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Community Physicians and Independent Health Announce Groundbreaking Collaboration


Using patient-centered medical home principles as its foundation, a pioneering group of community physicians and Independent Health have launched a new approach to transform the delivery of health care. 


This alliance of primary care physicians, called The Primary Connection, includes 21 primary physician practices, including 140 internal medicine, family practice and pediatric physicians.


"The Primary Connection is designed to focus on the patient to improve their experience of care, achieve seamless coordination of care with specialists and other providers, and improve health outcomes, which will lead to lower costs in the long term," said Donald Robinson, M.D., a family practice physician involved in the alliance and chairman of The Primary Connection's Leadership Council. 


 "The Primary Connection allows the primary care physician to be a vital part of improving our health care system. We are empowering primary care physicians to expand their influence and provide more patient-centered care," said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., Independent Health's president and chief executive officer. 


"I am excited about the potential for the Primary Connection to improve the quality of the health care experience for both the patient and the physician," said Andre Lopez, M.D., one of the 30 primary care physicians from the Buffalo Medical Group, which is part of the alliance.  "Patients will benefit from added services, better access to their doctor and lower costs.  Primary care physicians will have access to greater resources to help manage complex medical issues and will benefit from enhanced reimbursement.  Our goal is to improve the quality of care for our patients, reduce costs and strengthen the role of primary care for the future."


The Primary Connection and Independent Health will track and measure success through four dimensions: the quality of care; patients' satisfaction with their experience of care; improvement of professional fulfillment by physicians and providers; and a total lower cost of care for the health care system.


David Pawlowski, M.D., with Highgate Medical Group and a member of The Primary Connection's Leadership Council, said, "The Primary Connection enables us to be the quarterback in our patients' care, allowing us to guide them to the most effective and efficient type of care they need."


Another component of The Primary Connection will address the shortage of primary care physicians by collaborating with area colleges and universities in training and mentoring opportunities that will encourage medical and nursing students to choose primary care as their specialty.  


For example, four medical residents from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine are about to begin their three-year primary care clinical training experience at physician practices that are part of The Primary Connection.    


As a primary care physician himself, Dr. Cropp believes that reforming primary care is one of the most essential actions we can take to improve the health system.  "Primary care physicians and other providers are the first point for patients to access the health care system.  Our investment is bringing primary care physicians back to the forefront in helping patients get exactly what they need from health care."


Learn more, including the benefits of The Primary Connection, and watch a video presentation at

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