Collaborative Health Systems, Summit Medical Group form Accountable Care Coalition of Tennessee


Collaborative Health Systems, a WellCare Health Plans, Inc. company (NYSE: WCG), and Summit Medical Group, a physician-led organization, announced today the formation of the Accountable Care Coalition of Tennessee (ACC Tennessee). This new coalition will participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’s (CMS) Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model and expects to serve more than 21,000 Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries in greater Knoxville.

Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated high-quality care to their Medicare beneficiaries, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. The Next Generation ACO Model is a value-based payment model that encourages providers to assume greater risk and reward for improving the quality and reducing the cost of healthcare of Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries.

Under the Next Generation ACO Model, ACC Tennessee’s 88 primary care physicians will have financial incentives and tools at their disposal to engage beneficiaries in their healthcare and provide innovative care. For instance, telemedicine services will be a covered benefit and will allow physicians to offer care through telephonic communications. Enhanced access to skilled nursing facilities will enable beneficiaries to enter a facility without a three-day inpatient hospital stay.

ACC Tennessee’s selection to participate in the Next Generation ACO Model recognizes the success Summit Medical Group has had in coordinating their patients’ care.

Jeffrey Stevens, M.D., member of the ACC Tennessee Management Committee and Summit Medical Group board chair, said Summit’s dedicated primary care physicians look forward to collaborating with Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) to improve how they deliver care.

“Our physicians are always eager to learn new ways to connect with their patients and help them take charge of their care,” Stevens said. “The Next Generation ACO Model gives us the tools and the flexibility to transform our practices so we can deliver exceptional care, reduce duplicative tests, and focus on prevention and coordination, while reducing overall healthcare spending.”

“As a physician-led organization with many years of experience in quality and value-based care programs, Summit Medical Group is positioned to advance the Next Generation ACO Model in East Tennessee, improving patient outcomes throughout our region,” Summit Medical Group CEO Ed Curtis said. “Our physicians are committed to using this model to increase efficiency and enhance patient care.”

Mike Polen, executive vice president, Medicare and Operations, Collaborative Health Systems, said this group of primary care physicians has been successful in adapting to value-based care models and taking on increasing levels of risk.

“These providers are well-positioned to take on greater accountability in their patients’ healthcare, which will be measured by how well they improve quality of care and decrease healthcare costs,” he said. “We appreciate their innovative nature and willingness to take on this new approach to healthcare. They do it because they see the positive impact it has on the health, well-being and quality of life for their patients.”


About Accountable Care Coalition of Tennessee

The Accountable Care Coalition of Tennessee is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare and lowering the growth rate of healthcare costs. The Accountable Care Coalition of Tennessee comprises physicians within Summit Medical Group, one of East Tennessee’s largest primary care organizations. Summit’s singular commitment to quality has led its office-based physicians to rank in the top 10 in the country of all three categories of National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognition: Patient-Centered Medical Home, Diabetes Recognition Program and Heart/Stroke Recognition Program. For more information, visit


About Collaborative Health Systems

Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) is a management services organization that partners with primary care physicians as they move to value-based payment systems. Its 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 2018 CHS manages two Next Generation Model ACOs and 16 Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs, covering 192,000 Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, CHS partners with physician groups that have come together to form Independent Physician Associations (IPAs). For more information, visit  


About Summit Medical Group

Summit Medical Group is East Tennessee’s largest primary care organization with more than 300 providers at more than 60 practice locations in 14 counties. Summit also consists of four diagnostic imaging centers, mobile diagnostic services, eight physical therapy centers, three express clinics, central laboratory and sleep services center. Summit provides healthcare services to more than 280,000 patients, averaging over one million encounters annually. For more information, visit