MMS Welcomes Atrius Health Physician Members

WALTHAM — The Mass. Medical Society (MMS) and Atrius Health have jointly announced the enrollment of the largest physician group to join the Medical Society, as the physicians of Atrius Health will become members of the statewide physician organization as a group beginning in 2010.

Atrius Health is a nonprofit alliance of nearly 800 physicians who serve nearly 700,000 patients mainly throughout Eastern Mass. The addition of its physicians will increase the society’s membership by some 2{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}, bringing total membership to more than 22,000.

“We welcome the participation of Atrius Health in medical society activities and look forward to developing a strong partnership with its medical groups and their physicians,” said Dr. Mario Motta, president of the Mass. Medical Society and a cardiologist with North Shore Cardiovascular Associates in Salem.

“The addition of Atrius Health as a group will provide a louder and stronger voice for both physicians and patients,” he added. “That will be especially important as we continue to experience health care reform and address the many issues that will affect the practice of medicine and patient care.”

Among the priority issues for the MMS that Motta cited are the physician practice environment and practice viability in the Commonwealth, payment reform, liability reform, emergency preparedness, and health-information technology.

“This is an important investment in education and community involvement for our physicians,” explained Dr. Gene Lindsey, president and CEO of Atrius Health. “We also feel that this will be a way for our organization to assist other physicians around the state on a range of issues such as global payment, electronic medical records, quality incentives, and shared medical appointments.”

As part of this new membership, Atrius Health will be working with the medical society to increase its physicians’ involvement in MMS activities, governance, educational programs, and health policy.

In addition to its role as publisher of the New England Journal of Medicine, the Mass. Medical Society serves as a primary advocate for physicians and patients on the national and state levels. It testifies on proposed legislation and regulations that may influence the practice of medicine and participates in a number of health care coalitions throughout the state.

As a voluntary membership organization, it offers a wide range of services for its members, including continuing medical-education courses, practice-management consulting services, insurance and legal services, and health policy and systems informational reports. The MMS Physician Practice Resource Center, as an example, is designed to support the business operations of physician practices by providing practical resources in financial, legal, clinical, and technological areas. And through special relationships with selected vendors, the society offers physicians discounted services in areas like data collection, payments and billings, and e-prescribing.