APG Colloquium Fall 2019 Recap

On November 11-13, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the APG Colloquium in Washington, DC. America’s Physician Groups (APG) is a professional association, representing over 300 medical groups, independent practice associations, and integrated healthcare systems. They typically host two conferences each year, and the Fall Colloquium is a smaller, more intimate, gathering compared to the Spring Annual Conference.

The theme for the Colloquium was, “Thriving in Tomorrow’s New Models and Downside Risk,” and it was focused on helping physicians transition from volume to value.

That Monday, the Colloquium featured the Shared Learning Fest. I really enjoyed this opportunity to engage with peers on a variety of topics throughout the evening in smaller breakout sessions. The highlight of the evening was attending the Value-Based Reimbursement in the World of Pediatrics session with Scott Farr, MBA, MHA, CMPE and Jim Slaggert. Pediatric value-based care is typically not highlighted, and interestingly, data analytics platforms came up as a topic of discussion. Many large organizations don’t cater towards the pediatric population, especially on quality metrics and performance improvement.

Tuesday was a packed day! While there were a variety of topics, I want to highlight a few of my favorites. The day opened with a talk on “How are Physician Organizations Reacting to the New Models?” It appears that all of the panelists were supportive for the direction of the new models announced by CMS, especially the Direct Contracting model. Specifically, the panelists support the strong movement towards a capitated and partially capitated population-based payments that move away from traditional FFS and smaller set of core quality measures that reduce physician burden. I also really enjoyed the practical examples discussed during the presentation titled: Case Studies in Excellence 2019: Pearls of Wisdom from the Field. The one example that I really enjoyed was a BINGO board that was created to improve patient engagement on quality metrics, which rewarded patients for completing preventative screenings. The breakout session, “Expanding Our Impact: Healthier People and Communities Through Social Determinants,” presented by Kaiser Permanente was great. Kaiser Permanente launched Thrive Local, a social health network aimed at reducing homelessness, food insecurity, and other critical needs that affect the health and wellbeing of communities. The team shared some touching stories and case studies on how their work on social determinates had a profound impact on patient quality of life and significantly reduced healthcare costs.

Wednesday’s highlights included several sessions that focused on the future of healthcare including: “What Does the Investment Community See in Healthcare?” presented by Ana Gupte, Thomas Scully, and John Selig and “Election’s Coming: Political Update” by Amy Jensen Cunniffe and Sarah Kuehl Egge. Both sessions highlighted the bipartisan support of moving towards a value-based system, however, each stakeholder’s perspectives varied slightly in how this would be done. This was certainly a politically charged discussion, and I enjoyed receiving perspectives from both sides of the aisle. Medicare for All was discussed at length, and it seemed like a lot of people thought it was an unrealistic proposal.

This was my first APG Colloquium, and I was impressed with the robust opportunities to network and learn. Salient Healthcare is excited to sponsor and attend the upcoming Spring 2020 APG Annual Conference—see you in the Spring!


Maria Nikol

About the Author


Maria Nikol

Maria Nikol is a senior business consultant with 10 years of experience in healthcare operations and healthcare strategy. Her specialization includes process improvement and the application of emerging models of healthcare delivery such as Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations. She holds a Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Widener University and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

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