Physician Quality Partners Formed to Advance Health Care Quality and Collaboration

August 28, 2013

WILMINGTON- A new Clinically Integrated Network (CIN)/Accountable Care Organization (ACO) has been formed to provide physicians access to the collaborative tools they will need to succeed in the new health care environment. Physician Quality Partners is a physician-led partnership with New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Through the partnership, physicians will be able to drive quality improvements for their patients, access the data they need to measure success, coordinate care with other providers, negotiate contracts and control costs.

Six Wilmington physicians have been instrumental in establishing the partnership. They include: Birgit Arb, MD - Cape Fear Cancer Specialists, Janalynn Beste, MD - Coastal Family Medicine, Dewey Bridger, MD – New Hanover Medical Group, Andre Leonard, MD – Intracoastal Internal Medicine, William Smith, MD - Cape Fear Heart Associates, and Scott Visser, MD, Wilmington Family Physicians.

An ACO/CIN is a collaborative effort among physicians, usually supported by a health care system, to actively develop clinical initiatives that will improve the quality of health care services and control costs. Clinically integrated programs align the objectives for providers and payers as they focus on defined quality goals and cost containment measures.

While Physician Quality Partners is led by physicians, it is supported by New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC), southeastern North Carolina’s largest healthcare provider and tertiary referral center. NHRMC’s range of services and investment in electronic health record and Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems provide the infrastructure to help ensure that patients and providers are working together to deliver high quality, affordable health care services.

“Technology is critical to how we move forward with delivering health care,” said Scott Visser, MD. “We need integrated systems to better collaborate on delivering the best and most efficient care for our patients.”

As part of Physician Quality Partners, physicians will establish the quality benchmarks and goals for the group. “The partnership allows physicians to be involved in deciding what defines quality care for our patients,” said Birgit Arb, MD. “Through it we can also measure our success and align incentives for meeting quality goals.”

Though participating physicians will benefit from the collaboration within the group, they will be able to maintain their autonomy and private practice. “Joining Physician Quality Partners makes it easier for me to meet the demands of the new healthcare system without giving up my independent practice,” said Andre Leonard, MD.

“We are pleased to form this partnership and appreciate the physicians who have been instrumental in establishing Physician Quality Partners. By focusing our efforts on coordinating care, while also working to reduce costs we will continue to deliver the high quality care residents throughout this region deserve,” said Jack Barto, NHRMC President and Chief Executive Officer. “The physicians in this region are highly skilled and actively involved in shaping the future of healthcare."

More information on Physician Quality Partners is online,