The Innovation Award recognizes a KCMS member physician or physician group practice that has led innovation in their practice or in the delivery of health care.

For over 20 years, Nathan D. Granger, MD, MBA, has been providing leadership to help advance and support independent practice physicians. In 1995, he and Richard Ortiz, MD, formed Clay-Platte Family Medicine Clinic, now one of the largest independent primary care clinics in the metropolitan area. It is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for excellence in the care of diabetes, heart, stroke and hypertension. It also started the first patient-centered medical home in the Kansas City area.

In late 2011, as the Affordable Care Act was being implemented, Dr. Granger and his colleagues saw many changes on the horizon that would promote consolidation. “What will our practice need to do to survive?” they asked.

They reached out to other independent physicians around the area to join with them. The result was formation of the Kansas City Metropolitan Physician Association. Today, KCMPA has 52 practices and 250 providers encompassing not just primary care, but a full range of specialties. In 2013, Dr. Granger led the formation of the KCMPA Accountable Care Organization, the first Medicare Shared Savings Program in the Kansas City region. Through its four years of operation, the ACO provided care transformation and financial support to nearly 100 primary care providers serving nearly 26,000 Medicare patients, many in impoverished areas of Kansas City. The KCMPA-ACO achieved nearly $8.4 million in Medicare savings in 2016, and distributed more than $2 million to KCMPA-ACO participants.

In 2017, Dr. Granger again was on the forefront of innovation when he was integral in establishing Centrus Health of Kansas City. This clinically integrated network joins members of KCMPA with the area’s three largest independent hospitals—The University of Kansas Health System, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission and North Kansas City Hospital—to create a physician-led quality and value network which has responsibility for more than $800 million in medical expenses for 105,000 patients.