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Working Together for Better Health : SMG Participates in AMGF Rheumatoid Arthritis Collaborative

February 9, 201511 min
Summit Medical Group, New Jersey’s largest multispecialty medical group, was selected by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) to participate in a national collaborative dedicated to finding best practices in managing patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Earlier this year, SMG received a $10,000 grant from AMGF and AbbVie to support their quality improvement efforts through participation in the collaborative. Working together with 17 other medical groups across the nation, SMG will facilitate the adoption, discovery, and spread of care processes that will improve the way in which RA patients experience the healthcare system.A chronic disease with high morbidity, mortality and costs, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. In 2014, both the direct and indirect costs associated with RA were estimated to be $40 billion dollars, and could reach as high as $54 billion by 2030. The economic impact of RA is similar to, if not greater than, costs associated with more prevalent, chronic diseases such as diabetes.Designed for organizations striving to improve the care of their RA patients, the collaborative is intended to leverage key learning and facilitate a “how-to” approach. Supported by an Advisory Committee of physicians and quality improvement experts, participants will gain mission-critical experience in engaging specialty departments such as rheumatology in performance measurement and improvement. Medical Director for Population Health at SMG, Jamie Reedy, M.D., MPH, notes that the Group’s initiatives will focus on improving quality outcomes, access to timely care, and adherence to evidence-based guidelines. “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to collaborate with other medical groups to improve the quality of care for RA patients. We look forward to engaging our RA patients in these improvements and partnering with them for better health outcomes,” she adds. Through a yearlong series of activities, participating organizations will have the opportunity to test approaches and design care processes that are relevant to their clinical and operational models. As a result, best practices will be developed and shared around the work of the collaborative groups. The collaborative ends in August 2015.

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