SLUCare Physician Group becomes part of SSM Health in St. Louis

August 1, 2022

SSM Health has taken over ownership of SLUCare Physician Group from Saint Louis University, bringing 1,200 new providers, including about 600 who are academic physicians, into its fold.

The SLUCare group will be a parallel one to the existing SSM Health Medical Group.

Jeremy Fotheringham, regional president of St. Louis-based SSM Health, said most of the SLUCare providers are specialists or subspecialists and about half of them are doctors who are on the faculty at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

He said their skills and expertise will complement those of the SSM Health Medical Group, whose members are mostly primary care physicians or specialists.

"By adding an academic division, we add a whole lot of subspecialty care," Fotheringham said. "If you're a patient, now the continuum of care is much easier to navigate. We can align care processes and systems of care to make it much easier to go from primary care to a specialist to a subspecialist and back to your primary care physician."

Most of the SLUCare doctors already have a relationship with SSM Health because SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is the teaching hospital for the Saint Louis University medical school. SSM Health acquired the hospital in 2015. Saint Louis University is a private Jesuit research institution.

Speaking at a reception at the hospital to formally mark the handover, Dr. Christine Jacobs, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president of medical affairs at Saint Louis University, said: "Your colleagues at SLU School of Medicine are so glad to see that our many years of partnership have reached this inflection point. We've formed strong relationships with all of you in this process and we know that we will be better together."

Fotheringham said acquiring the SLUCare group means SSM Health can advance its goal of providing value-based care in several ways, including by streamlining some operations, curtailing duplicate procedures and reducing waste.

He said that having the academic group within the system also will bring new opportunities to tap their knowledge to educate and train clinicians across the SSM Health system, which operates in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.

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