Oct. 14, 1993
Vol. 13, No. 4

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    University Hospitals affiliates with Meyer Medical Group

    Shareholders of Meyer Medical Group have voted to affiliate with the University of Chicago Medical Center. Meyer Medical Group is an independent, 42-physician primary-care group with four locations on the South Side of Chicago and in the South Suburbs.

    This arrangement brings together the largest and most successful primary-care physician group in the southern area of Chicago and the South Suburbs with one of the leading academic medical centers in the Midwest. Each institution will maintain its own identity and governance.

    In anticipation of health-care reform, the affiliation is designed to provide a full spectrum of health care -- from primary care to the most advanced and experimental therapies -- in a cost-effective way.

    Under the agreement, the Medical Center and Meyer Medical Group will jointly set up a management-services organization that will be responsible for contracting, billing and collection, claims adjudication, utilization management and other practice-management services. The services will be provided not only for the Meyer practice sites, but also for additional practice sites to be developed throughout the metropolitan area.

    Meyer Medical Group will continue to provide primary care for its patients. Patients in need of routine hospital care will be referred to selected nearby community hospitals. Patients who require specialized care will use the University Hospitals when appropriate.

    "This arrangement presents patients and payers with the best of both worlds, providing one entity that allows access to superior primary care as well as the most advanced specialty care, with an established mechanism for the transition from one to the other," said Ralph Muller, President of the University Hospitals.

    According to physician Michael DeStefano, president of Meyer Medical Group, "This is the first alliance between a large primary group and an academic medical center in Chicago, and it will demonstrate that the best patient care is also cost-effective care."

    Meyer Medical Group, founded in 1913, is considered a model for other primary-care groups in its ability to provide high-quality, cost-effective and timely service to its patients. As a result, Meyer has experienced especially rapid growth and expansion during the past decade.

    The University Hospitals has long been regarded as a leader in the provision of high-tech specialty care. A recent survey published in U.S. News & World Report ranked the University Hospitals in the top 1 percent of the nation's 1,488 major academic or specialized medical centers in five areas. No other Illinois hospital was in the top 1 percent in more than one area.

    The agreement with Meyer Medical Group is a significant part of the Medical Center's strategy to build a primary-care network. At the present time, 70,000 people receive primary-care services from Meyer. Through the agreement, Meyer and Medical Center officials hope to gradually increase that number.

    By expanding its network, the Medical Center will also add depth to its teaching programs in primary care. Although the Pritzker School of Medicine is considered a leader in research and specialty care -- the percentage of its graduates going on to careers in academic medicine is higher than that of any other medical school in the United States -- there is a growing emphasis for all medical schools to train more generalist physicians. An expanding primary-care network should enhance the educational experiences of medical students and residents in primary-care and family medicine, a goal to which the Medical Center and Meyer Medical Group are equally committed.

    Meyer Medical Group currently has offices in Chicago at 4425 W. 63rd St. and at 10444 S. Kedzie, and in the South Suburbs at 10000 W. 151st St. in Orland Park and at 10043 W. Lincoln Highway in Frankfort.