what works best into everyday practice. http://www.amga.org/foundation.

ABOUT AMGA

The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing medical groups, health systems, and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated delivery systems. AMGA is a leading voice in advocating for efficient, team-based, and accountable care. AMGA members encompass all models of organized systems of care in the healthcare industry, including: physician-owned, independent group practices, integrated delivery systems, hospital-affiliated medical groups, independent practice associations (IPAs), academic and faculty practices, accountable care organizations, and high-performing health systems. More than 150,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 120 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance. http://www.amga.org.

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Maureen Bennett
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