Seamless growth

Case Study | Integrated Medical Services

Multi-specialty organization succeeds in value-based care (VBC) and expands their footprint with support from athenahealth

  • ILLO_Medical-office-Teal_DGT_2

    Multi-specialty organization

  • Female Dr and male nurse

    75+ providers

  • ILLO_Two-Patients_DGT_3

    74K patients, including 20K on VBC continuum

  • Glob and purple location pin

    30+ locations in Arizona


  • Optimizing the patient experience
  • Integrating care coordination across specialties and providers
  • Navigating complex VBC contracts
  • Standardizing workflows to help onboard new providers


  • athenaOne®
  • athenaOne® Dictation Powered by Nuance®
  • athenahealth® Data View


  • 92% patient satisfaction rate
  • 13% new patient growth
  • Success in value-based care contracts
  • Opened five new locations in 2023
  • 30% provider growth in 2023
  • 91% provider retention rate

With more than 75 providers and counting, Integrated Medical Services (IMS) considers itself “the independent practice at scale,” according to CEO Monique Delgado. The multi-specialty group brings together primary care, cardiology, neurology, and six other specialties to provide coordinated care to patients across Arizona. “Our patients receive optimal health outcomes with our model having primary care and specialties under one roof — the patient wins,” Delgado explained.

IMS relies on athenaOne, athenahealth’s cloud-based suite of integrated electronic health record, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement solutions, to integrate their clinical systems and standardize and optimize workflows. athenahealth provides the foundation and partnership needed to support their patients, achieve success in value-based care (VBC) and risk-based programs, and ultimately grow the organization.

“athenahealth has been a valued partner for several years now, empowering us to enhance patient care, thrive as an independent organization, and live up to our name as a truly integrated practice,” said Dr. Riyaz Sumar, President of IMS.

Clinical integration enhances the patient experience and improves health outcomes

When IMS came together as a multi-specialty group, clinical integration was a challenge. Though the primary care providers and specialties were now under the same umbrella, there was still a disconnect between primary care providers and specialists. When a primary care provider referred a patient to a specialty, it felt almost like they were sending them to an entirely separate practice in terms of the patient and clinician experience.

Integrating clinical workflows through athenaOne has enabled seamless patient record sharing across primary care providers, specialty care providers, the revenue cycle team, and the quality team. “Everyone can see that record and that helps us create a better patient experience as well as a provider experience,” Delgado explained. “Our unique approach is the multi-specialty model with true clinical integration, and that clinical integration is really powered by athenahealth.”

With athenaOne integrating records and workflows, patients don’t have to resubmit insurance or medication information — it’s all shared seamlessly with their new specialty provider. As a result, IMS reports a 92% patient satisfaction rate, as measured by an external survey partner.

Not only does the integration reduce friction for patients and providers, but it also helps improve care coordination and health outcomes, which is key to IMS’s value-based care strategy. “As a value-based and integrated multi-specialty group we need to optimize care coordination and keep patients healthy and out of the hospital,” said Sumar.

The clinical connections through athenaOne allow primary care providers to follow up on patient referrals and see whether their patient attended the specialty visit they needed, what the results were, and then reinforce the care plan with the patient. “Everyone is accountable — the primary care, the specialists, and the patient,” Delgado explained. “The outcomes are much better for the patient because we’re able to be proactive, and we’re able to track and monitor it ourselves.”

Actionable insights and reporting enable success in value-based care

IMS serves 20K patients across the value-based care continuum, from Pay for Quality (P4Q) programs to full downside risk. Keeping track of the data, reporting, and requirements for those programs is complex, but Delgado says athenaOne has helped IMS optimize workflows and stay on top of everything.

“Our providers and our healthcare team are able to use athenahealth to track preventative metrics like breast cancer screenings or colorectal screenings,” said Delgado. “The athenahealth data that we have helps us make not only informed decisions, but intelligent decisions, and we can better manage our operations.” Delgado says that having a deep understanding of their data also gives them confidence to speak up in their conversations with health plans.

Insights from athenaOne allow IMS to pinpoint specific areas where performance is lagging and intervene in accordance with their quality programs. IMS leverages athenaOne to identify care gaps, like patients who are missing annual wellness visits, and schedule the appointments necessary to close those gaps. “I can use athenahealth as a solution and send out an email or text campaign to actually solve for the issue that I have through technology and use less human capital,” said Delgado.

IMS is achieving their value-based care goals, and they’ve been recognized as a high-performing provider by the health plans they work with. The ongoing support from athenahealth’s products and services helps them get there.

“The partnership with athenahealth has been fantastic. They come alongside you to partner with you from a risk-based perspective, constantly looking at what it is that the group is trying to do,” said Delgado. “And then they’re offering up solutions or new functionality to make sure that we are successful in whatever our next initiative is.” With IMS planning to move aggressively into downside risk, Delgado says athenahealth’s advanced capabilities will be crucial to their success.

Scalability and standardization support business growth

IMS has achieved 30% provider growth and added five new locations since becoming an independent practice group in 2023, and Delgado says the partnership with athenahealth has made it easy to scale. “We have been growing and scaling our organization, and athenahealth has been right there by our side, making sure that we are planning ahead so that when a new provider joins, it’s a seamless integration with our existing system,” said Delgado.

The scalability of athenaOne has also played a crucial role in IMS’s growth. “Without athenahealth, we wouldn’t have been able to grow as seamlessly as we have,” Delgado explained. “The athenahealth platform provides standardization, so we have standard clinical protocols and guidelines that help us better integrate new physicians into our system.”

Monique Delgado, CEO, Integrated Medical Service

That standardization will be key as IMS plans for continued expansion, focusing on primary care, cardiology, and rural communities. “athenahealth is a partner that comes alongside you and your practice and is able to innovate, adapt, flex, and help you scale your organization,” said Delgado. “athenahealth is equally invested in the success of the practice as you are, and it makes for a great partnership.”

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These results reflect the experience of one particular organization and are not necessarily what every athenahealth customer should expect.