Health Care and Lakeshore

Mercy Health physician groups merge

August 14, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Mercy Health physician groups merge
Mercy Health Physician Partners is comprised of 491 physicians and advanced practice professionals, who work in Grand Rapids and along the lakeshore. Courtesy Mercy Health

Physicians and other medical professionals employed by the Mercy Health hospital system in West Michigan have been joined together to form one new organization.

Mercy Health Physician Partners is a merger of the Muskegon-based Mercy Health Partners Physician Network, which had 216 members, and the 275 who were in the Grand Rapids-based Advantage Health/Saint Mary’s Medical Group, according to a Mercy Health announcement.

The new Mercy Health Physician Partners totals 491 physicians and advanced practice professionals, who work in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and along the lakeshore as far north as Shelby at a total of five hospitals.

Mercy Health re-organization

The new name of the physicians group reflects the recently re-organized health care system now known as Mercy Health, which includes Saint Mary’s hospital in Grand Rapids and the Mercy Health hospitals in Muskegon.

The Mercy Health system is owned by Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health and was created to offer greater access to services to patients across West Michigan, better communication between patients and health care providers and easier access to specialists in the region.

Mercy Health Physician Partners

The union of the two separate groups of doctors employed by Mercy Health in Grand Rapids and Muskegon creates one of the largest primary care and specialty physician networks in West Michigan.

The primary care providers specialize in family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, as well as internal medicine. The primary care physicians also partner with a wide range of specialty physicians.

The group’s new name will appear in new signage at its facilities this summer.

Reach and efficiency

"Aligning our primary care communities provides a larger platform of physicians for employers and insurance plans who seek a wider geographic coverage area," said Dr. David Blair, president and chief medical officer of Mercy Health Physician Partners in Grand Rapids. "This expansion provides for the creation of larger specialty teams, greater focused expertise and enhanced standards of care."

Dr. F. Remington Sprague, chief medical officer of Mercy Health Physician Partners in Muskegon, said becoming one organization provides many benefits through increased efficiencies.

"Through this broadening of our network, we will be able to more quickly identify best practices and implement them for the benefit of our patients,” added Sprague.

Spectrum Health System also has directly employed physicians, approximately 975 of them organized in two groups, the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart.

Mercy Health includes five hospitals and 58 physician offices. A total of 1,300 physicians are affiliated with Mercy Health, with privileges to work in Mercy’s hospitals. The network has a total of 800 hospital beds, 7,200 employees, plus hospice, home health and long-term care services.

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