Officials at Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health Wednesday announced a new initiative to support collaboration with independent physicians.

The Spectrum Health Physician Alliance will promote collaboration, expanded services and shared goals between independent physicians, Spectrum Health and its hospitals, and the Spectrum Health Medical Group.

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The Alliance creates a new area of focus within Spectrum Health to support physicians in private practice who provide care for patients together with Spectrum Health. The members of this organization will focus on clinical integration, where independent physicians, Spectrum Health employed physicians and hospitals collaborate to improve health outcomes, enhance the patient experience and reduce the overall cost of care.

Early initiatives of the Alliance will:
* Advance clinical integration and organized systems of care
* Provide an opportunity for independent and employed physicians to collaborate
* Provide infrastructure to physician organizations and independent physicians
* Emphasize principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home
* Emphasize meaningful use of information technology

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“Nearly 900 of the physicians on staff at Spectrum Health hospitals in Grand Rapids are independent practitioners,” said John MacKeigan, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, Spectrum Health. “I’m confident this alliance will foster a common vision for all physicians by focusing on high quality, low cost care and efficiency.”

The Physician Alliance builds on Spectrum Health’s long-standing relationship with West Michigan Physicians Network, a 375-member independent physician organization.

“This new endeavor signifies Spectrum Health’s ongoing commitment to support independent physician practices through expanded services and collaboration,” said Jon Curry, M.D., president of WMPN. “Together, WMPN and the Physician Alliance will help strengthen private practices while improving quality of care and efficiency between these physicians and Spectrum Health.”

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Spectrum Health includes Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of nine hospitals and 180 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart, physician groups totaling more than 600 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with 625,000 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with more than 17,800 employees.