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Monday, March 3, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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Health care reform spurs renewed interest in physician hospital organizations


AUBURN HILLS, Mich.— McLaren Physician Hospital Organization (MPHO) will become McLaren Physician Partners, effective March 1, 2014. The rebranding was prompted by a strategic move toward even greater alignment between both independent and employed physicians and McLaren Health Care.

Physician hospital organizations (PHOs) were created in the late 1980s and early 1990s by physicians and hospitals to control costs, ensure quality and offer an attractive full-service provider product to managed care payers and employers. Although their popularity had decreased somewhat, PHOs like McLaren Physician Partners are making a comeback and emerging as a promising business model in the new era of health care reform.

“The pressure is on the health care industry like never before to simultaneously control costs and improve quality of care,” said Michael McKenna, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of McLaren Health Care. “This name change reflects our increased commitment to collaborate with physicians as partners to establish and follow evidence-based medicine and best practices that will improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs.”

As a PHO, McLaren Physician Partners is able to contract directly with managed care plans on behalf of its members to offer a “one-stop-shopping” type of arrangement that includes hospital tertiary care services, primary care services and specialty physician services. Multiple separate agreements with individual physicians and specialists are not needed; the agreement is for the entire scope of services.

“McLaren’s large statewide footprint creates a great deal of efficiency for everyone, including payers, providers, medical centers and patients,” said Gary Wentzloff, president and chief executive officer of McLaren Physician Partners.

“We’re seeing the health care model of fee for service evolve into a value proposition where payments and reimbursements are based on quality of care and outcomes making it even more incumbent upon us as physicians to help develop processes to improve both patient care and control costs,” said Lawrence Cowsill, DO, senior medical director of McLaren Physician Partners. “McLaren Physician Partners provides a business model that will allow us to take clinical integration to the next level to realize added efficiency, improved health care outcomes and significant cost savings for patients.”

About McLaren Physician Partners (MPP)

McLaren Physician Partners was formed in 1994 and is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich. MPP is jointly owned by McLaren Health Care and more than 1,500 physician members—approximately 500 employed and 1,000 independent physicians—who are committed to improving health care quality, safety and outcomes for patients across Michigan. MPP also supports its physician members in managing the health of their practices with contracting, medical management, electronic medical records and value added services including group health products and preferred pricing on vaccines, medical surgical supplies and office supplies. For information, visit

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Flint, Mich., is a fully integrated health network committed to quality evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system comprises 19,500 employees and more than 20,000 network physicians, reaching more than half of Michigan residents through approximately 300 facilities spanning the state. It includes medical centers in Bay City, Flint, Lansing, Lapeer, Mount Clemens, Mount Pleasant, Petoskey and Pontiac and operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated centers in the state. Additionally, McLaren offers ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, the state’s only proton therapy center, an employed primary care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 250,000 lives, home health and hospice services, durable medical equipment providers, retail pharmacy services, and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. For information, visit


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