New Jersey medical group rebrands as Summit Health as it eyes growth in NYC metro market

One of New Jersey's largest medical groups and urgent care provider CityMD has rebranded as Summit Health as part of a growth and expansion strategy.

In 2019, Summit Medical Group, a physician-owned and governed multispecialty group, merged with CityMD, a leading urgent care company in New York City. The combined organization’s corporate identity, Summit Health, also reflects a new brand identity and positioning as it looks to grow in the New York metro area, company officials said.

Summit Health has 8,000 employees, more than 1,600 providers and 200 locations in New Jersey and New York, including many sites in the early epicenters of the nation's coronavirus outbreak. It also has more than 130 providers and six locations in Central Oregon—previously known as Summit Medical Group Oregon.

CityMD will continue to operate under its existing brand name with an endorsement line identifying it as "A Summit Health Company."

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"This major rebrand represents our vision to create a new kind of health care that builds on our strengths and provides a seamless patient experience that is connected by the collective expertise of our physicians, providers and employees," said Jeffrey Le Benger, M.D., chief executive officer of Summit Health in a statement.

The company has approximately 700,000 patients in northern New Jersey and sees 6 to 7 million visits a year in the greater market. Summit Health provides primary, specialty and urgent care.

The rebranding comes at a time of significant transition in the healthcare industry as patient expectations are being reshaped by new forms of patient care and health management, Le Benger said.

Summit Health will bring deep clinical integration, growth in providers and locations, and an enhanced digital experience for its patients, the company said.

"The emergence of the Summit Health brand is about more than just a new name or logo. It brings unity and focus to our operations while also delivering an enlightening, compassionate, and connected experience that is orchestrated around the patient," said Matt Gove, chief marketing officer of Summit Health. 

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Summit Medical Group was founded more than a century ago, in 1919, as an integrated medical group and the company continues to focus on taking care of patients through the healthcare continuum, "from birth to survivorship," Le Benger told Fierce Healthcare.

"When you have an integrated healthcare delivery model it increases access points to care and it improves patients' health outcomes," he said, noting that the company also invests in technology such as analytics capabilities.

"We believe in gathering as much data and analytical information as we can to help with proactive analytics to determine the risk of patients and manage the gaps of care," he said.

Like many providers, Summit Medical Grop rapidly shifted to virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Literally in one day we shifted from 10 virtual visits to doing 3,000 to 4,000 virtual visits," Le Benger said.

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In 2020, the company opened about a dozen new CityMD locations and brought on more than 150 doctors into the group. Summit Health has returned to its pre-COVID patient volume numbers, he said.

"Our growth, resilience, and progress over the first extraordinary months of our merger is remarkable," Le Benger said.

The company is developing a patient-facing app that will offer digital services such as appointment scheduling, bill pay, and online prescription refills.

Summit Health is now focused on scaling its integrated delivery model through the New York City metro area, including adding hubs in Manhattan, Westchester County and Long Island.