Eleven of the country's leading gastroenterology (GI) practices have announced the formation of the Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA), a trade association comprised of independent gastroenterology physician practices with the aim of promoting and preserving the integrated model of healthcare delivery.

"In an age when both the quality and cost-effectiveness of care are more important than ever, it is critical that independent GI practices around the country work together to advocate for a healthcare policy framework that promotes patient access to integrated care in the independent setting," said Scott R. Ketover, M.D., President & CEO of Minnesota Gastroenterology, PA, a founding member practice of DHPA. "The DHPA will complement the existing, well-respected medical professional societies that represent the interests of gastroenterologists so that we can focus our efforts on promoting the benefits integrated GI care brings to the millions of patients we serve in the independent medical practice setting."

"While more and more patients are choosing to seek comprehensive, integrated care that brings physicians of different specialties together in the independent medical practice setting, forces on Capitol Hill and in certain statehouses are working to undermine this model of care," said Michael Weinstein, M.D., Vice-President of Capital Digestive Care, LLC, a founding member practice of DHPA. "We believe that common clinical conditions including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease, and Colorectal Cancer detection and prevention lend themselves to treatment in our integrated care models. The DHPA offers GI practices from across the country the opportunity to educate stakeholders about how the integrated GI care model provided in the independent medical practice setting furthers our efforts to deliver coordinated patient care at lower costs."

"Our efforts to influence policy must be rooted in strong data," said Thomas J. Shireman, M.D., Past President of Consultants in Gastroenterology, PC, a founding member practice of the DHPA. "The DHPA is committed to gathering an abundance of evidence from its member practices around the country to demonstrate to policymakers and other stakeholders the clear value of integrated GI care delivered in the independent medical practice setting."

The DHPA's founding member practices include nearly 450 gastroenterologists and other physician specialists who, in 2013, cared for more than a half million patients in 1.5 million distinct patient encounters.

The DHPA founding member practices are:

  • Capital Digestive Care, LLC
  • Gastrointestinal Associates, PC
  • Gastroenterology Consultants, LDT
  • Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology, LLC
  • Borland-Groover Clinic, PA
  • GI Associates and Endoscopy Center, PA
  • Minnesota Gastroenterology, PA
  • Digestive Health Specialists, PA
  • Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates, LLC
  • Consultants in Gastroenterology, PC
  • GI Associates, LLC

DHPA will gather, analyze and benchmark data relevant to independent GI practices not only to inform best practices and improve patient care, but to support education and advocacy about the value of integrated care furnished in the independent medical practice setting.