By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Sequent Health Physician Partners, LLC opens for business

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Gwinnett County and the surrounding area now has a major new healthcare provider.

Sequent Health Physician Partners, LLC was unveiled today as a clinically integrated network with nearly 300  long-established local physicians, including 60 primary care physicians and a wide range of specialists, including cardiologists, pulmonologists, oncologists, neurologists and surgeons, as well as medical providers.

Manfred Sandler, MD, chairman of Sequent Health’s Board of Managers, said the new network has been organized over the past year to respond to changing market and regulatory forces in ways designed to improve quality health outcomes, hold down aggregate healthcare costs, and help independent physicians stabilize their practices.

“Sequent Health Physician Partners constitutes an important evolutionary step forward in the delivery of health care at a community level,” said Sandler.  “It’s an innovative type of corporate organization that allows health care providers – including physicians, hospitals, insurers and others – to collaborate in ways that put a premium on improving health outcomes and achieving savings in the cost of care.”

Sandler, a cardiologist who is perhaps best known for leading the 2009 campaign to bring an open-heart surgery program to Gwinnett County, said Sequent Health Physician Partners is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gwinnett Health System, Inc (GHS).  He said the new organization is physician-led and physician-managed.   Twelve of the 15 board members are physicians while the remaining three include two executives at Gwinnett Health System and one GHS board member.

In addition to Sandler, the physicians on Sequent Health’s Board of Managers include Julius Ajayi, MD, David Arkin, MD, Marty Austin, MD, Alan Bier, MD, Carlton Buchanan, MD, Linda Casteel, MD, Bill McGann, MD, David Schmidt, MD, Lance Wiist, MD and Todd Williamson, MD.  Non-physician Board members include GHS executives Thomas Shepherd and Tommy McBride, and GHS Board member Terry Jondahl.

“As providers, we stand to do better over time, but only if we meet certain requirements with respect to improving health outcomes and pushing down aggregate healthcare costs in the areas we serve,” Sandler added.  “It’s an approach to organizing the delivery of care in a community that is built on market incentives for all the participants, including providers, payers and patients.” 

Sandler added that the organizational work on the new network had been underway for about a year, and that it had begun recruiting physicians and other providers only in the past six months.  “We’ve been very gratified by the response of the physician community and other providers,” he said.  “Sequent Health already has a solid critical mass of leading providers in our service area, and we’re beginning to approach providers in neighboring areas now.” 

About Sequent Health Physician Partners
Representing the next chapter of healthcare, Sequent Health Physician Partners is a clinically integrated network that is organized, led and managed by physicians.  Supported by Gwinnett Health System, Sequent is comprised of nearly 300 physicians and medical providers aligned to collaborate on patient care.  By instituting common goals including patient outcomes, coordinated care and aligned performance metrics, Sequent physicians work together to improve community health and reduce the cost of care. For more information visit sequentphysicians.com.   

About Gwinnett Health System
Gwinnett Health System is the parent company of a number of healthcare entities in Gwinnett County including Gwinnett Medical Center, Gwinnett Medical Group and Sequent Health Physician Partners. Gwinnett Health System employs 4,800 associates and has 800 affiliated physicians serving more than 400,000 patients annually. To learn more, visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org.