Practice (management) makes perfect at Northwell

Formativ years: CEO Dennis Dowling (third from right) and the Formativ Health leadership team want to make life (and finances) easier for healthcare providers.

Promising to “redefine the revenue cycle and practice management” for healthcare practitioners, Northwell Health has joined forces with a “specialist investment manager” to create a new management-services organization targeting physician practices.

The New Hyde Park-based health system – New York State’s biggest healthcare provider and largest private employer – this week announced the launch of Formativ Health, which is “descended” from Northwell Health’s existing, best-in-class management-services organization, according to a Northwell statement.

The health system is partnering in the new enterprise with Pamplona Capital Management LLP, a London- and New York City-based private-equity firm responsible for more than $10 billion in assets across a number of funds for a variety of clients.

Pamplona is currently managing Pamplona Capital Partners IV – its fourth private-equity fund, which raised roughly 3 billion euros in 2014 – and boasts a global client roster including public pension funds, multinational corporations and international wealth managers.

Michael Dowling: A quarter-century of experience helped form Formativ.

By exposing healthcare providers to a network of “accomplished physician-management, patient-access and revenue-cycle experts,” Formativ Health aims to help them adapt to new payment models (including changing risk-based models), increase their overall productivity and otherwise improve their financial health.

“We want physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the best patient care,” Formativ CEO Dennis Dowling said in a statement. “Formativ does this by relieving administrative burdens, improving the physician experience and ultimately increasing patient engagement.”

Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling (no relation) said the health system based Formativ Health’s functionality on the success of its previous management-services organization, which itself was shaped by the former North Shore-LIJ Health System’s “quarter-century of experience in growing its employed physician group and delivering care to hundreds of thousands of patients annually.”

“Formativ will meet the needs and expectations of physicians by combining their thoughtful approach to patient care with high-quality services and agnostic technology that have produced proven results,” Michael Dowling said.

Formativ is off to a fast start, according to Northwell, already counting 400 practices – including Northwell Health Physician Partners, a multi-specialty group practice employed by the health system – and over 5,000 individual physicians among its customers. By providing a single contact point for myriad physician groups and improving care-coordination and disease-management activities for patients in risk-based payment programs, the startup is designed to enhance revenue and operating margins while decreasing “referral leakage” and helping individual practices grow.

Formativ also looks to improve bottom lines through its “commercial and operational relationship” with nThrive, a Georgia-based “patient-to-payment” revenue-cycle manager with verticals covering employed physician groups and private practices.

“Formativ’s comprehensive offerings meet the increasingly complex needs of ambulatory physicians,” Pamplona partner Jeremy Gelber, a medical doctor, said in a statement. “And the partnership of private equity and [Northwell Health] creates a unique business with a provider heritage and an independent commercial focus.”

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