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Physician-led Summit Health Management announces partnerships in Arizona, Oregon

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Dr. Jeffrey LeBenger, CEO of Summit Medical Group.
Dr. Jeffrey LeBenger, CEO of Summit Medical Group. - ()

Summit Health Management, the management company of Summit Medical Group in New Jersey, has begun its migration westward by forming the Summit Medical Group Arizona, which will be launched in early 2018.

The new group is the result of SHM joining 51 medical providers of Arizona Primary Care Physicians, according to a press release obtained by NJBIZ. APC has also entered into a management services contract with SHM to facilitate the partnership and transition.

SHM has also agreed to provide administrative, clinical and financial management services to Bend Memorial Clinic (BMC), the largest independent multi-specialty medical group in its region.

SHM CEO Jeffrey LeBenger told NJBIZ about the expansion in July, but it had not named its partners until now.

The move is based on SHM’s desire to spread its multi-specialty group practice model, outpatient sector expertise and delivery of value-based care over traditional fee-for-service. 

In a statement, the company said, "SHM’s partnership model, which is expanding nationally, appeals to medical groups looking for a management model that enables physicians to focus on patient care and be economically successful, while retaining a voice in operations, capital priorities and governance of the organization."

“These announcements represent growing momentum for SHM’s health care model and the company plans to roll out the same to even more mid- and large-sized physician practices across the U.S. before year’s end. The end goal: Let patient-centered doctors be doctors.”

LeBenger told NJBIZ in an exclusive interview in July that the goal of the partnerships is to strengthen the service of medical groups across the country with the doctor-led care model.

“We are running a very good business model at Summit Health and running an 18 percent margin,” LeBenger said in July. “I think there is a way to create a paradigm of health care in this country and bring it down to the ambulatory centers. By doing that, we can change the model of giving high quality care at a lower cost point.”

LeBenger also said in July that SMG found Arizona Primary Care Physicians and Bend Memorial by networking in the medical community or hearing of an impending sale. 

“We reach out to them or they reach out to us,” LeBenger said. “We’d like for them to have ownership in their group, so what we do is we offer them to become shareholders in the management company while they maintain their ownership in their group. So, they have ownership in both.”

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