Press Release

Universal American Announces Maryland Independent Physician Association (IPA) to Improve Quality of Patient Care and Reduce Overall Healthcare Costs

Company Release - 3/7/2017 9:00 AM ET

More than 120 Maryland Primary Care Providers Partner with Value-Based Care Leader

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM) announced today that more than 120 Maryland primary care providers have formally come together to improve patient care, reduce overall healthcare costs, and embrace the changes resulting from healthcare payment reform. Together these providers will partner with Collaborative Health Systems, a Universal American company, to form Chesapeake Independent Physician Association (IPA).

The Chesapeake IPA is a physician-led Maryland IPA that is focused on value-based healthcare. Gene Ransom, CEO of MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, expressed excitement regarding the announcement. He explained, “This new IPA fills a need and offers independent physicians the means to provide better care while transforming their practices as healthcare changes from “volume to value”. The association prepares physicians to take advantage of value-based contracts with commercial and public payers.”

As a partner in the IPA, Universal American in conjunction with its subsidiary, Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) will leverage its more than 15 years of experience working with primary care physicians on Medicare risk-based contracts to support Chesapeake IPA and its participating providers. It will offer risk contracting and management support and population health know-how and capabilities, including actionable data and other tools to deliver care coordination and closure of gaps in care, and services to secure and deliver favorable value-based contracts with commercial and other health plans.

Dennis Odie, MD, FACP, an independent primary care physician and physician leader in one of CHS’s Medicare ACOs in Maryland remarked, “I am pleased that our successful partnership and skills that we have developed with CHS will now give us the opportunity to extend beyond Medicare beneficiaries to serve members of private payers, which represent more than 70% of the patient population.”

The three Medicare ACOs in Maryland managed by CHS collectively saved more than $37 million for the Medicare system in 2015, leading to millions of dollars in shared savings paid to the participating physicians.

Jeffery Spight, President of CHS, commented on the important work to help physicians retain their independence in a rapidly evolving reimbursement system. “Independent providers in many ways form the backbone of our healthcare system. Yet we’ve seen a dramatic drop in independent primary care providers over the last ten years as they struggle with the demands of reforms. By joining Chesapeake IPA, providers will be able to thrive and keep their practice while enjoying the benefits of a large physician-driven organization that looks out for their interests.”

Joining the Chesapeake IPA affords the provider significant upside but involves little or no risk. Membership costs $1 for the first year, with a 90-day notice to leave without penalty. Each member can choose to opt in/out of any fee-for-service and value-based IPA-negotiated payer contract. Additionally, members can become co-owners of the IPA by purchasing a membership interest in the IPA.

About Chesapeake IPA

Chesapeake IPA is one of the first state-wide physician-led Independent Physician Associations (IPAs) in Maryland to focus on value-based healthcare. Initiated by Medicare ACO physicians, and sponsored by their partner, Collaborative Health Systems, Chesapeake IPA was launched in 2016. In addition to offering traditional benefits, such as rates contracting and group purchasing, the IPA is focused on helping participating physicians apply population health know-how, tools and services to improve patient health care and deliver value-based contracts with commercial and public payers.

About Collaborative Health Systems

Collaborative Health Systems (CHS), a Universal American company (NYSE: UAM), is a management services organization that partners with primary care physicians as they move to value-based payment systems. Our core belief is that primary care physicians are in the best position to influence the quality and cost of healthcare. CHS provides comprehensive support for its physician partners by providing actionable data to help coordinate care and helping practices change behavior to meet the new quality requirements of the value-based payment system. In 2017, CHS manages two Next Generation Model ACOs and 16 MSSP ACOs, with more than 5,200 providers, mostly primary care physicians, covering 222,000 Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, CHS partners with physician groups that have come together to form Independent Physician Associations (IPAs). For more information, visit

About Universal American Corp.

Universal American (NYSE: UAM), through our family of healthcare companies, provides health benefits to people covered by Medicare. We are dedicated to working collaboratively with healthcare professionals, especially primary care physicians, in order to improve the health and well-being of those we serve and reduce healthcare costs. For more information on Universal American, please visit our website at

For Universal American Corp.
Sarah Bell, 914-597-2908
[email protected]

Source: Universal American Corp.