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GRIPA hires chief medical officer

Rochester Business Journal
December 18, 2012

As it readies itself for the Jan. 1 implementation of an accountable-care contract with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association has hired Mark Belfer D.O. as chief medical officer.

“Health care is evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to a combination of market factors and the enormous changes occurring as a result of the federal Affordable Care Act. This unprecedented period of change makes chief medical officer a vital role for our more than 900 member physicians,” GRIPA president Joseph Vasile M.D. said.   

Belfer most recently served as chief medical officer for the St. Vincent Physician Network in Indianapolis and has been president of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.

GRIPA is half-owned by Rochester General Hospital's and Newark-Wayne Community Hospital's physician organizations and half-owned by Rochester General Health System. Its provider panel is made up of physicians who are employees of or affiliated with the two RGHS hospitals or Unity Health System.

GRIPA is one of a few U.S. provider organizations to win Federal Trade Commission certification as a clinical integration provider.

The FTC allows only physician groups it so certifies to directly negotiate fees with third-party payers. Doctors groups are otherwise barred from such negotiations by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act’s price-fixing rules.

To win the clinical integration designation, a doctors’ group has to show that it closely coordinates care among its members, maintaining tight communication among specialists, primary care physicians and hospital-based doctors.      

Negotiated among the Blues, RGHS and GRIPA, the five-year accountable-care pact is the first in this region to hew to federal reform initiatives calling for doctors to be paid for quality rather than quantity of care.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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