February 08. 2013 2:00PM - Last modified: February 08. 2013 2:36PM

Froedtert and Medical College to merge clinic systems

Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) have agreed on plans to create a joint clinical practice group to serve patients at both organizations’ community clinics.

The new organization will be called Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Community Physicians.

The joint clinical practice group agreement covers seven counties (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth) and includes more than 30 community clinics operated by both organizations.

In fiscal 2012, more than 250 physicians practiced at these clinics and combined patient visits exceeded 710,000.

According to Catherine Jacobson, president and chief executive officer of Froedtert Health, the agreement will bring the Froedtert Health primary care and specialty physicians currently practicing in the community setting into an integrated practice model. This integrated practice will be linked to MCW physicians practicing on the academic medical center campus in Wauwatosa and in the community through shared quality and service standards.

“Froedtert Health and MCW have been discussing ways to create an enduring economically, operationally and clinically aligned approach to providing care in the community,” Jacobson said. “This new structure aims at achieving a high performing off-campus patient care model to deliver value across the continuum of care, including enabling easy connections to the academic medical center as needed.”

John R. Raymond Sr., M.D., MCW’s president and chief executive officer, said, “One of the goals of this plan is to continue to build on the community-academic partnership between our two organizations that is unique in the region. To the benefit of our patients, we will be able to clinically integrate, sharing the same electronic health record and evidence-based medical protocols plus access to academic medical center expertise.”

Mark Lodes, M.D., was named president of Froedtert & The Medical College Community Physicians. Lodes currently serves as chief medical officer of the Froedtert & The Medical College Clinical Ventures Group.

An eight-person board of directors will provide oversight of the new organization with Froedtert Health and MCW appointing four members each and Lodes serving as an ex-officio member of the board.

“This agreement is just the beginning. Many decisions will be made in the next six months to create the organization and its structure. A physician leadership council will be instrumental in providing guidance as we continue to move forward,” Lodes said. “Our patient-centric care model uses data-driven best practice methods and aims to provide great value to our patients by delivering appropriate, timely care in the most cost-effective setting.”