- 2013: 41
- 2023: 429
- 2013: 180
- 2023: 944
Advanced Practice Providers
- 2013: 75
- 2023: 944
- 2013: 900
- 2023: 3,750
Primary Care Visits
- 2013: 308,447
- 2023: 822,721
January 1, 2023 was both a day of new beginnings and historic reference for Hartford HealthCare Medical Group — Padmanabhan Premkumar, MD, assumed his new role as president as the group launched its 10th year in existence.
Dr. Premkumar, a primary care physician who was vice president of revenue cycle before the latest promotion, expresses excitement at the opportunity to build on the medical group’s success and evolve clinical care to meet patient needs.
In the beginning
The medical group was Hartford HealthCare’s first step toward complete coordination of healthcare services, bringing together dozens of outpatient practices and providers. Over the years, it has expanded into nearly every community in Connecticut. More providers in more locations mean greater access to quality care.
expertise and resources of five clinical practices in the Hartford and Central regions — Hartford Medical Group, MidState Medical Group, Doctors of Central Connecticut, Windham Family Medical Services and Hartford Specialists/Connecticut Surgical Group — into one physician-led health system.
For six months, nearly 175 stakeholders from across the system worked tirelessly to build a governance and operating model. They developed policies, constructed workflows and procedures, and established a standard human resources manual for providers and staff.
On January 1, 2013, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group was born, leveraging the strength of 180 physicians and 75 advanced practitioners to deliver primary and specialty care services at 60 locations. This significant first step ensured HHC’s superior level of care is always available to patients, close to home. The goal was to expand strategically throughout Connecticut and bring healthcare into communities, rather than forcing patients to travel to a single location.
Internist Kent Stahl, MD, was named the first president and CEO of HHC MG, as well as vice president of primary care. He was joined by colorectal surgeon Jeffrey Cohen, MD, as vice president of specialty care.
Unification of these entities provided benefits to the organization and patients, including:
- The ability to harness HHC’s size and scale and efficiently provide coordinated care.
- Consistency through shared infrastructure and resources across the system, allowing providers to deliver the best care to patients.
- Development of a common work culture among offices and colleagues. Leadership understood the sum of parts was worth more than the whole, and that internal collaboration would allow us to get through challenging times.
“What really matters is people,” Dr. Cohen explains. “It’s important that everyone be aligned, work together, have the same mission and vision, and move in the same direction together. When you do that, people feel like they’re on a team — not alone on an island.”
Creation of the medical group faced immediate challenges in operational and logistical barriers. The leadership team, however, developed innovative solutions that proved to be the organization’s strength.
To be successful, leadership knew it was important to include practicing physician leaders on the team. In this new model, a physician was paired with operation leads at every level, allowing the team to make the best decisions for our organization, colleagues and patients.
“It’s important that everyone be aligned, work together, have the same mission and vision, and move in the same direction together.”
One of the biggest keys to success came in 2014, with the decision to bring all entities onto a single medical records system — Epic. At that time, there were as many as six systems being used, none of which was Epic. Roll-out began in August 2015, with primary care being the first to integrate. Bringing everyone onto one system allowed for complete coordination of care across the network.
As Dr. Premkumar plans for 2023 and beyond, he intends to keep the medical group evolving to meet ever-changing patient needs.
“People are looking for care that’s more digital and mobile,” he explains. “They want information delivered to their doorstep.”
To meet their accessibility demands, he is prepared to develop the infrastructure, including enhanced virtual platforms and other delivery systems, and make care more personalized and responsive.
“We’re blessed to have great people with a genuine passion to help our communities and patients,” Dr. Premkumar explains. “I truly believe we have the operating model to not just deliver on core values, but incorporate the latest advances in technology, with an ability to attract the best talent across the nation.”
In its first 10 years, the medical group made tremendous strides in expanding its network across Connecticut. With more than 400 practices and nearly 1,600 providers, access to quality healthcare is greater than ever before.
Although the scope of care has broadened, the mission remains the same: To improve the health and healing of the people and communities we serve. That, more than anything, is something to celebrate.